The Great Flood of 2012, or Sunday in Venice

Trip Start Aug 28, 2012
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Trip End Dec 14, 2012


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Where I stayed
Via Ghibellina, 98

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Friday, November 9, 2012

Ciao from your sick friend abroad!! I hope you are all healthier, and less exhausted that I am. 

What a historical week! On Friday we had this big school wide event called "Okkupazione" where all of the NYU students "occupied" Florence in different ways. We were all split up by our Italian classes, and my class went to an artisan shop and did projects. We got to participate in making books with leather bindings, which was pretty cool!! I got to put some of the glue on the leather, and help fold it over the binding. We also got to make a special type of Florentine paper called "carta marmorizata". It's basically marbled paper, which you may have seen in pictures. We each got to make our own by shaking paint into a tray of water, swirling it, running various combs through it, and setting a paper on top. Once you run the paper under a weight to get rid of the water, you get a really cool design! The owner said mine was the best of the group. Just kidding, but it actually was. I get to keep it, so once it dries I'll send a picture!

Saturday morning, Miryea and I made the trek to Venice. Saturday was lovely. We checked into our B&B, walked across the Rialto bridge, and in general got some great views of Venice. Then we took a waterbus to Murano, in search of some glass. Even though the island was mostly stores, they had a few really cool glass installations around. Also, apparently they used to sequester all the glassmakers onto the island so they wouldn't share the secrets. So the entire place looks like a prison. We then continued onwards to Burano (it was quite chilly, hehe) which is known for its handmade lace and colorful houses. We saw a few stores with tiny Italian grandmas sewing lace by hand, which was very cool. The houses are all crazy bright, because there are only a few colors you are allowed to paint each house. Even though our room had no heat, overall it was a lovely relaxing day.

Then Sunday happened. We woke up bright and early, all ready to start the day, and looked outside to see the entire city had flooded. Apparently city wide sirens had gone off during the night, although I remember nothing. Shocker. Since we thought the flooding was over (its never over) we were completely unprepared. The b&b owner gave us some trash bags, which quickly ripped in the calf-deep water. So I just sloshed through in my leather boots, which was heartbreaking. Once we made it to the Rialto Bridge though, we bought some PVC boot covers and everything was fine. 

We then waded through some knee deep water to get to St. Marks. This involved various adventures such as seeing my dream high heel booties in a closed store filled with 4 feet of water, and Miryea dropping her umbrella into the water (a nice man picked it up with his feet). Everything in St. Marks was of course closed and flooded, so we proceeded to get drunk. 

In a bit the water went down, so we were able to get into the Doge's Palace and St. Marks! The Doge's Palace (recently remodeled to accommodate my four legged friend, the high ruler of Venice and the world) was beautiful. And in case you were wondering all this time, Doge means leader. It was almost as pretty as Versailles, but more Italian. St. Marks was also lovely, but prettier on the outside than on the inside (once the flood waters receded). 

Also, an update! Apparently it was the 6th largest flood in the history of Venice. The water reached as high as 5 feet! 

Today, my class got cancelled! I celebrated by taking an extra long shower, and also by going to the Museo Bargello. I pass it every day on my way home, and I had no idea it was there! It is one of the largest sculpture museums in Florence, and is also a former palace!

Overall it was a very adventurous week! Stay tuned for next week to hear all about my whirlwind trip to Milan!
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