Venice: A waterborne adventure of culture and creativity!

Culture and creativity captured the attention of all Art and Art History students during their visit to Venice, the city miraculously built on water.

A private boat transfer from the airport to the hotel set the scene for this wonderful, waterborne weekend. Every twist and turn of the mysterious waterways and walkways supplied an array of architectural delights, from stunning palace facades to secret squares and Gothic palazzi. Students were swept back in time as they explored this open-air museum.

The action packed itinerary provided a dreamy trip through the streets and canals of this ancient city steeped with art and history. The first stop was the Accademia Gallery, one of the most famous museums in Venice, located in the charming Dorsoduro district, next to the Academia Bridge and just a stones throw from Hotel Arti. Here students explored this beautiful exhibition space filled with paintings by the most important Venetian artists from the 13th to 18th centuries. Students admired masterpieces by artists such as Carpaccio, Bellini, Tintoretto and Veronese. The group then paused for a moment high on the Academia Bridge, which offered two of the best views of the Grand Canal: Venice's main water thoroughfare, lined with great Renaissance palaces, its colorful and busy spectacle of gondolas and vaporetti was a feast for the eyes.

Saturday's stops included a short boat ride across the sparkling waters to the Giudecca Island, where the group visited the Church of Santissimo and explored the quaint, residential areas, which offered a peep into authentic Venetian life. Followed by the Peggy Guggenheim, which displayed a modern range of works by mostly European artists, assembled by the eccentric American heiress in the middle of the 20th century.

Sunday began with a boat trip to a glass factory on Murano Island, where students watched in awe as a local craftsmen demonstrated the traditional art of glass blowing. The afternoon consisted of a tour of St Mark’s Basilica - Venice’s mother church. The wondrous, mosaic-studded interior was breathtaking. Spectacular roof top views of St Mark's Square were taken from the balcony, where the group admired the Horses of Saint Mark and the Bell Tower. Students were reluctant to leave this opulent 'Church of Gold' but Doge’s Palace was calling! Every section of this beautiful Gothic structure told a story, from the splendor of the courtrooms to the eerie atmosphere felt in the Bridge of Sighs prison. With ice creams and hot chocolate in hand, a final treat was a march across the Rialto Bridge to visit the House of Gold!

Hotel Arti was perfectly located for easy access to all attractions and its pleasant garden allowed for alfresco breakfast opportunities and a place to relax and digest all that had been seen during the day. Whether students fell in love with the mozzarella, marine adventure or were moved by the history and mystery of this magical masterpiece amidst the ocean, the taste of Venice is sure to linger forever. Its influences, shimmering exteriors and antique glories aplenty evidence the power of creativity and inspire one to believe that anything is possible with a little passion, vision and determination!