How to Study in Venice: Eight Facts You Should Know

Living and going to school in Venice, Italy, is very different from living and going to school anywhere else in Europe. I was able to keep studying at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice last year. As soon as I got to the city, I knew that my daily life and routines would be very different from what I was used to in Tbilisi, Georgia. Venice can feel like another world or even another time, and I loved every minute of it. Here are eight wonderful things about Venice.

In Venice, there are no cars, zebra crossings, or traffic lights.

Only at the entrance to the city can you drive a car, bike, or motorcycle. The rest of the city is made up of islands that are connected by bridges. This means you have to walk or take a boat to get around the city. If you take a water-bus, remember that it doesn’t work like a regular bus, which stops on both sides of the road. One water-bus stop will have boats going in both directions, so make sure you get on the right one.

People taking selfies on bridges instead of driving their cars cause traffic jams.
The roughly 260,000 people who live in Venice are joined every day by up to 70,000 tourists. Because of this, the city gets very busy, especially during carnival and the summer. Most of the time, tourists stop on the bridges to take selfies, but this often means that they “block” the road.

You learn how to keep an eye on the city’s tide.

At my first orientation meeting at Ca’ Foscari University, we were told about the tide and told to get the app Hi!Tide Venice, which tells you if different parts of the city are flooded and where you can walk without getting wet. When the tide is coming in, people in the city can be seen wearing rubber boots. Tourists who are only there for a short time should wear plastic rain boots. Or…

If you walk on the raised plank walkways, your feet will stay dry.

When the tide is high, workers in Venice set up raised plank walkways (called passarelle) so that tourists and locals can get around the city. Passarelle live in the area where high tide is most likely to happen.

It’s hard to tell which building is which because they all have beautiful Gothic architecture.
Famous old buildings in Venice have stayed the same for hundreds of years, but their uses have changed. Some of them are now used as university buildings or museums, but sometimes they are used for something as simple as a bank.

You can only have coffee with milk in the morning.

Italians think that drinking cappuccino or any other coffee with milk in it after a meal makes it hard to digest.

If you stay on your feet in Venice’s bars and cafes, you’ll pay less for drinks.

If you sit at a table outside at a cafe or bar in Venice, you should expect to pay a little more for your cup of coffee or glass of wine than if you stand at the bar or outside to drink. Why don’t all nations do this?

You can use National Venetian for free.

Every first Sunday of the month, museums

Italy’s state museums and archeological sites are all free to visit on the first Sunday of every month since 2014. Use this to the fullest while you’re here, because there are a lot of amazing things to see.

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