Venice for Carnevale

Nov 10th, 2004, 06:16 AM
  #1  
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Venice for Carnevale

I am considering going to Carnevale this February. I would like an idea of how crowded it gets and if this will impact transportation to and from the main island (a tourbook warned me about the crowds). Will I have difficulty catching a flight home from the Venice airport if I leave on the Sunday morning before the final Tuesday? Which day are more crowded: the final Tuesday, or the Saturday and Sunday prior to Tuesday? Are the crowds uncomfortable? Which day(s) are the best during Carnevale (and why)? Any info/advice would be apprecated!
tina007 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 07:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Venice gets very crowded during Carnivale - especially on the weekends. Most of the crowds will be where there are events - so if something is in the program for Piazza San Marco, and it is a Saturday, you can bet it will be very crowded. It can be uncomfortable getting around in certain areas of the city.

During the week it is not so bad, and if you stay out of the center of things (out of San Marco, no where near Rialto) you'll find yourself wondering where all the people are.

The final Tuesday is a big party day - the crowds are not as intense, but there are lots of people drinking in the campi and the streets.

I don't think you'll find it difficult to get to the airport Sunday morning.
rialtogrl is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #3  
 
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I've written about Carnevale several times here. The search function provides a plethora of experience and information.

For obvious reasons, the weekend before the final Tuesday is mayhem. If extremely large crowds and long lines of people going nowhere don't bother you, then this weekend might be fun. It certainly will be unlike anything you've ever experienced before. Personally, I avoid San Marco on that final weekend, as many of the costumed wonders do.

The secret of Carnevale is to come early and get out before that final weekend. The reason: Most of the folks who spend thousands of dollars on their costumes want to be photograhed. The photography aspect of this event is more controlled in its early stages, when the crowds are easier to tolerate and don't get in the way as much. I've noticed on several occasions that the best costumes were gone by the last weekend, although a few really great costumes suddenly appear just for that weekend. But, these participants never end up on a post card because you can't capture them alone without thousands of people in the image.

Getting to and from San Marco is a major challenge at the height of Carnevale. If you depend on the Vaporetto to get you back to your hotel, you can expect two boats to pass before you get on one, which can translate to one-hour in line on a freezing cold deck.

Trying to get over the Accademia and Rialto Bridge can take 30-45 minutes on that final weekend. The train station is a nightmare.

I won't hesitate to do Carnevale again but I would plan my trip very carefully. If I stayed for that final weekend, I'd stay at any hotel on the Grand Canal nearest San Marco. With no bridges to cross and no need to walk near the Rialto, one can manage the madness.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 07:23 AM
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I was there last year. All of the above poster's comments are highly accurate. We stayed at the Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal, very well located for the event, and were very happy we did.

It snowed on and off for the three days were there and was very cold, windy and damp. This meant that public transportation was even worse!

It was interesting but we would not do this again.

kfusto is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 08:00 AM
  #5  
 
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Second pretty much everything the above posters said. We were there on a day trip on the Saturday before the final Tuesday.

I remember two specific things about that day. Me telling my spouse never again on this day and two, a rather drunken American(or possibly Canadian) complete with beer in hand telling a Police Lady who was trying to keep people from stopping on the bridges "wow, what a place, boats in the streets and traffic police directing people on the sidewalks!!"

But I have to disagree with the part about getting photos on the weekend. We were there early(probably around 8am) and got plenty of good pictures before the crowds arrives, ecspecially since there was still some early morning fog over the water to use as a background.

Even once the crowds began, we got some wonderful head shots of the costumes by kneeling down and using buildings like the Doge Palace as the background.
princess_01ca is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 01:14 PM
  #6  
DRJ
 
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I've been to carnevale twice and have witnessed the mild rowdyness and impenetrable congestion. Its wonderful.
DRJ is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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The photography I mentioned referenced "professional" only (ie: magazine/corporate financed for publication). Of course every
Tom, Dick, and Gladys with a camera set to automatic will be happy as can be and carry on until the brutal end.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Nov 15th, 2004, 09:20 AM
  #8  
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Thanks to all for your comments, especially NYC's advice. It seems logical that attendees with expensive costumes would not want to subject themselves to the crowds. We have booked the flight - in on Saturday 1/29 and out on Tuesday 2/1. We got a great deal on a hotel (very close to St. Marks Square) through Venere.com - - Can't wait to go!
tina007 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2004, 09:46 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Hi Tina,
I will also be in Venice during those dates (but arriving on Friday). Will you get costumes or go to one of the Balls???
sfarah is offline  
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