I think that I have finally learned my lesson about traveling to over crowded touristy places, I hate it. The moments that I enjoyed Venice the most is when it was so early not many people were out or the minutes before it started pouring rain when everyone ran back into there hotels. I’m honestly quite shocked that people speak so highly about this place labeled “most romantic place in the world”. Every street store that I walked by sold the exact same things, literally. Famous Venice Carnival masks, blown glass jewelry and “I love Venezia” magnets over and over and over and over again. Unfortunately, it got old fast for me. I wish I had done more research and planned to visit the other surrounding islands, Murano and Burano, for a less crowded more relaxing experience because that is what I enjoy most about traveling. Aside from the tourist trap vibes the city really was beautiful and impressively old. It was quite weird being on an island that seemed as though it was built simply of concrete, any island I have been on before was clearly built on grass and sand but not Venice. Everywhere you turned it looked straight out of a movie, everything was photographically worthy, except for the thousands of people huddled around with their selfie sticks.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed going into Doges palace, it made the whole trip worth it. We lucked out because somehow we avoided any line entering the palace and were able to walk right in. Throughout the rest of the trip we saw long lines trailing from the entrance at all times. This palace marks one of the great landmarks of the city of in northern Italy and masterpiece of Gothic architecture at that. Back in the day, the Doge’s Palace was the heart of the political life and public administration of the Venetian Republic. Many rooms of the palace represented history of the government that took place in it and the city courtrooms that were used many years ago. In addition, the Doges palace also occupies a jail. It was very interesting walking through the prison at the bottom because of how old and dingy it was. In fact, it was in the second half of the 16th century when the new construction of a prison was ordered. It was built by Antonio Contin around 1600 and the prison is linked to the Doge’s Palace by the famous Bridge of Sighs. When you walk through the palace you even get the chance to walk through the bride from the palace to get to the prison. In fact, I even heard someone telling their friend that it was called the bridge of sighs because prisoners would take a last sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. I’m not sure how much truth that holds, but it makes sense because the view really was amazing. Aside from the palace we did not pay for any other museums or churches (Patrick are you proud) or the eighty dollar gondola rides. I am starting to realize that a lot of popular European cities look a ton alike and I am ready to see something somewhat different. Something that will never get old: the food. All the rumors and stereotypes are true about the food being amazing in europe. In fact, I think the highlight of my trip in Venice was having pizza for breakfast, unshameful of course. It felt like we never stop eating the entire weekend from the fancy pasta restaurant to the take away sliced pizza, the good never failed to satisfy me.
So far I’ve been in Europe for two months, experienced 12 flights (only 2 off which didn’t get delayed by easyjet), 8 long train rides and countless transit rides.. I’m exhausted and grateful. Looking forward, I am excited to go back to Pittsburgh and experience the simple life of being at home for a few weeks with my parents before the chaos and excitement of college starts up again. This summer has been extremely busy which I love but I am excited to drive, go to my favorite hole in the wall pizza place (ironic) and hopefully travel to Chicago or philly to visits my sisters once before I move into my next house at Pitt.
In regards to the internship, I believe this assigned prompt is unrelatable. I do not think that the country you live in changes how you define success in any way. Even though my host country may eat a little different than I am used to and speak a different language does not make them think much different than the rest of the humans of the world. Hard Work and passion are what make people successful in their lives and careers no matter where they grow up.