We arrived in Venice to be welcomed by beautiful weather and, having dropped off our luggage in the hotels (we were spread over two), we wound our way through the narrow streets and crossed many little canals to catch our gondolas near Saint Mark’s square. Some of us were serenaded by a singer from another gondola but I think we all captured a moment of that mysterious silence you can get progressing along the canal with the gentle lapping of water made as the oar pushed us forward. There were many photography opportunities on our walk there and back to the hotels.
On Saturday we took a vaperetto to the other end of the island and visited the famous Venice Biennale spread across two venues, the Arsenale and the Giardini. The theme this year was “All the World’s Futures”. We saw many diverse contemporary artists, representing a range of countries, and their views of how the world could be in the future. The students were able to record these ideas through notes, sketches and photographs. We were able to enjoy lunch in a choice of venues across the park in the sun.
On Sunday we visited Saint Mark’s Square and dropped into a church on our way there to look at the monument to Canova, a famous sculptor, and visited the Doge’s palace to get a feel for how the Venetian Republic was governed during the height of its power. There was of course some down time to go shopping and for the students to choose a venue for lunch. They were able to practice perspective that they had been taught before the trip. We finished off the day with a great meal at Hard Rock cafe just next to Saint Mark’s square.
On Monday we woke up to thick pea soup fog and so the three-island tour was cancelled. Instead, we went to Padua and this turned out to be a great opportunity to see the historical context of the development of perspective in the early Renaissance as well as the differences between fresco painting and oil painting. We arrived back at school at 11:00 at night tired but all having had a very productive and enjoyable trip.
I would like to thank Liz Curtis and Pauline Munro for accompanying us to make the whole trip possible.
Text and photographs by Kathy, Phoebe and Olympia.