25th January 2020
We were woken by sub on our first full day in Venice. Pupils fortunate enough to have rooms looking over the Giudecca were greeted Venice sand the distant Alps on the horizon swathed in sun. After a hearty breakfast, it was off to the Zattere and a walk through the winding streets to Ca Macana for a workshop on masks. We passed two schools which seemed quite surreal in the middle of Venice. One of the pupils was dressed in a Venetian mask together with a veil and hat proving how effective the anonymity of masks was. It was fascinating to hear how Venetians wore masks in everyday life, from the casino at night, to begging in the streets the next morning if they happened to lose their fortunes. Then came the delicate process of decorating their own masks. Everyone was so deeply absorbed throughout the morning. Next it was off to lunch for pasta from a tiny shop tucked away in side streets, but clearly well-known and popular with the locals. After lunch, a little free time to explore Piazza San Marco before heading for the La Fenice, Venice’s famed and opulent opera house. After a quick group photo in masks on the steps of La Fenice, we were given a tour of this world-famous centre for opera. It was now time to head for St George’s, the British communities church in Venice which was established in the reign of James I. We were given a very warm welcome by the locals and joined by parents who had begun flying into Venice for the weekend. St George’s was originally a glass factory where mosaics were made for many famous places including the reredos in Westminster Abbey and the Albert Memorial in London. After Evensong we made our way to Campo San Margerita for supper at Venice’s best pizzeria and we were not disappointed. By unanimous vote, we immediately booked the pizzeria for our farewell supper on Sunday evening. It was time to head back to the Youth Hostel. All were tired but very content and chatting about the day’s adventures.