This past week I was in two beautiful cities: Padua and Venice.

We left on Wednesday from Freiburg’s main train station and went to Milan Central. After about twenty minutes or so of waiting, we took the train to Padua. Padua’s a city which is centered around its university. It isn’t as flashy as Venice, but there’s a lot of beauty in this city. There’s the Botanic Garden, which contains plants from all over the world. Lots of markets sell fresh fruits and vegetables. There are also a lot of churches in Padua, which is something that a lot of Italian cities have in common. It was really nice being able to speak Italian with native speakers again. I have an Italian tandem partner in Freiburg, but being in Italy’s a lot different. Helping the other IES students translate signs or communicate with the locals was wonderful practice, and I wish I had more opportunities like that.

If you haven’t heard of Padua before, I’m certain that you are familiar with Venice. This city was especially significant during the Italian Renaissance, and it is known internationally for its bridges and canals. Venice is actually comprised of 118 islands! Every time you cross a bridge, you’re going from one island to the next. There were lots of tourists everywhere and things were expensive compared to Padua, but Venice is an unbelievably charming city. The buildings are very worn, but that’s because the city’s government is dedicated to its preservation. There are water taxis known as vaporetti which can be used to get to some of the bigger islands. Piazza San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore are probably my two favorite spots in the city.

I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to go to both of these cities.

Until next time!

~Derrick 🙂