Hey. Carnival season is upon us and last year I attended one of the most famous carnivals – in Venezia Italy. This year it will be held on 27. 1. 2018 – 13. 2. 2018. Last year it was a bit later as I and my friends were there on 25. february and it was the closing weekend of whole carnival. Let me tell you a story of our trip.
I found the trip online on czech discount site and mentioned it to my friends. I spend a lot of time searching for cheap travel trips and I often talk about them but usually without approving response from my friends. Very spontaneously and quickly we decided to go. (honestly i couldn’t believe how easy it was to convince them to travel with me). It was bus trip from Prague to Venezia, it took around 13 hours to get there, but we are all used to such long traveling journeys as my train from my hometown to my school town takes around 15 hours, so for me it was quicker to get to Italy then home. We would spend one day – saturday – in Venezia with czech delegate and in the evening time we would return back to czech republic.
We ordered discount coupons, made reservations and received departure instructions. This was probably 2 weeks before the trip. We paid extra for bus to take us from our hometown Hradec Kralove at evening times and trip started. It was me, my roommate, our classmate and her sister.
We arrived to Punta Sabbioni harbor at 8 am. Took the private boat to Venezia. It was 30 minutes long-boat ride but to be fair I don’t remember it at all as I’m very boat sick so the whole time i was praying for us to finally land.
Even when we arrived at such early morning time the place was already crowded with tourists. For my surprise not only tourists but you could see so many people dressed in incredible costumes. You could approach any of them and they would take a picture with you for free. Later on our delegate explained to us that those people get paid by the city to dress up like that.
We took a nice walk Venezia streets while our delegate explained historic background of the place. We got to Piazza san Marco where Basilica di San Marco stands. Highest concentration of tourist was at this square with bunch of carnival masks stands. There was a huge stage in the middle of Piazza san Marco but it was empty at this morning time. Later on the carnival program would start there.
Most incredible experience was the top of St Mark’s Campanile or St. Mark’s Bell Tower. We bought our tickets (I think it was 6 euros) took elevator to top and enjoyed the breathtaking view of Venezia. I would 100% recommend this attraction. I’m not sure words would be enough to explain that spectacular sight so here are the photos:
Later on we decided to separate from our group and go wandering Venezia alleys on our own. It was beautiful. We made a stop at coffee shop and got green tea. Only disadvantage of Venezia was the prices there were enormous for students as us. We paid 7 euros for tea and continued with aimless wandering:
After lunch program started. We were late for it so I don’t know exactly how it all started but bunch of people were surrounding the stage where people in the most beautiful costumes were stood. In the back was what we assumed was carnival jury and they were holding 2 colors signs – red and green. When moderator who was also in costume invited 2 two other costumes to step up on stage. They were each representing one of the colors – red or green. Moderator would ask the crowd which costume they like the most and then the jury would show their sign with color representing what costume was better in their opinion. After some time by this decommissioning system was finally chosen one winner of best costume.
I might be completely wrong as they were all speaking italian (and none of us speak their language) and this what I just shared with you is all based on my deductions. Crowd just keep shouting something in italian and masks were leaving the stage. But it was great fun. Some of those masks was incredibly complicated and i felt bad for those people wearing such heavy costumes. (but it looked great thought) It took few hours till the parade ended and people slowly went their own way.
We then decided to go inside San Marco basilica. We waited long queue and ony half of us got inside. They have strict rules of getting inside so if you’re wearing bigger bag like my friends were you might not get inside.
We stayed in Venezia till late evening. It was amazing to watch sunset over the sea. Just look:
In the evening we meet up with our travel group and delegate, took another (for me horrible) boat ride back to harbour where our bus was parking, get on in and went back home. At saturday morning we were already back home.
For me it was beautifully spend weekend. The atmosphere in there was something else. If you’re not fan of huge tourists crowd then you should probably visit Venezia in any other time than Carnival season. (I’m sure it’s gonna be great anyway). For me te masks were inseparable part of whole trip. In the end it felt so natural to see person wearing skirt three times their size in surroundings of Venezia alleys. It was sight like no other. Highly recommending.
Thank you for your attention