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Venice is one of the finest places in the world for you to study abroad. It has fascinating art, stunning architecture, a lurid history and it's only a short Euro rail ride from some of the most famous sites in Europe (short being a relative term).
The city is actually made up of 117 islands with 409 bridges connecting them. While this sounds imposing, Venice is actually quite small. According to LonelyPlanet.com, you can walk across the entire center in thirty minutes. But why would you want to? Taking a stroll along the Grand Canal (the city's main street, which is technically a river) offers such wonderful sights. And part of Venice's charm is that no cars are allowed in the heart of the city.
The other part of its charm comes from its unforgettable landmarks. Not only does it have celebrated museums, soft sand beaches and stunning indigenous wildlife, but it has iconic sites like St. Marco's Basilica. The square outside the basilica is world famous. It is a charming collection of stores and restaurants on beautiful cobblestone, and there are as many pigeons admiring its splendors as there are tourists. You've doubtless seen this place in movies, TV shows and commercials.
The basilica itself is a marvel of ancient architecture. Covered from tip to base in an array of domes and arches and statues and gold, this house of worship is as much a treasure as the many priceless treasures it houses. Plus, the top offers a jaw dropping view of the city and its many interconnecting waterways.
When you aren't admiring the many spectacular sights of Venice, you may want to actually study. Istituto Venezia offers an unparalleled opportunity to expand your base of Italian knowledge. The school has classes on everything from Italy's language to its culture to its history and its future. The school is situated right in the center of the city. It is the cultural center of the city that many consider the culture center of Europe, or, as KnowledgeExchange.org calls Venice, the 'jewel of Europe.'
Phil Assetto, a student currently studying abroad in Rome, visited Venice and said, 'Venice I don't believe is like any other city on the planet. We have all heard about how it is built in the middle of a lagoon, with canals for streets and boats instead of cars. But it is still so amazing to see the narrow roads and little bridges, the gondolas and tunnel-like alleys. At Carnevale this amazing city becomes a dream like maze with hanging lights, colorful masks, music, decorations and one enormous, wild party.'
The Carnevale he is writing of is Venice's biggest event. Taking place every February, Carnevale is Italy's version of Mardi Gras. Millions of people put on elaborate costumes and bejeweled masks and party in the streets (yes, there are some) of Venice.
So whether you want to take in the hustle and bustle of city life, or enjoy the relaxing serenity of lounging near a canal, Venice has everything. It has great museums, quaint shops, delicious restaurants, famous tourist attractions, stage and movie theaters, excellent schools and so much more. It has everything a student like yourself could want rolled into one tight, interconnected, wet package.
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