The last few days of the class we spent in Venice. Venice is truly a beautiful city! Walking or wandering the streets or riding in a gondola at night, the city is really enchanting.
The group had a couple of great lectures during our stay. One was on the bridges in Venice, and more particularly the Callatrava bridge that is so controversial because of its unusual structure and high cost. The second lecture was on the gates of Venice which are currently being constructed to prevent floods from occurring in the lagoon. These flood gates are designed so that when they are filled with air they rise to the surface of the water and block the flow of water into the lagoon. This project is also controversial because of the environmental impacts it could potentially have.
The group was given lots of free time in Venice to explore and enjoy the last few days of the trip. Some chose to spend a few hours at the crowded sandy beach on the island of Lido, where we were staying. Other activities were visiting Saint Mark's Cathedral with all of its gold mosaics, visiting the island of Murano to see the glass blowing factories, listening to the small orchestras on Saint Mark's square at night, taking gondola rides, and doing lots of shopping.