I finally got to cross the Venice Carnival off of my bucket list! I have been wanting to go for years now, but I’ve never actually got around to it. Probably because, when I’ve actually remembered about it, it’s been too close to the time and the flight prices have shot up.
But never mind – because I’ve finally been! Would I go again during the Carnival? I’m not sure – there’s so many people. Waaaaaay more people than there normally is, and that’s saying something for Venice.
(This was ‘quiet’)
One of the greatest things about the Carnival was that it wasn’t all contained in the main areas – there was stuff going on everywhere. I’d be walking down a quiet street, turn a corner, and bam! – more people in costume. And those costumes were absolutely stunning. I really need to up my sewing game and learn to make clothes. I could practice by making small versions for my niece 🙂
(This picture doesn’t show it, but his costume was so sparkly!)
I could fill a whole blog post with all of the costume pictures I took (an idea for a future post, perhaps?). Of course, because I was in Venice, I didn’t just get involved with the Carnival – I went exploring and got lost (as I am very good at doing – especially in Venice!).
I also visited San Servolo and saw the Insane Asylum museum, which I would recommend. It’s extremely interesting and, this may be the pharmacology part of me talking, but looking at the different preserved brains and skulls was particularly interesting – in a morbid sort of way. The clouds were also especially beautiful that day.
I visited for the final weekend of the Carnival – and I’m glad I did, as there seemed to be a lot of things going on. I saw the ‘Svolo del Eagle’, or the ‘Flight of the Eagle’ on the last Sunday, which was a woman in a huge, gorgeous, feathery dress being lowered down from the belltower in St Mark’s Square.
And, in contrast, on the last day of the Carnival, I saw the ‘Svolo del Lion’, or the ‘Flight of the Lion’, which is where a mahoooosive Venetian flag gets raised up the belltower. Now, I don’t know if it was supposed to go all the way up the belltower, or only halfway up (which it did in this case), but it was super windy and the rain had just started, so I’m thinking that’s why it only went halfway? If any of you guys have been to the Carnival before and seen this, could you please tell me? 🙂
One of the main things I’d wanted to visit this time was the Venetian Ghetto and, especially, the Synagogues. You can only see the synagogues on a guided tour, but I would definitely recommend it. They are absolutely stunning – plus the guide was funny and sarcastic 🙂
I also wanted to see the Teatro La Fenice (I’d actually wanted the see it the first two times I’d visited, but never had a chance to). I knew it had burnt down and been completely rebuilt – but I didn’t realise it had burnt down twice in fifty years! The first time was an accident but the second time was apparently arson. Who would want to burn down the theatre! It’s an absolutely stunning building – and there was a mini orchestra rehearsal going on in one of the ballrooms, which echoed gorgeously through the theatre.
I would also recommend a visit to the rooftop of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store. It’s completely free but you need to get a ticket in advance – I’d advise going early. I only had to wait an hour (which I spent wandering through the store), but when it got to my turn to go on the rooftop (3.30pm), the people who had just arrived had four hours to wait until they could get their turn on the roof.
And, a visit to Venice would not be completed without a visit to my favourite bookshop – Libreria Acqua Alta – which has now become even better, as there were cats in it this time around!! Cats!! Anyone who’s read this blog knows I’m a cat person (I found so many cats this time in Venice – always a good thing 🙂 )
Because I love fancy dress (I’m not a weirdo 😛 ), I bought a mask (another one!) from a stall and wore it through the city. Thankfully, I didn’t stand out, as every other person had a mask, or a hat, or a wig on.
I also caved and bought a hat at some point 😀 (The next photo isn’t the best quality, as it had started to get dark and I’d left my proper camera in my flat, so this photo was taken with my phone)
I was staying in a flat just off of the Via Garibaldi, which I would highly recommend. I don’t know if it’s a regular thing, or if it was just because of the Carnival, but there was music and dancing in the street every night! I absolutely loved it. And I danced with a few old ladies 😀
Here’s another couple of photos of me, because I don’t know where else they’ll fit into this post 😛
And every night, I finished off my day with a gorgeous sunset by the water.
Ah, Venice. I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m back again!