On the canal in Venice, Italy
And so, our three-month sojourn in Italy came to its climactic ending in Venice during Carnivale, the famous festival that attracts masked revellers from all over the world in a baroque dressed extravaganza. It was a top item on our bucket list and we managed to check it off at the end of our Italian tour.
We planned our whole Italian itinerary to end at the peak of Carnivale but got the dates a little wrong. Although Carnivale kicked of on February 11th a few days after we arrived, we did manage to catch the kick off parade and opening festivities but we had to leave before the peak weekend when all the main events happened. We missed the weekend when things reach a fervor with all the costumed balls, flight of the Angel, the costume competition and many other events. Carnivale always begins two Saturdays before Ash Wednesday and finishes on Fat Tuesday but we had to leave Italy on the 15th when our Schengen visa was due to expire. As a non-EU citizen we could only be in Italy for 90 days within 181 day period, we entered November 15th so we had to leave February 15th. Here’s a link to my post that explains the Schengen Visa rules. Although we left Italy for the UK we plan to return again in May to meet up with some friends in Rome for a 10 day tour of the Amalfi coast. We’ll say good-bye to them in Naples and at the same time pick up our kids to begin a 3 week tour of Italy with them- Rome again, Florence again, Venice again (oh what a chore) and maybe Slovenia and Croatia.
Carnivale was a blast and we felt like royalty wandering the city in our costumed regalia, here is a link to my past post on Carnivale if you missed it and here is a link to the Carnivale photo gallery.
Over our visit to Venice we had 11 days to explore the labyrinthic city of canals and piazzas, its many churches, museums, galleries and exotic architecture. There is no city in the world like it, it has its own unique ambiance and we can’t wait to return and continue our explorations. Here is a link with more photos around stunning Venice.
For one of our days we took a trip out to Burano to explore the ‘lace Island’ as it’s known where you’ll see the ladies making the famous, delicate Burano lace. It’s a bit of a journey on one of the Vaporettos (waterbuses), almost an hour too this other island in the Venetian Lagoon but well worth the effort. It’s also famous for it’s colorful fisherman’s cottages rumored to be painted bright colors so the fishermen can easily find their homes when returning in the fog or after an evening of drink. It was a nice reprieve from the chaos of Venice, much quieter with only a few tourists wondering its colorful streets. In the afternoon we stopped at a restaurant for a fabulous lunch of mixed, fried seafood and a pizza washed down with the house vino served by a family affair. Satiated with a filling lunch we then continued our walk through the streets and came up to the Church of San Marino with its ominously leaning bell tower, another impressive Italian church. Here is a link to the photo gallery on Burano.
The days went by quickly and we had to leave our fabulous Airnbnb apartment, a past home of Marco Polo to board a waterbus for an hour long trip. Finally we arrived at coincidentally, the ‘Marco Polo’ airport for a flight to London, Gatwick and the beginning of our Wales and England tour. Below is a video of our week in Venice,Italy. See you next post in England.