Of all the cities in Italy, Venice is one of the most famous for Carnevale. More than a week long, the entire city parties with costumes, masks, and an abundant amount of paper confetti.
The city goes all out and everybody gets dressed up.
If you go during Carnevale, be sure to check Venice’s website for events. While I missed the kick off event, I did get to see a boat parade along the Grand Canal on the second day. Boat after boat full of devoted costumers passed by. Costume themes ranged from traditional medieval garments to superheros.
All the boats were decorated in some way, but there were a couple exceptional ones. Some were great because of design…
…and some were pretty amazing because of the people in them.
Definitely pick up a mask at one of the mask shops scattered about the city. Most have both the traditional Venetian masks and also the current trendy ones.
And it’s much more fun to be part of the festivities and not just an observer.
Of course there’s also the classic spots visitors need to see. Piazza San Marco is gorgeous in the sunlight. The clean lines of the buildings surrounding the square make a beautiful image.
If you have the time, I definitely suggest going to the museum in the basilica. The gold mosaics inside are incredible and the museum ticket includes a trip to the roof.
If you have time, you need to go on a gondola ride. It can be a bit pricey (for two it’s normally 80 euros) but if you’re luck you might be able to negotiate a lower price (like we did). It’s definitely worth the money though. Walking through the city streets and the small ally ways is fun but the view from the canals is completely different. There’s an intimacy that you feel when gliding through one of the small canals, and there are little nooks and crannies that no sidewalk has access to.
Venice is definitely a city you need to get utterly lost in. You’ll find cute cafes and bakeries hidden in the smallest allies and beauty in the litter.
Food Footnote! Because every city has something interesting about food.
While not exactly Italian, Venice, surprisingly, has some good Jewish food. A trip to what the locals call the Jewish Ghetto will reveal lots of kosher friendly restaurants and cafes.
If you’re looking for something a bit more Venetian during Carnevale, many of the events include festivals and you might find some free pasta, cookies, and drinks.