Monday, February 11, 2013

Carnevale in Venice

A couple of weeks ago I had the idea of going over to Venice for Carnevale. It's something I've wanted to do since being in Milan, but never got round to. But on Saturday I got up at the crack of dawn to experience my first Venetian carnival!

The first spot was a bar for some elevenses in true Venetian style - a spritz with two pizzette, two little pizzas. For those who don't know, the spritz is the drink of Venice, it contains prosecco wine and a bitter liqueur; ours contained Aperol which gives it a bright orange colour. After the pit-stop it was time to go to Piazza San Marco to see the costumes!

There were some more unusual costumes too!

There was a wonderful party atmosphere, with adults and children dressed up or wearing masks. Outside the train station there were face painters, and of course there were plenty of stands and shops selling masks and wigs.

And there was confetti everywhere!

Of course, there was a lot of people in the streets, especially around Piazza San Marco. There were even officers from the local police controlling the flow of human traffic in the narrow streets and on the bridges! And the amount of people in Venice caused a lot of problems for me using public transport to get there and back. The train I got from Milan around 7.30am on Saturday morning was jam packed. By the time we got to Verona, around two hours from Milan on the regional train I took, and an hour and a half from Venice; the train was so full people could no longer get on. Unfortunately that was my fate returning home on Sunday evening at around 6.45. I was getting on the train at Venezia Mestre, the last stop on the mainland before Venice itself, as I was staying with a friend; and just from the people who got on at Venice the train was full to bursting. A few people managed to squeeze on, but many of us were left on the platform. It took three hours for me to be able to get on the train, on the fourth train that I tried catching, and the last one of the day to Milan. There had been so many people even going through Mestre station that McDonalds had ran out of hamburgers! So if you ever want to go to Venice for Carnival do not under any circumstances get the regional trains, and book the fast trains in advance, not only to save money but also as some of those were also full on Sunday. No special trains are put on, and there aren't enough to accomodate all the people travelling. Even though the weekend ended in a very stressful way, it's an experience that can't be missed!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Wow! What a fantastic experience!

Nerys said...

Hi Pat! Yes, it was!