Ciao Italia!

Wow! Study abroad 2010 is officially over! Last night, we all gathered in the hotel lobby and said our goodbyes since most of the group left early, early this morning to get back to Utah. It was strange not meeting up with everyone this morning! (A side effect from being with the same people for a month!)

Venice has been a wonderful end to our trip! It's amazing how while you know this is a city based on canals and water, you still find wonder in seeing the foundations with water surrounding them... or in watching an ambulence not on the streets, but in speed boat fashion making its way through the canal while the water waves furiously. There's really no capturing the unique sensation of seeing Venice, but here are some pictures (which I know is why you come to this little blog anyway!):

I couldn't help but take this picture! My thoughts went straight to my family's three lhasos and how excited they get over car rides... now put them in Venice. I can just picture it. "Cooper... Cooper, do you want to go on a boatride?"

The only problem is he wouldn't be able to fight for the spot on the driver's lap.

I remember in Art History last fall how my professor talked about the art of Venice and how they weren't under the same kind of rules and restrictions of those cities that used the Pope as a civic leader, as well as spiritual. Venice would be the get away spot for revelry and fun. I raised my hand and asked "So basically you're saying that Venice is the Las Vegas of the Renaissance? What happens in Venice stays in Venice?"

She agreed with a laugh. Keeping this in mind made me feel much more at home! The artwork was very different and St. Mark's is absolutely beautiful!

Night time is my favorite time in Venice. I found the mornings and afternoons unbearably crowded. Apparently, most people don't stay the night in Venice-- they usually come in for a few hours and move on. This made evening strolls the neatest experience. Jen D. and I went out one night to get some night pictures (with my new and pricey tripod!) I set the above pictures as my desktop background and am finding it hard to get anything done now! I end up closing all the windows just to glimpse the beautiful Venetian night!!!

This is the beautiful and ambitious Jen Draper. (Tangent time! We actually had a sign language class together, so it was fun to have her on the trip! In fact, our second Sunday in Rome we were short a few sets of radios for translation, so she listened to someone translating into English then translated that into ASL for me.)

We had some fun playing around with light effects. I used the flash on her, then would have her move halfway through the exposure to get the transparent effect. Just for fun (and to show her) we also did one where I used the flash on her and had her stay (she was solid in that one) and one where for ten seconds she did jumping jacks in front of the camera then moved (she didn't show up in the picture at all). I can only imagine what the locals thought when they saw us!

Yesterday we got to take a trip to a glass blowing factory. There are over 100 in Venice and they really are amazing. They did a glass blowing demonstration for us and the guy made this glass horse in like... three minutes. It was amazing! And our group went wild over it.

These are all items in the shop afterwards. They make beautiful figurines, chandeliers and jewelry. Someday when I'm rich and famous, I know where I'm going to get my dishes!

And last, but not least, these are the people in the group that went on a gondola. I went down to the dock area and took lots of pictures as they went by! They said they had a lot of fun and it looked like it from the very beginning!

Before I finish this post I need to send out a huge thank you! If it weren't for the generosity of someone I still don't even know (except by that generosity) I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have the opportunity to do this travel afterwards. I wouldn't have been so impacted by the rich culture and arts that Italy has to offer. I can't express how much this has impacted my life--partly because I don't know myself all that this has meant in the long run, but I do know this has given me greater ambitions and has opened my eyes to more than I could have imagined.

Thank you also to everyone who read and commented! It's fun to be able to share it with others! I hope that everyone has the chance to experience another culture at sometime. There's nothing like stepping into a world and seeing what others see every day. Not to mention parents who encouraged, supported and always prodded me when a post was long in coming.

And lastly, thank you to everyone in the group that made this so much fun! Especially Steve and Grant, whose meticulous planning allowed us to simply experience. It's no wonder the Italy program is the most competitive to get into.

I have fallen hopelessly in love with Italy! I shall be back someday, but until then Ciao, bella!

(PS Keep checking for more adventures in France and London!)


  1. I loved reading your blog! I thought it was very interesting and definitely made me feel like I was experiencing it all with you! I think you have also inspired me to start my own blog. It sounds like you had tons of fun on your trip and also enjoyed writing your blog! Thanks for updating and making it available for all of us to share your amazing experience.

  2. Thanks Jo! I'm glad you enjoyed it and that I could share it with you!!! That was my main desire in writing the blog, so I'm glad you could see that :)

  3. I've seen Italy and I've seen Rome,
    Now I'll see Marie in France, London, then home!!!!

    I am so glad you did this and posted such beautiful pictures for us to see all your experiences. I will anxiously await pictures of Merrill and his family in France.

    Love, mom