Ciao Bella!

In France we have four two-week vacations during the school year. My family decided the first vacation would take place in Italy. We’re staying in the house of a family friend in Tuscany.IMG_3951

The house dates back to the 17th century, like most of the other building around here. Fields and woods surround the house. There are hills and valleys as far as you can see. Sometimes at dusk you can spot animals like deer and wild boar. Sometimes driving down the road you will come across a herd of sheep strolling along. This has happened to us several times.

IMG_4445 rolling hills and a crystal  lake in Tuscany.

A few days ago, we went by train to Venice, or as it’s also called, the City of Bridges, the City of Light, City of Water, Queen of the Adriatic Sea. There’s water instead of roads. Boats take busloads of people around. Even the taxis are boats. It’s so cool!!!!

We walked over a bridge and into the city.IMG_4081

And immediately we got lost. Truth is you really can’t say you’ve been to Venice without also saying you got lost. The streets are like little haunted alleys in a maze. You turn the corner and you say to yourself, I’m sure I’ve been here before, then you turn another corner and say, I was just here!! Being lost was fun in a way, but it was also getting cold and dark, and after a while I just wanted to get back home to the apartment we were renting for the night.

Venice is also called the City of Masks. Ah yes, masks. They are part of the history of the city. In the past, wearing masks was the way of keeping people equal, rich and poor, important and not important.

One of the many masks we saw in Venice

One of the many masks we saw in Venice

While we were there, my parents very kindly signed up me and my brothers for a mask-painting class. We started by choosing a blank, white mask from many different shapes and styles. Then the instructor showed us some techniques to paint the base two colors that blend in the middle. I chose pink and purple. My brothers chose different masks and painted theirs other colors. After that we dried them with a hair dryer. Then we painted another layer of details with black and silver paint. I designed a mask that had painted netting in front of the eyes and nose. I wished I could have been allowed to use more colors. After the instructor glazed the surface, I glued feathers to my mask.



2 thoughts on “Ciao Bella!

  1. Pop Philly says:

    I can appreciate your wonderful description of getting lost in Venice. Once, I went looking for a dance hall there (I went in the daytime to check out the route, knowing I’d get lost if I had to go there for the first time after dark, when the dance would start). But the building had burned down a month earlier, and I walked and walked, of course never finding it, but getting good and lost in the process. I finally returned to our apartment to describe my double defeat. An amazing city, as you suggest.


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