Venice Week 7: March 8, 2018


E anche questo corso 2018 di Storia del Teatro veneziano è finito…I hope I’ve taught my students not only some historical basic concerning the Performing Arts path of one of the most interesting and innovative places in Modern Europe, that was the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, but I also hope to have gave them some “tools” to “decode” the apparently arcane language of Theater, Music and Contemporary Performing Arts like Musical and Cinema. I just would like to thank Susan and FVCC to have chosen again Istituto Venezia for your students to learn Italian Language and Culture, I want to thank all my guys: Abby, Libby, Kimmy, Preston, Savannah, Danielle, Angelica, Callie, Dorothy for the great job and the final result. Thank you for your sense of humor and the wave of cheerfulness you have brought in class. Sorry for my “not perfect” spoken English and thank you for your patience!

This evening super cooking class and…sorry for the misunderstanding concerning the fish soup: if some of you doesn’t like, we’re having also gnocchi, eggplant parmigiana and tiramisù! I’m sure no one of you will be disappointed!

Un abbraccio a tutti


Ciao Everyone. This week I am sympathizing with you all back home, for it has been very cold here! I have to laugh because Libby and I were comparing weather forecasts between Kalispell and Venice and the temperatures were actually the same!

Last weekend, Libby, Danielle, and I took a day trip to the small nearby town of Bassano Del Grappa. There we experienced snow for the first time in Italy as we were finally near some mountains! We visited the Hemmingway museum and learned a lot about Ernest Hemmingway who was actually stationed in Bassano during World War One. Then we visited the city’s famous Alpini Bridge and walked along the river. I learned that the same architect of the bridge, Andrea Palladio, was also the architect for the Vicenza theatre we just visited in class. Later we ate some great pizza overlooking the mountains, delicious handmade pastries, and a caffe. The town was buzzing with locals and the people were so welcoming there. They also do not speak much English depending on the place and so we really enjoying practicing our Italian! We also got the real Italian experience as all the restaurants weren’t serving dinner until 7:30!

This week in Italian class we have been learning past tense and reflexive verbs. It is proving to be very difficult but we’re getting the hang of it. We finished up our music and theater class this week and had the rest of the afternoon off the past two days. On one of those days I took a cooking lesson in Italian at the Istituto. It was a blast! We made squid ink sauce, sauce all’amatriciana, and radicchio from Treviso with Parmesan and hazelnuts. The food was all delicious and I learned a lot. In addition to learning the sauces, I watched a demonstration on how to dissect a squid. The black squid ink sauce was intimidating but I have to say I am a huge fan. The sauce all’amatriciana was also fantastic. The main ingredient, besides tomatoes, is guanciale, basically bacon but from the pork cheek instead. This outing was an opportunity for me to speak my Italian as well which was fun! Then after class on Friday, Libby and I took a couple trains to Bologna. They don’t know what to do with snow here so we had to depart from the mainland, but we made it! We are loving the local atmosphere already. Also, Bologna is the food capital of Italy so I can assure you we will not be going hungry these next couple days. Ciao!


Ciao, this week has been a cold one. The weather has been windy, snowy, rainy, and freezing. The weather has made me want to stay inside, which works out great because we just learned the past tense in Italian class and I need plenty of time to study. We finished up our Music and Theater class on Wednesday, but, before that we visited Teatro La Fenice again. It is very beautiful and I enjoyed seeing it a second time. My roommates and I found a very small local cafe to celebrate finishing our final. It is a cheaper cafe where people our age hang out and when the weather is nicer maybe we will go back and try to speak some Italian to them!

Abby and I just arrived in Bologna last night. The weather delayed our train and it was a bit stressful but we made it! Bologna has been amazing so far! We have gotten to meet multiple people who live here and I have learned so much about Italian culture, their school system, and politics. The people here are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Today we got invited to a restaurant by one of the owners and he dined with us and paid for our meal…the food was absolutely fabulous and Abby and I are in food comas now. I don’t ever want to leave.


Greeting Friends and Family,

It has been a bizarre week here in Venice. Wednesday morning I woke up to the pleasant of two inches of snow covering the city. It was an amazing sight to behold. The streets were extra slippery though, you could only walk where they had cleared of the slush and ice. It was an interesting experience, because Venice doesn’t get snow commonly especially in March or so I’m told. I think its funny we have snow here, because it seems the snow is quite prevalent back in Montana. I enjoyed seeing Venice with snow, it was something different.

This week we finished up our Music and Theater class, which felt amazing. Earlier in the week we visited and toured the La Fenice theater house. It was a marvelous site to see all parts of a 300 year old building covered in gold. I was able to sit in the Royal room, a small area reserved for nobility, so people like the Doge or even Napoleon himself sat in this very room, or a room just like it because the original was burned down but it was reconstructed as a copy of the original. This is just another example of all the history and culture this grand city has. So until next week, I hope everyone takes care and has a good week. Ciao


This week was all about self reflection and enjoying my last free weekend here in Venice. It was very mellow and full of studying for the Theatre and Music final exam that we took on Wednesday. It’s surprising how often I already reference things I’ve learned from my classes in everyday conversation. Now that our studying has come to a bit of lull in-between classes, I’ve really had time to focus on my art, body, and mind. I started an online yoga class which has really helped me de-stress and made a few collages about my time here using old train tickets from Rome and Padova, receipts, and Italian magazines. I decided to stay at home rather than travel for the weekend so I could connect a bit more with this beautiful city and have some down time. Because the weather is rainy all over Northern Italy this weekend, I think I made the right choice. Finally, my camera has begun working again and I can now upload some more pictures to the blog, woohoo!

As far as Theatre and Music class goes, I’m a bit sad it’s over. Thankfully my teachers, Anna and Stefania, gave me all the tools I need to keep exploring the art pockets of Venice. There’s a free museum that tracks instruments through the ages that I’m excited to check out again (mainly to see the guitars!) and maybe I’ll even catch another play before I go. We leave in just two weeks for our nine day tour around Italy and I am counting the days. In the mean time I can’t wait to start our final class, History of Art and Architecture in Venice. This course was one that really drew me to the program in the first place because of all the different periods and influences on the buildings here. Now that I have a grasp of the more important ones in Venice, I’ll be able to focus fully on their design now. I’m sure Susan plans to keep us busy and ever exploring through the duration of the class, as always. Ciao Tutti, until next time!


This week was very cold. We were caught a little off guard with the severe winds and snowfall. The streets were quite slick and the when the wind blew it burned my skin. Despite the poor weather, Kimy and I still managed to go out and find some fun.
Kimy and I took the vaporetto (water bus) to an island called Burano. The town was small and filled with fluorescent colored houses. We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the quirky little island. The snow was falling hard and blanketed the town quite nicely. It had a very “Christmasy” vibe. Families were building snowmen on every corner. They used small tin buckets which they packed with snow and used wine bottle corks for buttons and eyes on their creations.
On Saturday we visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The museum is the sum of various pieces of art collected by Peggy Guggenheim over the course of her life. The collection features paintings by Salvatore Dalí, Jackson Pollock, Max Ernst, and various other renowned artists. We wandered the museum for 2 hours taking in all the work.
The weeks have been passing fast and soon we will begin our bus tour around Italy and be leaving Venice. But I look forward to this next month hoping to continue packing as many activities in the time we have here in Venice.


The time is speeding by! We finished history of Theater and Music this week and only have two weeks of Italian left. Every day in Italian we are learning so much new stuff and I’m starting to understand more and more things I hear people say around town. It’s amazing how much Italian I have learned in just the short time I’ve been here. While I’m excited to finish Italian and go on our tour I’m also sad that we are so close to being done. I pretty sure I say it every week but it’s just crazy how fast the time goes by.

A free weekend! The original plan was to go on a trip somewhere this weekend but due to the bad weather Savannah and I ended up staying in Venice. On Saturday we went and checked out the Peggy Guggenheim collection which is a collection of modern art. The collection was really cool and had so much amazing art. Right as you entered there was a piece by Picasso that was two figures putting a small ship into the water while a third watched from beyond the horizon. I’m not sure why but the piece just seemed very playful and weird and I really liked it. Some of the art wasn’t really to my liking but I did actually like most of it. I think the seeming simple look of some modern art makes people judge it too quickly as something their child could do and they don’t see why someone would want art like that. At one point I also thought the same way but actually seeing the art in person and having an understanding of art fundamentals I could appreciate the art, but I prefer the less abstract stuff. It was really cool seeing some of Jackson Pollock’s work in person, I did a small research project on him last semester for my watercolor class and have become a tad obsessed with his work since. Another painter whose work I really liked was Max Ernst I found that I really like surrealism. Overall, I really enjoyed the collection and it was a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.


Another week in Venice has passed yet again! It’s really crazy to think that it’s already the month of March. This semester has flown by so fast! Recently, we visited La Fenice Theater again to tour and learn more about the history of the theater, studied a bunch for all of our classes, and we took our final exam for Music and Theater of Venice. As the semester continues, I’m eager to continue learning our Italian II class, and begin our Art and Architecture class with Susan! This semester just keeps getting better and better.

For our free weekend, I stayed in town at first to get caught up on sleep and homework. Then on Sunday, I traveled to Udine by train with Preston and Curt (another student from the Istituto da Venezia) to meet up with Callie and Angelica to watch a soccer game. Unfortunately, the game was canceled due to the fact that the visiting team captain had passed away earlier that morning. We were not notified of this, so when we arrived to the stadium, we were told the game was canceled. However, the manager of the stadium happened to be present when we were there, and he was nice enough to give us a small tour of the stadium because we told him we were from America. It was a special experience despite the fact that the game got canceled due to a very unfortunate event.

All in all, the week was a bit uneventful due to our final exam, along with lots of Italian class homework. However, I’m really looking forward to the adventures the next and final class has to offer!

Ciao for now!


Good Evening Montana. It is still cold and grey in Venice but as it was our free weekend one could have enjoyed the sun on Sunday depending on where they were. This week was very school oriented with studying for our Theater and Music final on Wednesday, visiting La Fenice Teatro again, and Italian class. The weather also made it difficult because of the cold, slush, and the panic snow gives to Italians living in Venice and central Italy. In Italian we were learning past tense which means that there is only one-more-tense to go. It is crazy to think that two months ago we came here knowing only the generic Italian terms and now we can communicate very poorly in broken Italian in the past and present tenses.

With so much focus on school this weekend was a welcome time to travel and there was no chance my roomie and I were passing it up. Angelica and I traveled by train to Trieste and spent the night in a hostel twenty feet from the Adriatic Sea where we also befriended a girl from Turkey during breakfast. She told us to go to Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia, if we were looking to get out of the country and if so to stay at a hostel outside of town called Vila Veselova. Luckely, we did just that and saw some amazing architecture and art while also having a good time. We then returned the next day and toured around Trieste, with a friend we made previously, until we had to leave for Udine for a “football” match. Unfortunately, the Florence teams captain passed away the night before, so the stadium was closed, and game cancelled. We still got to enter the stadium though and see around because the head guy happened to hear we were American. It was overall a packed full weekend with few regrets. Hope the sun shines through in both places and stay tuned for next time.


Ciao Kalispell! This week our music teacher, Estefania, decided to take us back to the opera house La Fenice to further explore the history behind the theater. She spoke about the architecture, the significance, and the symbolism behind the intricate details within the paintings. I found Maria Callas one of the most interesting individuals during the history dialogue. Apparently, she is one of the most famous soprano singers from La Fenice. Initially, I thought she was of Italian origins but it turns out she was Greek born in New York. During her time in America, she was spotted by the veteran Italian tenor, Giovanni Zenatello, who became the first stepping-stone to her success after she made her Italian debut in 1947 in La Gioconda by Ponchielli. As she kept pursuing her musical career, she began to make a name for herself, which led to her appearance in La Fenice opera house in 1949. Her ability to follow her dreams and accomplish so much at such a young age really surprised me. She was a simple woman trying to make a name for herself and through hard work and dedication she became a legend throughout Italy and the world. After learning about Maria Callas, I wondered how I could be more like her? I too want to travel, explore, and test the waters for myself, so I decided to go to Slovenia. I didn’t know anything about this country but I wanted to explore something more outside of Italy and it seemed like the closest thing to change I could find for the weekend. My friend and I wanted to make the most out of this trip and visited the tallest skyscraper in Ljubljana, the capital, walked up the never-ending steps to a castle where you could oversee the town, and all throughout town. Crossing paths with the famous dragon bridge dedicated to Jason and the Golden Fleece we then sat down to eat in a cute little sausage place to try their famous wieners. Although we weren’t there for long, there were so many things to see and being surrounded by English speakers and cars in Slovenia made me feel a little closer to home.