Carnival = Venice
The carnival in Venice has been roaring in my head for a long time. Every year, at about the same time, my mother repeated how she would love to go to Venice at that time. She was always saying that this kind of trip must be expensive and she doesn’t have enough money for that. I accepted the message with a slight disappointment, but I didn’t dig the topic. When I discovered how many of you were already at the Venice Carnival, I thought that there must be a way to get there for reasonable price! Four months later, I was running around Venice like a crazy fly with camera to catch as much as possible. 😛 If you want to know how much it cost us, how to organize such a trip, and above all whether it is worth going then, stay with us! You will find there answers to all the questions I asked myself before I left.
Carnival in Venice and its history
As it happens in Europe, most events have long and colorful history. It is no different in our carnival in Venice. The origins of this tradition can be traced back to the 13th century, when the first mention of wearing masks appeared. However, it was only in the 17th century that this custom began to gain in popularity. At that time, the Venice Carnival became known all over the world, and the city gained even more prestige. Unfortunately, everything that is good ends quickly. With the fall of the Venetian republic and the reign of the king of Austria, the Venetian carnival and wearing masks have become forbidden.
In the nineteenth century locals attempted to resume the tradition of the carnival. It was not until 1979 that the Italian government decided to resurrect this beautiful tradition. Malicious say that winter was specially chosen for the duration of the carnival, in order to encourage tourists to come to Venice in this dead time. Personally, I believe that this decision was dictated by the fact that wearing these outfits during the hot summer would be impossible! 😛
Every year, the Venice carnival begins at different times. Usually it is the period of January and February, but it always lasts several days, during which various events are organized. The beginning of the carnival of 2018 we were following in the media. We managed to hunt the cheap flights perfectly to the middle of the carnival on 7-10.02. We missed a few key events such as the first day’s march or the Angel’s Flight. Apparently, both of these events attracted so many people that they didn’t fit in St. Mark’s Square! Don’t worry if you miss them too. Throughout the carnival, a stage is set up where something is happening all the time! Various competitions are organized (supposedly the most beautiful outfit / mask) or other games / balls (for this purpose, the Dodge apartments are closed, in which events are organized). Here you can check the exact list of events during the carnival. I will also add that we didn’t take part in any event. All we needed was the atmosphere and a lot of dressed up people! 🙂
Carnival in Venice = Fashion week!
The carnival in Venice is primarily the Fashion Week. However, more colorful and fabulous. The more exaggerated, original or colorful outfit, the better. How to recognize an outstanding outfit? After the number of photographers fighting for the best place to take a picture. 😀 To our (positive) surprise, it turned out that the people in outfit willingly posed for photos! Every time I took a picture of them, they not only stopped, but they often posed! (I wonder if they are paid by the government?) 😛 Even I decided to buy a mask for myself. The are plenty masks in Venice, hence the plastic (facial masks made in China) can be bought for reasonable money. Just turn into the side streets and there are nice prices. Prices for the most ordinary mask, covering only the eyes and nose, without special ornaments, cost from 2 to 4 euros. For the more sophisticated, covering half of your face, you pay from 5 to 8 euros (I got 1 for 5 euros). If you plan to cover the whole face with a mask like the one in the main picture, prepare at least 10 euros and up.
Maybe you want more than mask? 😀
However, if the mask is not enough for you, special Ateliers will help you find an outfit. You can buy the whole outfit or its elements from them, or simply rent it for the duration of the carnival. The prices, of course, depend on the outfit model. The more sophisticated, the more expensive it is. Prepare from 99 to 450 euros for such a pleasure! 🙂 Here you can check how it looks.
Ok, who skip the whole content to this part? 😀 Ok, let me show you how I „lose” my money in Venice. 😀
- Ryanair flights Kraków – Venice Treviso (wednesday-saturday), hand luggage only – 36 euros
- Accomodation in Mestre (airbnb) – 3 nights for 2 persons 125 euros
- Public transport + entries to the museum for 3 days for people till 29 years old – 59 euros
- Expensive coffee – 3,5 euro, cheap coffee 1,5 euro (same quality)
- Cafe Florian (due our aniversary) 😛 – 30 euros.
- Magnet – 1 euro
- Venice Mask – 5 euro
- Postcard – 0,60 euro
- Grocery shopping for 3 days for our two (breakfast, dinner and drinks) – 25 euros
- Pasta to go 5-7 euros
- Big Pizza Slice – 3-4 euro, the whole Pizza in bar – 7 euro + cover 2 euro
- Small, local snacks from bar – 1,8 – 2,5 euros
- Aperol – 2,5 – 4 euros
- Average ice cream – 2 euros
- Gondola ride 45 min – 80 euros (we didn’t try)
Of course, you could have done it cheaper or more expensive. Don’t judge me, because everyone is the Lord of his fate (or money) … 😀
More expensive than usual?
In any case, prices during the carnival may be higher than usually. Why do we think so? Well, once, that there are many more people, and two – this is the adventure. Before we went to Cafe Florian, we checked the prices in Internet. In the meantime, we opened the menu, and the prices 100% higher… the question is, wheter we found an old menu, or we got a carnival menu? 😉 Ah, this Carnival in Venice!
What about the weather? Acqua alta will come?
The weather was the worst nightmare for me. Last winter I got really wet in Paris, and Venice doesn’t seem to be much better! In addition, Acqua Alta likes to appear here. According to Wikipedia, Acqua Alta is a term used in the Italian province of Veneto, describing an extremely high tide. Most often the term applies to Venice, where the tides are extremely spectacular. For this purpose, I checked few forecasts (also archive one). It didn’t look that bad, so I took a regular shoes and threw a small umbrella into the bag. Fortunately, I didn’t use it, but the weather didn’t spoil us during our stay. Typical winter gray sky, sometimes the sun was coming out, and the temperature was between 5-8 degrees during the day. Winter jackets are also very useful. However, nice and warm days also happens – on Saturday we had almost 14 degrees! On the other hand, it was raining before our arrival throughout the entire carnival – also be prepared for it. Acqua Alta prefers to attack in spring and autumn.
Were there crowds of people? Does it stink from the canals?
Regarding the first question, I will answer: Yes and no. 😀 We were on Thursday, Friday and Saturday durng the Carnival in Venice. While on Thursday and on Friday it was very decent, even on St. Mark or near the Rialto bridge, what happened on Saturday has gone beyond my wildest imagination! The traffic on the bridge from which is the best view of the Bridge of Sighs was directed by the police. The walk from the Vaporetto station to the Cathedral lasted twice as long as usual. It was impossible to pass these people because there was no place! A monstrous march of penguins – that’s what I would call it. On the other hand, when we entered the narrow streets of Venice, even on Saturday they were empty! Well, it means that there is also an alternative to a weekend getaway. Generally, I recommend to choose a week day during Carnival!
When it comes to canals, I will say honestly – I didn’t feel it. I don’t know what’s going on – why people complain about it.
I hope that with this content I have exhausted the list of your questions! So far, I’m delighted with this atmosphere. I was afraid that everything was overrated or artificial, but meanwhile it turned out to be a great attraction! 🙂 🙂 Carnival in Venice is a great experience that I highly recommend it!
Check also other post regarding Venice!
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