Three members of staff and 21 students set off to Venice on Friday 12th February. We had a few first time flyers so there was great apprehension for the two and a half hour flight from Manchester. After landing safely three speed boats were waiting to take us directly to our hotel. After a short stroll around St Mark’s Square we had a quick hot chocolate in the Hard Rock Café followed by bedtime.
Saturday was a full experience including trips to the Accademia and the Guggenheim art galleries, the Santa Maria Della Salute Church, and finishing off with a Vivaldi concert in the evening.
On Sunday, after some of us experienced morning mass in St Marks, we set off dressed in Lake District mountain wear (i.e. waterproof trousers and jackets) on a Vaperetto; (a water bus) up the Grand Canal to the Ca Pesaro, a beautiful Palace that houses some extraordinary Japanese art, as well as more contemporary western art. Students were sketching throughout their stay in their A6 sketchbooks, producing some stunning drawings.
From the Ca Pesaro we walked to another unusual Palace, the Palazzo Mochenigo where we smelt some beautiful perfumes. We then made our way to the Natural History Museum, a definite highlight of the trip for Esther who loved the dinosaur skeleton! The layout was amazing and well worth the detour. We fuelled up with two scoops of delicious ice cream, giving us enough energy to walk back to St Mark’s Square via the Rialto Bridge. The sky then cleared, unveiling a radiant skyline- We didn’t want to go back to the hotel and miss a moment of the incredible view!
The next day we had a truly breath-taking experience in St Marks, after which we enjoyed a cheeky pasta dish (high carbs and no fresh veg), followed by a trip to the Doges Palace. We then went to the Correr Museum where the students were given two hours of free time to buy their masks, after which we met back at the Hotel Bonuechiatti for a cup of tea and the long awaited judging of the sketchbooks. Yuchen Zhang, Emma Turner and Georgie Clough were the winners receiving an expresso cup and saucer with Reuben Loftus winning a prize for the most outstanding sketch. Finally we set off back to the airport on the speed boats.
The trip was amazing as Venice is like a fairy tale land, feeling quite magical and incredibly safe. More importantly the students were simply the best, thank you!