First day in Venice: a new appreciation for my GPS navigation system
Before coming to Venice, I knew only two things: that it is in the middle of water and that my dad’s favorite band, Pink Floyd, performed in Piazza San Marco. To be honest, I didn’t even want to research anything. It was already my third attempt to go abroad to study, so I didn’t want to get too excited… again. But, as they say, the third time is the charm! I got my study visa about 2 week prior to my flight and then immediately started to get ready for my new life.
I came to Venice with my Dad, so he could help me get settled. First, we arrived in Mestre, the mainland part of the city, and decided not to have the hassle of figuring out the bus routes and everything, so we thought we would just take a taxi. I opened my Uber app and experienced my first cultural shock: no cars found. That was the moment I realized that nothing was going to be as I expected. So, we found the right route, bought our tickets and got on a bus. The weather was perfect. A clear sky, sunny, but not too hot – the best time for enjoying Venice! As we were getting closer and closer it, felt like a postcard from travel agency was appearing in front of our eyes. Gothic buildings made of red bricks stacked along the Grand Canal, breathtaking in their beauty... It was something neither me nor my dad was expecting. As we got off at Piazzale Roma, Venice’s bus depot, the stream of people moving in all possible directions engulfed us, but we didn’t mind. Then we just wandered around (now I know that we passed over the Calatrava and Scalzi bridges and then walked around Santa Croce).
Then we decided to go see the main building of the university, Ca’ Foscari. As we crossed the last bridge, we didn’t believe at first that it was the entrance to a university. It seemed too old to be an actual university. I think my dad even started to doubt allowing me to come here to study. I felt baffled as well; it wasn’t the type of university all my friends were going to, but nonetheless I was excited to see how it would turn out. And let me say, it turned out amazing!
After that, we just followed our navigator and went to San Marco. We crossed the Academia Bridge and went by the route. On our way, we stopped in different shops and galleries that caught our attention, visited the Da Vinci museum and even came across an Azerbaijani exhibition for the 2018 Venice Biennale! Installations represented our ancient culture in a modern way. It made us feel very proud of the exhibition’s creators for such a beautiful job.
Then, we finally arrived in Piazza San Marco... Apart from its size, the thing that impressed me the most was enormous number of tiny details. That is actually the rabbit hole of Venice: once you start looking at details, you can never stop. Your eyes will always find something never noticed before. We even got there on time to see clock tower ring!
Then we returned to Piazzale Roma via the Rialto Bridge, but by that time we were pretty tired from walking and all the experiences. This quick tour was just my first glimpse of Venice and of everything ahead of me. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for Monday to come so I would actually become a student of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice!