Living the dream! The Magical Venice Carnival
Visiting the Venice Carnival has been a long-held dream of mine. A few years ago, I learned that the event is a world-famous annual festival distinguished for the elaborate masks and incredible participants’ costumes. What makes it even more remarkable is that this centuries-old tradition takes place in one of the most magical cities in Italy.
Needless to say, I often imagined myself walking the streets of Venice, enjoying the exceptionally bright and festive atmosphere of the city, and meeting the characters that seemed so mysterious due to their “incognito” status.
Finally, my dream came true! The Carnival trip day approached, and we headed to Venice with a group of friends on an early February morning. With a sinking heart, I was waiting to see the wonderful atmosphere of my beloved city. I’ve been to Venice before but always in the Summer. It turned out that visiting the city in winter is much more pleasant. No heat or humidity, and fewer tourists. In addition, the weather was very sunny.
Oh, What to Wear?
Upon our arrival, we went directly to get some creamy cappuccino and charged ourselves with energy for the long day. Enjoying the soft sun rays and stirring the airy foam of my drink, I observed how lively the city was, reviving from the start of a new day. Despite the very early time, many were already in costumes. Young groups of people, children, and even elder members of the family chose to participate, wearing the original outfits for the event.
We discovered that the Venetian Carnival dresses are unique pieces; they are handmade one by one in the ateliers of the city. Those ateliers specialize in historical research on garment models and carefully implement materials of excellent quality with incredible attention to detail.
Some sophisticated pieces need months of work at the ateliers to be completed. Their number is limited, and if someone wants to rent a costume during the Carnival, it should be done a few months in advance.
Who’s Behind the Masks of the Venetian Carnival?
However, what specifically attracted our attention was the masks! They were skillfully made, and each individually thought out, painted, and decorated with gems, feathers, and patterns. Masks have always been an essential feature of the Venetian Carnival.
As a result, mask makers even enjoyed a unique position in society. They belonged to the fringe of painters and were famous for paying extreme attention to the details when drawing
Always Take Time to Dine!
We then decided to have lunch at a small fish restaurant. I took
When in Venice, Take Time to Learn From a Wise Gondolier
Surprisingly the Carnival dated back almost a thousand years ago. Some sources claim that it started as early as 1094. It was a once-a-year opportunity when people could hide their identity, sex, and even social class. Masks allowed everyone, regardless of gender, to be and act the way they wanted.
In the usually stringent Venetian Republic, it was a social event that cleverly permitted people, including the ones from the most humble social classes, some time to devote to themselves. Allowing them to abandon every other day to joy, music, and dancing.
As we were learning about history, with the confident movements of the gondolier, we were moving along the canal, under the arches of lace-like light-looking bridges, along the beautiful houses with vaulted windows decorated with lush flowers.
Sunset Within a Golden Hour
Venice is a great destination to travel to with your friends and family. If you visit during the Carnival you can all come in costumes and become the main characters of the event! Read our recent blog post about that! But the city is also a nice place to visit on your own. Check our tips for Venice solo traveling.
Why See Italy?
When you think of traveling to Italy, what comes to mind? The Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the canals of Venice, one of the many Unesco World Heritage sites?
While these are all iconic tourist destinations, they only scratch the surface of what this wonderful country offers. To truly experience Italy like a local, you must go off the beaten path and explore its lesser-known regions.
That’s where we come in; we know it’s hard to find a travel partner that doesn’t just feel like another retail experience. You want authentic travel experiences!
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4 Non-Touristy Things to do in Venice, Italy