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Venice Carnevale--how mobbed is it the first week? Is it anything like US Mardi Gras?

Venice Carnevale--how mobbed is it the first week? Is it anything like US Mardi Gras?

Nov 7th, 2003, 08:52 AM
  #1  
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Venice Carnevale--how mobbed is it the first week? Is it anything like US Mardi Gras?

I found a VERY cheap deal to Venice in February (these abound), but I just realized that it's the weekend of Feb. 6th, which is the beginning of Carnevale. How crazy is it the first week? Will touristy things be open, and if so, will they be overrun by carnival-goers? We were kind of looking forward to a more serene Venice, having only been there during the summer. If you've been to Carnevale, esp. the first week, please let me know how it was. Thanks.
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Nov 7th, 2003, 09:10 AM
  #2  
DRJ
 
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I've been to Venice for Carnevale twice. It is crowded, hectic and wonderful. Terrific costumes, smiling people and miscellaneous weather. I'd go again, for sure.
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Nov 7th, 2003, 09:21 AM
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Thanks DRJ. I'm wondering specifically if anyone has been during the opening week. It seems this could be terribly crowded, but I've read in other threads that it all builds up to the last week, which is supposedly when the crowds really cram in. If anyone has been there the first week, please share your experience! Thanks.
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Nov 7th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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I've never been to Mardi Gras but Carnevale was amazing. We were there over one of the busier weekends- I can't remember at what point it was- but there was a big street party in the main piazza the Saturday that we arrived. It was very crowded, you won't encounter a serene Venice. The mob at the train station the day we arrived was insane. But it is not trashy in any way-nothing like what I've heard of Mardi Gras- just a lot of people, lots of amazing costumes, and a festive atmosphere. I think it is a great opportunity to be there while Carnevale is going on, it added a lot to my experience. But if you are looking for a quiet and romantic getaway then you won't be pleased.
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Nov 7th, 2003, 10:30 AM
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It's very busy...I never really look forward to it and sometimes I just stay home all day

Still, it's interesting to see the costumes (most look too much alike though), especially if you've never seen the carnevale before. There are usually even bigger crowds in the final week between jeudi gras and mardi gras!

Federico
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Nov 7th, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Hi mp, I was there the first week the year before last and it was wonderful. It is crowded enough to be lively but not overcrowded.
The crowds come in the end of the week before that Tuesday, we left on the Saturday and the crowds were streaming in from the train station as we were leaving.
I think it is a magical time to be there and adds another dimension to the city. At night walk over to S. Marks and watch the parades of costumes, during the day the models pose in front of various sites for photo ops. In the restaurants they often have costume parties which you can join (for a fee) or just watch.

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Nov 7th, 2003, 11:38 AM
  #7  
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Well, I just booked the trip! Very excited. We'll be staying near the station so we'll be at a small distance from the crowds probably. Thanks for the info everyone.
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Nov 7th, 2003, 01:04 PM
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I've never been to Mardi Gras, but have heard many stories. For me, the big surprise at Carnevale was the absence of rowdy drinkers. It was very crowded but the crowd was pretty mellow. So many of the people in costume never even speak. It was a great experience.
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