Since I was blessed with the opportunity to experience one of the biggest festivals in Italy, I figured an entire post about my weekend adventure would be best to give it justice! So here is the Venice Carnival through my eyes…
So because we are cheap people, we decided to go on a slow train up to Venice because it cost so much less! The train ride totaled around 9 hours but luckily we reserved seats in this compartment. The cool thing was that the train actually looked like the ones used in movies such as Eurotrip and Harry Potter. It was nice to have my friends sharing the compartment with me because the seats scoot down to make a mini bed with the person across from you so we all just ended up squeezing together to hopefully get some shuteye.
We arrived to Venice around 10am and by the time we finally found our hotel through the winding streets, we had a couple hours to kill until we could check in to our room. So we ended up finding a popular square called Saint Marco that led up to the water. Here there was gondolas lined up in front of us and we just chilled basking in the sun, enjoying the view, and eating gelato during our wait.
Even though it was only Friday, people were already beginning to look festive in their costumes, parading themselves around the square.
We explored near one of the canals later in the day. I saw this refection in my friend’s sunglasses and just thought it was too cool!
Our first night of dinner we went out to a restaurant nearby our hotel. Since Venice is known for their seafood, being surrounded by water and all, I had to try some dishes incorporating fish. So for an appetizer I got a smoked salmon dish with olive oil and lemon over lettuce. The salmon was so fresh and delicious!
The next day we decided that today was going to be the day we’d be able to check a very important activity off our bucket list: riding in a gondola down the canals of Venice! The experience was amazing and I had to stop myself a few times from taking so many pictures so that I could just put my camera down and be in the moment. I wanted to relish in the fact that I was actually here in Venice doing something most people only get to dream about!
On the gondola ride we had one of the best drivers ever! Not only was he attractive but also he gave us the opportunity to learn how to paddle the gondola ourselves! My friend Becca and I were the only ones who wanted to try but it was an incredible moment and actually much easier than I predicted it to be!
Later we explored more of the markets in several different piazzas and found this cute little stand with Italian candy.
Saturday and Sunday was the busiest day in Saint Marco’s square and was full of people wearing masks, costumes, and tourists.
Confetti was a common addition to the event and was seen scattered all over the ground as an aftermath of the many people throwing the paper squares into the air. One time I even had some random guy just walk past our group and dump a hand full of confetti into my hair. I guess he thought he was spreading the joy!
As soon as the sun dropped, we pulled out our masks that we bought previously in the market that day and went out to the square to join the dance party that was occurring!
The next day, we met up with three of our friends who came for the day and helped them find a gondola. It was fun to see their excitement as they set off for their own ride!
Sunday night we saw our last sunset in Venice before taking a long night train back to Rome. Must I say though, it was one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen with the combination of the sky and lights reflecting off of the water – the picture doesn’t even give it justice!