2006 - Il Carnevale di Venezia (The Venice Carnival)

Venice Travel Blog

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Traditional costume

Anyone who knows Venice, knows about The Venice Carnival. Venice is the Italian 'Rio'!.  It takes place the 2 weeks before Ash Wednesday every year and is a must for anyone visiting Italy during that period. The last few days are always the most eventful and also the most frequented by Italians and foreign tourists alike.

I left Imola early the last Sunday of the Carnival and got to Venice at about 11am. It was already jam-packed, but this is the one time of year that 'the-more-the-merrier' rule applies to this city of madness! Most come in costume or buy masks when they arrive. I had a pink glittery feathered mask from last year, so that was my contribution.

There are people who 'live' for this festival.

They spend months preparing their costumes...and it shows. There are plenty of parades and competitions for them to show off their creations and it's great entertainment for the rest of us.  The main events all take part in or around St.Mark's Square, so I made my way through the chaos-filled streets as quickly as possibile to try get a good spot for the most important costume parade. As it happened I was at the very back and couldn't see a thing! Next year I will camp out a month in advance!! : )

All the kids throw confetti on everyone they see and the older kids spray silly-string and shaving-foam. You can find the most delicious (and fatty) pastries and cakes being sold in every cafe and restaraunt and from stands on the busier streets. I'd recommend 'le sfrappole' and 'le castagnole'.

Heaven!!

I met some Americans dressed as rabbits(?!!!) and some Brits dressed as corn-on-the-cob(?!!!!!!!). But the Italians stuck the the typical carnival dress of colourful, elaborate outfits complete with face hidding masks. Most people were more than happy to pose for photos, and were spending litterally hours just standing for snapping tourists. I was so glad that I was only wearing a mask and didn't cause much stir!

The only negative thing about carnival is that it's an open invitation for pick-pockets! You have to watch everything very closely as they will steal the eyes out of your head without you realizing it. I saw so many people in distress because of stolen wallets, camera ect...

I was finding confetti in every nook and cranny for days after but thats all part of the fun. But all-in-all, I will continue to come to Venice for Carnival for the rest of my life, I'm sure. There's nothing like it!!

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Traditional costume
Traditional costume
le castagnole
le castagnole
le sfrappole
le sfrappole
Sultans?!!!
Sultans?!!!
The American rabbits
The American rabbits
Mask-store window
Mask-store window
Carnival mask
Carnival mask
A venetian motorway
A venetian motorway
The British corn-on-the-cobs
The British corn-on-the-cobs
Traditionally colourful
Traditionally colourful
A jester outside the basilica
A jester outside the basilica
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy