If you expect a typical blog entry about a trip to Venice with all the main tourist attractions... forget it. This is just a summary of a trip to Venice with Miss Stanhope. She was invited by the university to talk about what she is doing these days. You should know that Miss Stanhope got her Master's degree from Università Ca 'Foscari Venezia almost 10 years ago.
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We arrived on a sunny Sunday. Strolling through the Venice is like wandering around in a painting come alive. Getting lost is quite easy and a joy - unless you are looking for your hotel while carrying a heavy suitcase around. Plenty of bridges... and countless churches!
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This is me in front of St. Mark's Basilica having a delicious cappuccino.
The only touristy thing we did in Venice. Most probably because Miss Stanhope would never have spent 12 Euro on a cappuccino while being a university student. These days she also has no money to waste, but she decided to collect moments and not things.
Having a cappuccino with that view... Yes it is worth it.
Lots of tourists to be found around here. No surprise. Rumours -the internet- has it that Napoleon has called St. Mark's square "the drawing room of Europe". Beauty found at every corner. Have a look:
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I had hoped Miss Stanhope would take me out for a drink at Harry's Bar. The place where Ernest Hemingway is said to have had a table of his own. But no, I was taken to see the convent of the Suore di Salesie. Miss Stanhope had a room of her own there. Many books and no alcohol, so she says... There was even a curfew for the human girls staying at that convent. A very good place to stay in Venice. The convent is very close to the Santa Maria della Salute and the Zattere.
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The Zattere is a boardwalk along the Giudecca canal. Miss Stanhope feels home there. She must have walked it up and down for at least a thousand times! There is also a library, but not her favourite one. Libraries are Miss Stanhope's second home.
Do you wonder which library happens to be Miss Stanhope's favourite one? No? Neither did I. Miss Stanhope took me along to see it anyways. It`s called Fondazione Querini Stampalia Onulus. In short Querini. Miss Stanhope has spent almost all her Sundays while living in Venice. Old wood tables and fabulous paintings on the walls. Not to forget the smell of old books. Unfortunately the library is only open for library card holders...
The Querini is not only a library! It is also a museum worth having a look at. According to its own website the museum "is one of the most important examples of a house museum... the magnificent residence of the Querini Stampalia family". And if that is not enough: The Querini has a lovely cafe and modern museum shop too. AND it has an teddy adoption scheme to support the didactic activities of the foundation. Great idea. You all know that I have a teddy bear donation scheme "fluffy friends for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon".
Miss Stanhope has been a student at many universities. The most beautiful is certainly the Università Ca´Foscari. I don´t think I have to explain why...
There are many international students at Ca´ Foscari. Miss Stanhope strongly recommends the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree- MIM Crossing the Mediterranean towards Investment ans Integration. Attention: It is not fluffy at all! This is why humans have lectures on "The New Jihadist Actors and the Urban Question " and so on. One does not only have to be able to pay attention during long lectures. One is also expected to understand Italian, French, Spanish AND English. Humans also have to spent a term in Barcelona and Montpellier.
Believe it or not. Miss Stanhope was invited to Venice in order to talk about the master programme but also about ME! Of course that involved talking about my refugee projects for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Most sessions were held in rooms and auditoriums looking like university offices and university auditoriums. However, the last presentation Miss Stanhope gave was in this fantastic auditorium. It looked like a ball room. Those paintings and the chandelier. Fabulous!
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My favourite place in Venice to have coffee and sweets is the Pasticceria Tonolo. Very close to the Università Ca' Foscari...
But more important: The place where you can find scrumptious Venetian pastries and good coffee!
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It is very unlikely not to dislike Italian food. However it is not easy to find decently priced Italian food in Venice.
Miss Stanhope's friends tend to have ties to the Middle East or are somehow "oriental". This is why we were brought to a charming restaurant, close to the Università Ca' Foscari . ORIENT EXPERIENCE offers delicious oriental foods (also vegetarian & vegan) for reasonable prices. The food is so delicious. I would come here more often, if it were in Berlin.
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MARCO POLO (children's) BOOK STORE
If you are looking for children's books, you can either have a look at my children's book OR you can visit the MARCO POLO children's book store. Books are available in Italian, English, French and even Arabic. Very cosy corner of Venice.
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One of my favourite activities while travelling is to look out for graffiti! Judging from some, not all Venetians are happy about the words of tourists in Venice. Miss Stanhope also thinks that Venice is more a tourist attraction than a city to live in.
There is some political graffiti too. Miss Stanhope is always looking out for those.
The first one is clear: WAKE UP ITALY. The second one... Miss Stanhope is not sure about what it wants to say. The third says: "I get up, I strike, I occupy".
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Venice by night. Much better than any dream. At least for me and Miss Stanhope.
Venice is like a poem come alive.
On top of that the Movement for the Emancipation of Poetry (MEP) puts up poems on the walls of the city...
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If I had to say something about Venice, I would say: Venice is a very fluffy friendly city with lots of human tourists. It's a city ideal for lovers. Even if you just LOVE good coffee. Just the white bread is, well, it is not that great... In fact, it is dull and tastes of nothing. But no human is perfect, nor is any city.
If you ask Miss Stanhope to talk about this trip to Venice, she would go on and on about her time there as a university student. Do we need that on my website? I don't think so.