Back on a bus, but this time, it was only for seven hours.
I had signed up to go on the school trip to Padua and Venice, partly because I always wanted to see Venice, but also because I still don’t want the responsibility of planning my own trip.
We left around 8 on Friday morning, arriving in Padua around 3 pm. Padua felt like a city, but compared to Rome, it was quiet. Despite the light rain, we spent the afternoon walking around the city, visiting the tomb of Saint Anthony and the church of St. Guistina, where St. Luke is buried, as well as the apostle Matthew (at least, they think it’s Matthew–no one has opened the coffin to check yet).
The next morning, we departed for Venice, only an hour ride from Padua. The roads only go so far into Venice (meaning not at all), so we had to take a boat into the city. It was fascinating to drift along the wide canal with churches and buildings right on the water’s edge on either side.
Out first stop was the Basilica of St. Mark, where the evangelist is buried under the main altar. Since the city of Venice is sinking (which I think is partially due to the thousands of tourists tramping through), walkways where constructed over th sidewalks where water was slowly creeping up. Even in the narthex of the church, water was beginning to cover the tile floor.
inside, there were hundreds of tourists. Mass was being celebrated in a side altar. The interior was dark, but the ceiling was illuminated by the intricate golden mosaics that covered every available inch.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering. We stopped for lunch and gelato (about 3 times), but it’s very easy to get lost in the maze of streets, alleys, and canals. Of course, we had to go on a gondola ride, and while it didn’t blow my childhood expectation out of the water, I can now say I’ve been on a gondola in Venice–although I did almost tip the boat trying to get a picture.