This past weekend, OUA students went on an exiting trip to Padova and then Venice! We got up early in the morning in order to make it down to the train station by 7:20 and thankfully, we all made it. The train ride took a few hours. We passed the time primarily by sleeping and gazing outside at the beautiful Italian landscape. When we arrived in Padova, we went to the breathtaking Scrovegni chapel, which was painted by Giotto, the early Renaissance artist. Professor Kirk was quite passionate as he described how much of an impact Giotto had had on the art movement of the time, as he broke away from the traditional gothic style of heavy symbolism and limited sentimental appeal. Throughout his paintings, the people are often engaged in actions and expressing emotion that really helps connect them to the viewer and help them understand what is happening in the scenes.
At this point in time we broke for lunch. I went to a lovely pizza place with a group and then some fine Italian shopping. I just picked up a burgundy hoodie but there were definitely a lot of sales to be had with some items being a full 70% off! We then rejoined the group and we all went to the local university where Galileo taught and many advances in medicine were made. Our tour guide spoke English, and like Kirk, spoke with passion about the importance of her surroundings. The anatomical theater was easily my favorite, as it had been persevered very well since the late 1800s, when it ceased to be used. At around 7:00 or so we had a lovely dinner at a local restaurant.
Next was Venice! We all broke up into smaller groups and took the one-hour train trip to Venice. I was awe-struck when I had first left the station, as it was so full and bustling with “Carnevale” life. My group walked towards Piazza San Marco and on the way, we picked up some delightful masks. I was the only one to go with the full mask (which was a bit pricier) but in my defense, it looked freakin’ cool. We had lunch at a lovely outdoor café where we had meat lasagna and pizza whilst overlooking one of the many canals. Piazza San Marco was crowded, but it was still enjoyable to see how many thousands of people could fit in one small place. At this point our group split into two smaller groups and mine managed to visit the basilica and do some more exploring away from the crowds. We then took the 6:25 train back to Arezzo and after posting to Instagram about my adventures, I went to sleep (albeit at midnight).