Italy Trip November 2013

A Ve-Nice trip!

The Lumen Christi College 2013 exchange trip to "Collegio Astori" a Salesian College in the picturesque town of Mogliano near Venice started much like any family holiday - we left Derry criminally early to catch a criminally crowded plane selling criminally expensive food after being scanned, poked, prodded and cross-checked to ensure we weren't criminals.

Indeed, perhaps the first excitement of the trip was my own experience of the hospitality Dublin Terminal 2 Security, who decided the pair of scissors I'd (accidentally) packed would have to be cut loose. So ended the story of the pair of scissors, which had served me from my entry to the school in 2008. They have been missed and promptly replaced.

The rest of the trip proceeded more or less without incident. The day after we arrived, we saw Venice for the first time. Absolutely stunning! The streets, the rivers, the markets! Our spirits were almost as high as the prices. Expensive as it may have been however, the sights we saw were of course priceless. The Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) was much more expansive and pretty than I had anticipated and the Doge's palace was equally if not more rewarding a view. Particularly impressive was the 53 meter long, 25 meter wide Great Council Chamber (one of the largest rooms in Europe) which had been totally covered in masterful art dating back to around 1580.

Another thing I would like to stress is how pretty everything was. Everything. Everywhere. The multicoloured blinds on the windows to the red tarmac on the pavements to the cracks in the bricks. It all seemed to fit in.
We also went to Verona, where we saw three men stacked on top of each other, which made for an interesting conversation piece. Then we saw Juliette's Balcony, a Roman Arena, an ancient church dedicate to San Zeno and we proceeded to do a lot of shopping. So they told me anyway; for some of us this was more idle browsing.

On the second-to last day we visited the islands of the Venetian Lagoon: On Murano, we sat in on a demonstration of ancient glassmaking techniques, and proceeded to browse a gift shop with a permanent 50% off sale, which was nice. The boat then took us to Burano, which was sort of like a mini-Venice. Again it made for nice sightseeing and we experienced our first rain since Dublin at this point - there was a thunderstorm! That said it only lasted about 20 minutes. To be honest I thought it was refreshing, really.

In brief, that was the trip. We also ate at some wonderful restaurants and had some nice shopping opportunities in Treviso; a large city near to our town of Mogliano where we stayed. Sorry to leave Venice, we boarded the plane in 20 degree heat on a dry, clear day. 3 hours later, we landed in Dublin in 11 degree rain and wind. We knew then we were home. So, we were short-term immersed into the Italian way of life. I loved the food, the aesthetics and the buildings. I'd definitely go again if I had the opportunity. We enjoyed the lovely hospitality provided by our Italian hosts who will be coming to visit Lumen Christi in February.

Sean Herron Year 13

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August 2021
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