Destination: Venice!

To escape the early grey British summer, we decamped to the south of Italy in search of some sunshine and to investigate further our highly popular Venice school trips. The magical “floating city” of Venice is built on over a hundred separate islands and is one of the most unique (and most beautiful) holiday destinations in the world, and an increasingly popular choice for school trips!We arrived into Venice in brilliant sunshine, and took a vaporetto around the lagoon to our accommodation.  This “fisherman’s-eye view” of the city whet our appetites for our first afternoon of exploring.With map firmly in hand we navigated Venice’s maze-like streets and were completely bowled over by how beautiful the city is; walking through it is like stepping back several centuries into the past. After spending several hours admiring the Gothic-style buildings and waving at gondolas, we sat down at a canal-side restaurant for a well-deserved dinner. This was our first taste of real Italian food, and it did not disappoint! We decided that inspecting Venice’s gelaterias should be a key priority of our visit – the sacrifices that we make for the sake of our customers!On the second day we wandered up to St Mark’s Square and admired the breathtakingly beautiful architecture with the help of yet another gelato. We’d booked a tour of the city for the afternoon, so we headed up towards the starting point at Campo San Geremia.  Among the many famous sites we saw were the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace and Jewish Quarter (the setting of Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”). Our final day in Venice took us away from the mainland and across to the islands of Murano and Burano. These two islands are very popular excursions for our schools, and so we wanted to see for ourselves the glass artisans of Murano and the famous coloured houses of Burano. Our tour of Murano commenced with a fascinating glass-blowing demonstration; we learned how this traditional craft is usually passed down between generations of families, and how the artisans use heat and an incredible amount of skill to create the most intricate designs. After picking up the obligatory mountain of Murano glass trinkets and jewellery, we took the boat over to Burano, an island traditionally famous for lace-making.  We spent a very pleasant afternoon browsing the shops and admiring the island’s multi-coloured houses, before heading back into the city to spend our last evening in Venice in St Mark’s Square.Finally, we headed down to Pisa to catch our flight home.  Pisa’s well-connected airport is the most popular choice for schools, and we spent a short time in the city before moving on, cramming as much sight-seeing as possible into half a day. The first port of call had to be the leaning tower, Pisa’s world-famous architectural mistake. We had a lot of laughs trying to angle ourselves for the perfect “propping up the tower” picture, and then grabbed a “leaning tower of pizza” lunch at a nearby restaurant. We spent our last few hours in Italy admiring the Piazza dei Miracoli – especially the spectacular Duomo – and cooling off by the river.We were all very sad to leave by the time evening rolled around; we’d all fallen in love with the culture, food, the climate and the beauty of Italy. We can’t wait to put our new-found knowledge into practice by creating some really spectacular Italian tours for our school groups – have a look at our website to see our ideas!If you’d like to find out more about our tours of Italy, your will find plenty of information on our website or give us a call on 0121 271

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