What better way is there to spend Valentines Day than in Venice Italy!?
We decided to take road trip with a few stops along the way to experience a really awesome weekend!
It just so happens that in 2015, it was also Venice Carnevale!
In 2016, this is not the case but you can still catch both as Carnivale ends less than a week before Valentines Day.
Carnevale 2016 ~ JANUARY 23 – FEBRUARY 9
During Venice Carnival, the streets are filled with masked men and women with glorious costumes! Rumor has it that people sometimes spend $20k or more on their costumes!!!!
Isnt that crazy!!
It puts Halloween to shame in regards of dressing up! Just walking around and watching the costumes is amazing!
If you don’t feel like spending a years worth of mortgage payments on your costume, you can find hundreds of thousands of masks to choose from throughout the city.
There are more stores than I can count selling handmade beautiful masks you can either wear or take home for souvenirs that are a little more pricey. You can also find masks throughout the streets in stands and shops as well.
Take your pick, there are so many different ones, you may not see anyone else wearing the same mask!
We bought two less expensive ones to wear around and two hand-made ones to take home and hang on the wall. ( We waited until right before we left. You don’t want to be stuck carrying them around all day or night especially in the crowds.)
There are a lot of events going on throughout Carnevale…
They have costume contents which are a lot of fun to watch in St. Marks Square. Theres the canal parades called Feste Veneziana, lots of music, fancy dinners and parties, and not to forget the Nights Arsenale fireworks.
Anyways, the list goes on for several pages. You can see the exact events taking place on the official Carnevale website.
You can rent a costume if you haven’t gone all out making one of your own and attend a dinner or party which all look amazing!! We did not do any of these on our trip in 2015 and probably will not this year either because we did not really plan for it in the budget of the trip, but if you are able to do it, seriously go for it!! ABC television named one of them the top 10 things to do in a lifetime! And sign up now as fast as you can before they book up. You can pay hundreds and hundreds for the last slots as the cheaper ones go first of course.
Don’t forget about Murano and Burano. We did not make it there last time but I fully plan on going on the next visit which may be within in the next few weeks. The shops are mostly closed in the winter, but that just means less crowds and a more peaceful viewing experience of the gorgeous canals and colors! During the summer, these islands will be fully open with lots of potential shopping!
What was my favorite part of Venice you ask??
The Gondola of course!!
It was about 80 bucks for a half hour. You can share the gondola with another couple and split the price but it was Valentine’s Day and we didn’t think that was very romantic so we took it just for the two of us.
So we climbed our way into this romantic little thing.. ( actually its a lot bigger than I thought it would be ) and this guy took us from the little canals to the Grand Canal and back in through some other little canals, giving us a history of the area and… singing!
I’m not sure if the singing is something they all do but it was a really cool touch to the ride! The ride was so peaceful and beautiful. I would do it again in a heartbeat! We loved it!
And this guy was awesome….
Inside or Outside the city?
If you want to stay inside, close to the canals, you probably won’t find a hotel under 200 euro a night and I am being very optimistic, especially during Carnevale. You can checkout airbnb.com though and possibly find something cheaper that is cute and cozy.
If you are ok with staying outside of the city I would recommend checking out the Country Club Country House.
This is where we stayed in 2015 and it was really cozy and the woman of the house Rosie I believe her name was, was so super nice!! It is set up like a hotel and there is a restaurant downstairs. If you have a car, you can drive to the Venice Casino just down the road and take a shuttle for free into the island of Venice.
During the warmer months, the hotel also has a boat shuttle to all the islands ( Venice , Murano and Burano ) which is really cool and I would want to stay there in the summer sometime. It has a pool as well overlooking the water.
We paid under 50 euro a night here. Not to mention its much more convenient if you have a car than trying to find parking on the island when you stay on said island! There is one parking garage and I believe it’s mostly filled with residents.
As for food….
I don’t have any specific recommendations but I will say, don’t waste meals on the fast street vendors where are so many beautiful charming looking restaurants throughout the city. Use the opportunity to sit in one and enjoy some venetian cooking!
After dinner, take a stroll around the city. Its beautiful at night and we found a cool pub with live music outside for a perfect end to our night.
Venice is an amazing place to visit any time of the year, so don’t be turned off by the cold weather in Jan-Feb because Carnival is a must see! Maybe I’ll see ya there for Carnival 2016!