By Georgia Nicklin, BSc Finance and Management with the University of Venice at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School.
1) Along with the Aperol Spritz, the Bellini is very popular among the locals and actually originates from Venice. It is also a must to try! It’s a cocktail made up of peaches and Prosecco and was invented at Harry’s Bar (located in St Mark’s Square) back in the 1940s.
2) Get lost!
3) Go to St. Mark’s Square during ‘acqua alta’ in your wellies.
4) Go on a gondola with a large group of friends so that it works out cheaper per person (it’s €80 per half an hour, and you can fit a maximum of 6 people in).
5) Learn as much Italian as possible while you’re in Venice and surrounded by locals to practice on.
6) Go to the Rialto Market.
7) Go to the top of the Coin shopping mall, located next to Rialto, for amazing roof-top views of Venice (it’s free!).
8) Try an ice cream (un gelato) from Il Doge, located in either San Tomà or Campo Santa Margharita.
9) Visit the other islands which are close by – Giudecca, San Giorgio Maggiore, Murano (famous for glass), Burano (the island of colour).
10) Hang out at Skilla bar (located in Campo Santa Margharita) for a €2 Spritz.
11) Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
12) Sit along a canal with a takeaway pizza with your friends/loved one and take in the beautiful Venetian feeling.
13) During the February Carnival, wear a mask 24/7 and make sure you go to St Mark’s Square to watch ‘the Flight of the Angel’. Also, eat lots of ‘Fritelle’ (fried doughnuts filled with custard, cream or spiced fruits – they are honestly so addictive).
14) Buy a takeaway pasta pot for as little as €5 from Bigoi, located close to San Tomà – the photo is of squid ink!
15) Travel as much as you can around Italy – I travelled to Verona, Milan, Florence, Rome, Bassano del Grappa and Bologna during my year abroad and they were really easy to get to by train.
Was it worth it?
It was completely worth it – I’m so so glad I did it. During my first month in Venice (September 2016), I was so homesick and I was convinced I wouldn’t last the whole year. The amazing friends I made along the way helped me change my mind set and now, looking back, I can’t believe I ever had those negative thoughts in the first place.
Throughout the year I have learnt so much about myself, and have learnt to enjoy my own company. I have felt myself gain so much confidence and independence and now find it so easy to interact with new people and form friendships. For the industry I want to go into – Finance – these qualities are invaluable and, for that reason, I will always be so thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad. Knowing no one from the outset and being pushed out of my comfort zone into a brand new culture/environment is probably one of the greatest challenges I’ve ever had to face, but it’s benefitted me so much as a person.
I believe that having an international experience makes you stand out from the crowd, particularly in interviews, as it just shows that you’re able to adapt to new environments which is crucial in the unpredictable and fast-paced Finance industry. And it helps if you try to learn the language too as that’s a skill that all employers admire!
I have fallen in love with this beautiful city; there is honestly no place like it. Venice will always have a special place in my heart, just thinking about it now makes me so nostalgic and I can’t believe my time there is over for good. I really wish I could relive this year – I will never forget 2016/17.
Georgia is a student at the ICMA Centre studying BSc Finance and Management. The degree is a unique three year experience, where students spend their second year at Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice. As the first student from Reading to have completed this part of the programme, we’ve got Georgia to share her experiences during her year in Venice.
Hear more about the programme and Georgia’s experience here: