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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

A Little Venice For Everyone – Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

Buongiorno from Venice!

We have spent two days in the whimsical city of Venice, which looks more like a movie set than real life.  With canals and bridges to replace most of the city streets, Venice was unlike any place many of us had every seen! Upon arrival, we checked into our hotel and were greeted by Shakespearian-like décor.  We set out for our first dinner, and Danny confidently took charge as the navigator for the evening, mastering the bridges and winding turns of the streets.  The canals and the idea that a city could be built around so much water amazed Matt S. After our first dinner in Venice, we headed back to our hotel for a game of, “How Well Do You Know Your Trip-Mates.” Each trip member shared one fact about him or herself that not many people knew, and we all had to guess who the fact belonged to in order to score points. We learned many interesting things about our friends; for example, Jane enjoys sunrises more than sunsets, Lily once rode an elephant, Jason has toaster waffles and iced tea every morning for breakfast, Maddy is very passionate about World Cup soccer, and Caitlyn has a pet hedgehog. Grace was the big winner of the night, who scored herself a classic Italian treat- a giant meringue!

Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

The following day, we set out to explore Venice. We began with a tour of the Jewish quarter and the synagogue, where Jake K. asked questions about the Jewish community in Venice.  Kat and Jess purchased Murano glass Mezzuzzahs so they could take a piece of this experience home with them. We then set our sights on the Rialto Bridge, and we explored the Venice shops and bakeries, while taking in the beautiful architecture of the city.  Dani and Katie found Italian maxi dresses they were excited about, and sampled some fresh Italian pizzas.  We then went on to a glass blowing demonstration, where Taylor was amazed by the glass jewelry.  After the demonstration, Maddy and Lily explored and were amazed by Doge’s Palace, which is where the elected ruler of Venice lives.  Jolie, and Stella took in the sights of San Marco square, and were fascinated by the beauty around them. Heather, who has expressed an interest in Italian fashion, took note of the trends around her, as we people watched in this lively square. Benji, Grant, and Jake purchased classic Venetian masks, which provided much of their entertainment for the day. Finally, we set off on peaceful Gondola rides, where Jake and Gustaf carried out an extensive philosophical debate. After the Gondola ride, we walked over to San Margherita square for dinner. Stella tried gorgonzola gnocci, while Kat and Caitlyn sampled a home made pasta with vegetables in a rose sauce.  After the meal, we enjoyed gelato and went back to the hotel for an alphabet scavenger hunt, where the trip members had to find one item in their room for each letter of the alphabet  While Grant and Matt B,’s Sponge Bob Square Pants – themed list was creative, ultimately it was Benji and Danny who received the prize of Italian licorice, for their wit and sense of humour in their list. That is all for now!


The Westcoast Blogger

Do you want to join this amazing adventure? Get ready for our one-of-a-kind Italy, France and Switzerland tour with a small group of high school students.