Venice Carnivale

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To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that the students today could not experience Venice in the way I know and love it — beautiful canals, romantic alleys, finding out of the way small canals and getting lost and following the signs to Ferrovia or San Marco.  Venice was gorgeous today, but it was also packed.  I have never seen so many people fill the city, the police were even directing pedestrian traffic.  It was wild.  That meant that our group had to somehow stay together in massive crowds, a daunting task, and one that kept us moving slow and not really having time to take in the city.   Yet Carnivale in Venice is an event, and at least for seven hours today, we were part of it.   A couple of crowd scenes so you get the picture:

Crowd near train station img_4973

At the Carnivale had clowns, customs, and fun — even our students got into the spirit buying masks:

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And, of course, Venice as always has beautiful can als:

img_4945 img_4956 img_4947 img_4992   In all, it was a great time.  The ride home, when we had standing room tickets, was fun.   We were laughing the whole way (we were split up, I was with a group of five students), making silly jokes and really having fun.  A good way to spend the last day in Venice.  And my philosophy is to try to make everything fun, so I was determined  not to make the standing room only experience — something some students were dreading — as a bad three hours.   It was, I believe, a lot better than the trip to Venice when we all had seats.

Now it’s nearing Midnight.  Tomorrow is a flight home.  I’m not done blogging about the trip, but I have to pack and I’m too tired to write much coherent at this point, so I’ll reflect more tomorrow or Tuesday.  I had hoped to get into the Risorgiomento more, talking about Venice, Verdi, and the politics of the mid-19th century.  At lunch we did get into that a bit. But Carnivale really made it impossible to do much but see the main sights.  We couldn’ t even get into San Marco.  Still, it was a good full last day in Italy, in a trip that packed a lot into a short period of time.  I must now pack, I’ll write again when I’m back in Maine.  Thanks for reading!

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  1. #1 by Mike Lovell on February 23, 2009 - 16:09

    I heard that the canals of Venice are stinky sewage filled waterways….any truth to that?

  2. #2 by Scott Erb on February 23, 2009 - 19:39

    Hi Mike,

    We’re at New York’s JFK airport, facing a weather delay. In the winter the canals don’t stink at all; in the summer they can, but compared to 20 years ago they’ve cleaned them up quite a bit — I still would not recommend a swim, but they really aren’t that bad. I haven’t been there in the hottest part of summer for a long time though, so I’m not sure what it’s like then.

  3. #3 by henitsirk on February 24, 2009 - 21:34

    Wow, those crowds do look daunting. But still, Venice! I was “una Veneziana” back when I was an SCA member, lo these many years. I’ve always dreamed of going there.

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