From the Archive: Destination Spotlight, VENICE

This is fourth in a series of blog posts that I will be doing to talk about where I am going during this trip, why I am going there, and what I’m expecting to see.

Paris * Besançon * London

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Venice. I don’t know about you, but the image that name inspires in my mind is one of an extraordinarily magical place. Palaces, spolia, canals, bridges, floods, and gondoliers rush into my mind and yet again, this trip is allowing me to check another major European off my list. I’m also super excited that this isn’t going to be happening in the rush of tourist season.

I will not be in Venice for long. Merely one full day. I arrive in the evening on day 1, have a full day the next day, then depart early in the morning for Pula on the third day. Originally my plan had been to travel from Venice to Croatia by ferry, but it was not to be. Instead, I will be traveling from Venice, to Trieste, to Pula, by train and bus. (literally, arriving in Venice by plane, departing by train, and arriving in Pula by automobile).

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But first, I will spend a single day in Venice. Now, I know there are many things to see and do in Venice, but the only plan I have is to explore and to visit Saint Mark’s Basilica, and probably the Accademia…really hit the highlights of Venetian art (the kind I’m interested in anyway, sorry Biennale.) I feel like that’s honestly not too bad for a single day.

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Basilica di San Marco

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Between art and a walking tour, I am hoping to explore a good bit of Venice. My other goal is completely unrelated to art (it doesn’t happen often!). I want to try carpaccio. It’s a Venetian dish, thinly sliced beef (raw!) served with lemon juice, truffle or olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. My only concern with this is that I will get insane food poisoning and be completely screwed since I am a) traveling alone, and b) going to Croatia the next day and that involves a lot of travel.  BUT, if I eat it anywhere, it should be Venice, yeah?

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What are your must sees in Venice? What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten while traveling?

This blog was originally published here

From the Archive: Destination Spotlight, Besançon, France

This is a second in a series of blog posts that I will be doing to talk about where I am going during this trip, why I am going there, and what I’m expecting to see.

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One of the most exciting things about this trip is that I will be visiting a bunch of smaller places around France and Italy that I’d never have considered going to without needing to for research. Maybe it’s because this petite ville is in France, and because the arch seems SO COOL, but I cannot wait for my excursion to Besançon.

Located near the Franco-Swiss border, this is a small-ish city in the foothills of the Alps. It was of interest to the Romans because of its positioning in relationship to Alps, and the settlement’s positioning on the Doubs river.  Since the first century BCE, it has been a city that holds military strategic importance, shifting between Burgundian, Spanish, Austrian, and French control over the centuries.

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Besançon is reportedly one of the prettiest cities in France that has yet to really receive a great amount of tourist attention (which is fine by me!) Surviving historical edifices in the city include: a Roman monumental arch (of course), a 12th-century cathedral, fortifications of Vauban from the 17th century, and much, much more.

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I will be visiting Besançon in early October and I’m, perhaps naively, hoping for beautiful, mild October weather for my explorations of this city. I know it’s a little too early for the leaves to turn, but one can’t help but hope right?

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Previous Spotlights: Paris

From the Archive: Plane Tickets Booked!

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I get a little nervous every time I schedule international travel – It always feels like I am doing something HUGE, which I guess I am. So no big surprise to someone who is pretty regularly an anxious individual, it stresses me out.

BUT! It’s done. I will be in Europe from the last week in September to the first week in November. I conveniently arranged my travel times to fall around the dregs of the 2016 election season, and when I arrive back in the U.S.A. there should be a new president elect. I did this entirely on purpose because I’m already ridiculously stressed out about it (see the above note about being an anxious individual).

This trip departs from my other previous international travel in a couple of ways. Previously, I’ve pretty much just been responsible for booking the ticket and showing up. This time, I’m responsible for my housing, travel, and all of the nitty gritty for 100% of the trip. Also, previously, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in ONE country, and to be fair, seen a good portion of that country.

Collectively, I’ve spent several months in France and a couple in Italy. When putting together my original proposal for this trip, I realized that I would be returning to the only two countries in Europe that I have been to for another lengthy stay.  However, I will be ADDING two countries to my list of visited countries; one that I have loved from afar since the tender age of like…seven (England), and the other one I never really expected to go to, but I’m REALLY excited for it (Croatia). I also get to spend time in the south of France, where I’ve never been, and northern Italy (the farthest north I’ve been is Florence).

In short, this trip should feel HUGE….it’s such a great opportunity, on top of the OTHER great opportunities I’ve already had…and I’m that great blend of nervous and excited for it.

This blog was originally posted here

From the Archive: Research Trip 2.0

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This blog is a little dusty; it’s been a year since I started it! ..but it’s time to dust it off, and take it for a spin in preparation for my next research trip in Fall of 2016! I originally started this blog as a way to document my 2015 trip to Italy, but I figure I can take it a step further and use it to document my travels, mainly research related, in the process of completing my PhD. (Hopefully, there will be no scaffolding surprises this trip! See above!)

This fall, I’ll be traveling to Italy, France, and Croatia. I am debating tacking a long weekend to England on somewhere, because honestly, it’s a huge personal failure for me as an Anglophile to never have gone. Plus, I’ll already be over there so why not?

So this post is a metaphorical dusting off of an old blog in preparation of new adventures!