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Carnevale in Venice!

This weekend Andrew and I visited Venice. We knew we wanted to go somewhere good for our last weekend together, before he goes back to the states on Saturday. (So sad!)

Because we are notoriously last-minute planners, we bought our tickets for the 8:40 pm train about an hour before it departed from the Zürich HB, sans-hotel reservation. We quickly found ourselves on an overnight-train to Villach, Austria, during which we realized we were about to attempt to spontaneously visit Venice during Carnevale — the city's biggest and wildest celebration. Here we are on the train, looking rather relaxed... I think this was right after I booked a hotel (after calling about 20 different places).

Overnight train to Villach

The next morning, we arrived in Villach around 6:00 am. Andrew apparently had great sleep, while the train's rocking motion and the loud, unfamiliar sounds weren't as soothing to me. Despite being a bit tired, here's a shot from Villach:

Villach

It was a charming town and during our 4 hour "lay-over" we found internet connection at a McDonald's, visited an early-morning farmer's market where I bought a huge block of Provolone cheese, and fed a few pigeons, just for a little childish entertainment. :)

Villach Pigeons

At 11:00 am we boarded a double-decker, InterCity bus to Venice. We thought we were pretty lucky to get seats in the top.

We arrived in beautiful Venezia around 2:30 pm, and took the ACTV Line 1 boat to San Marco. Here are a couple shots from the ferry:

Venice Grand Canal

Ferry to San Marco

San Marco was definitely the most packed area of Venice. Our hotel, Violino D'Oro, was just a block or so away from Saint Mark's Square, a.k.a Piazza San Marco.

Saint Mark's Square is where all the craziness goes down. People gear up in the most elaborate, outrageous costumes and parade around for all to see.

Carnevale costumes in Venice

Carnevale Costume

Others take a more modest approach and simply wear a small mask or a silly hat... such as this purple-feather rendition:

Feathered mask

We eventually caved and bought two of our own. Andrew broke his mask's strap trying to get the thing tight enough around his head. Accidental? I'm still guessing.

In any case, I think we look like a couple of bad-asses. (Please pardon le French.)

Carnevale masks

Yes, this shot was taken in our hotel, but I promise, I actually wore mine in public for a little while. I chose an all-black style, trying to channel Kirsten Dunst's look in Marie Antoinette.

We had the the most wonderful time during our long weekend walking the streets, visiting the Basillica, Doge's Palace, window-shopping, and eating at tucked-away little Italian restaurants.

Carnevale 2011

Andrew Doge's Palace

Doge's Prison

Venice Paint

We were lucky to have this trip, let alone book a hotel in Venice during Carnevale on such short notice. Below, a photo from our hotel room balcony:

View from Hotel Violino

And next, my favorite photo from our entire trip so far:

Venice

Andrew took this on the crossing shown two pictures above. It's my new desktop background.

We left Venice late Sunday, but I will always cherish the memories from this trip. And I will always remember Venezia fondly, a little something like this:

Gondola in Venice

Kathryn

Comments

Submitted by Kathryn on Wed, 2011-03-02 09:29

Annie, I got the shirt in Houston at a wonderful little boutique called Langford Market. The store just opened in San Antonio as well - which makes me very happy. :)

P.S. Is this Annie as in my sister Annie? If so, you were with me when I bought this shirt! (Surely you're a different Annie!)

Submitted by Kathryn on Wed, 2011-03-02 09:31

Thanks, E. I want to catch up with you soon too! We have plans every night this week until Andrew leaves, but perhaps I can catch you late-night... when you're about to leave from work?

In any case, Andrew's coming home on Saturday -- perhaps the two of you can have a marg in my honor?! :)

Submitted by Andrew on Wed, 2011-03-02 09:41

Oops, I knew I forgot something! I guess it's either another overnight train to Venice or you can just have my (broken) mask. Sound good?

Submitted by Andrew on Wed, 2011-03-02 10:04

All right, Ariana, I submitted our photo. Let's see if we get on!

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