A Warwick Reunion in Venice
Did you know that for the last 40 years, the University of Warwick has maintained a school in the Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava in Venice, that allows and has allowed countless students to study abroad for a term or a short period? Well, neither did I, until two weeks ago, when I was planning my journey across Italy to reunite with the Warwick Italian department, for the two-day Venice residential.
And Venice was certainly looking the part!
Warwick Italian annually hosts a two day residential trip to Venice, for all Italian language students undertaking an Erasmus here in the Spring, where everyone can plan for their next year at Warwick, discuss their personal academic progression (including the dreaded feedback from our previous Year Abroad assessments) as well as consider our individual wellbeing, whilst spending time together in the spectacular city of Venice.
From varied destinations such as Bologna, Verona, Genova, Rome, and of course, Siena, it was certainly lovely to see everyone upon arrival, and catch up with 9 month’s worth of Year Abroad anecdotes.
Fresh from 4 hours of trains and buses, but Venice steals all the attention
With nothing planned for the first afternoon, in order to allow everyone to arrive, we decided to explore the main parts of the city: the Ponte Rialto, St Mark’s Square, and the endless maze of canals and architecture, all incredible and made even better with a little bit of sunshine!
Buona Sera Venezia!
And of course, no Italian residential blog is complete without a mention for the iconic Istituto Canossiano, our home for the trip which is both a hotel, and monastery, with a strict 23:00 curfew. The nuns, whilst very friendly, don’t like to be woken up from their sleep!
One of the most interesting places I have ever stayed…
With Thursday morning spent analysing our personal language development and doing some translation and speaking exercises, it’s safe to say I feel a little daunted by the prospect of returning to reality next year. However, with time spent going over our language and optional culture modules, I can also say I am excited to return to the structure and discipline of Warwick. What can I say, Italy, sometimes you are a little bit too chaotic for me…
The view from our building
Whilst all the information before the trip highlighted to us that this was a “language-orientated residential course,” we were able to enjoy a cultural activity on Thursday evening, which was a walking tour conducted by a local art historian, which featured a trip to the only bridge in Venice that doesn’t have sides/ hand rails. Very exciting.
Venice at golden hour
After finishing the tour, Warwick kindly offered to sponsor a group dinner, where we, of course, celebrated with pizza and wine. Although I should mention, whilst every other aspect of the trip was meticulously and faultlessly organised, we had a lot of fun arriving at the meeting point before dinner, which was one of the biggest and busiest squares in Venice, and spending 20 minutes searching for the rest of our group in the darkness. Oh well, I got my artichokes and stracciatella pizza eventually.
Friday arrived, and we spent the morning discussing our future plans, conducting a CV and cover letter writing workshop, and then having individual meetings with our tutors to finalise and discuss everything. And then it was sadly time to leave, and return to our various corners of il bel paese.
The residential was definitely helpful and interesting, even if it sometimes felt like a school trip with all the scheduled meetings, the curfew, and attempting to walk through the streets without losing someone. It has certainly highlighted to me how close I am to the end of this year, which is insane, as it will soon be time to think about leaving Italy and returning to Coventry to complete my third year at Warwick….