Since people were leaving soon, we decided to get together for one final weekend field trip. This time, venturing further up: to Venice.

When we finally arrived, it was late afternoon already, but the sultry wash of the sun made it great for pictures!



Bejeweled Masks and Glass Menagerie – Playthings or Art?

This girl and I were bent on finding THE perfect mask.

We were walking down this street teeming with mask shops, when Caitlin stopped dead in her tracks. Perched behind a window display was this mask fit for a Venetian queen.

And this could well be a version of her expression.

She went in, asked to try it on, and didn’t want to take it off. So what was the price tag? Well, let’s just say she didn’t end up buying it. Though we did try to bargain it down.

Our hunt for THE mask took quite a turn after that. We had a general idea now of what we wanted, and came across countless contenders.

They were all so gorgeous, I couldn’t choose.

Look at those miniature ones!

Maybe I should just opt for one of these.



Mask claimed as mine!

Well, funnily, I found mine at a street vendor, unlike the rest of the ones I liked but were only available in expensive mask specialty shops. While some quality was sacrificed, I didn’t care. I loved the design! And it was twelve euros, which I thought was quite reasonable.


Looks like I have a challenger. Amey’s mask is quite a showstopper too…


Are those real balloons?

Nope, they were balloons made of the infamous Murano glass of Venice. We saw Murano glass shops littered everywhere. Everywhere. Good thing, because Jen was obsessed with finding glass trinkets for her folks.

These were so, so, so microscopic. If I held one of these in my fingers, would I crush it? Collecting these would be kind of cool…

Even the gaudy street lamps of Venice might be made of Murano glass…


Ride of the Day:

By nightfall, all of us decided to splurge on a gondola ride. It was such a relaxing and dreamy ride, though I must admit, I loved the parts of our journey when things got a bit… haunted. At times, we were treading through narrow alleyways and around tight corners in utter darkness and stillness. The ominousness was relieved only by the occasional breaks of light and animated chatter, when we would catch sight of people dining.


We decided after that to turn in for the night at cute cabins near all the attractions. The overnight stay was such a good deal. We could have camped out in the other option of tents at the same price, but we chose to have real roofs over our heads. I loved how clean and new the cabin felt, and I couldn’t get enough of the interior’s strong cedar scent.

Claiming Territories: Jen chose first, but it didn’t matter, because she didn’t choose the top bunk anyway! I had such a fitful rest that night.


The next morning was devoted entirely to more shopping… and absorbing more of Venice’s beauty!


Meet and Greet: Cindy (left)

Say hello to Cindy, a fellow American and Bostonian! This girl was a total ball of fun to be around. Always on the lookout for new facts about Italy, her curiosity is usually infectious. Her curiosity combined with her savviness in Italian (she is a B2 Level!) is rightfully rewarded, because she took second place in a UNISTRASI poetry contest at the end of the month!





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