Monday, February 16, 2009

CarNivALe in VeNiCe!!

This weekend I was in Venice to celebrate Carnivale, which is an Italian holiday and is a sort of mix between Halloween and Mardi Gras. When we first arrived in Italy our program director told us all that the weekend of Valentines Day was a great time to go to Venice because it was the first weekend of Carnivale, which lasts 2 weeks until lent, so just about everyone in our program was there this weekend! We left Viterbo Thursday night at 7, took 3 trains and arrived in Venice at 5am Friday morning! Then we couldn't check into our hotel until noon so we walked around all day with all of our luggage! As soon as we arrived we started walking around looking for San Marco Square and half an hour later, after crossing the Rialto Bridge, we finally found it, just in time for sunrise! At the time I didn't really care about seeing sunrise because I was so exhausted and I just wanted to sleep, haha, but now I am glad we did it because it was soo pretty and we were pretty much the only people in San Marco Square, which was amazing because for the rest of the weekend anywhere near San Marco you could barely move there were so many people! We also went to the Academy Art Museum hoping to see Leonardo da Vinci's, Vitruvian Man but it was under restoration so we couldn't see it. Then we got some lunch and it was really bad and really expensive, FYI if you ever go to Venice do not eat at any restaurant near San Marco! Then it was finally 12 so we took a water bus back to the hotel, and I passed out on the water bus and when we got to our hotel we all took a 3 1/2 hour nap, which we usually never do on our weekend adventures because it is such a waste of time, but we were beat!! After our nap we planned to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, to get some hamburgers :), but we found out that is was closed until March or something weird, so we decided to go to the grocery store and buy some food for the whole weekend since we weren't having much luck with any restaurants in Venice. It was the best idea ever because I found the cereal I have been looking for, I was told about it before I came to Italy, it is like Captain Crunch filled with Nutella! And I found an avocado, BEST DAY EVER :) Then we went out that night and ran into everyone in the USAC group! The next day was the official first day of Carnivale, we started out the day by going to Murano and seeing a glass blowing demonstration, it was crazy the guy made a vase and a horse statue in less then 5 min! Then we walked around the island and saw all the shops filled with Murano glass (I wish I could afford and Chandelier, they are amazing)! After Murano Bethany, Rachal and I did some shopping in San Marco Square, I got my Venice Magnet and we got our Canivale masks! Later we went with Beth, Jenny and Amy on a gondola ride and saw the sights! And then we headed to the Carnivale festivities in San Marco Square where not much was going on! We hung out for about 4 hours and nothing exciting ever happened, we were expecting a huge party like a New Years block party but I think the real party starts towards the end of Carnivale! Either way Venice is an amazing place, and we had a lot of fun without the party :)

More Pictures: Enjoy!

The Grand Canal around 6 am on top of the Rialto Bridge

On top of the Rialto Bridge

San Marco

San Marco Square at sunrise

Cute buildings

Gondola Ride

First night out with our 1 euro masks :)

Glass blowing demonstration in Murano, he was making a vase

Sculptor made of Murano Glass

View of the Alps from Murano!

Carnivale masks!!

Dressed up for Carnivale!

Our gondola man

The fire station! It was just like ours only fire boats instead of fire trucks!

The bus station (for the water bus)

The Rialto Bridge


1st night of Carnivale with our legit masks!

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