Sunday, March 6, 2011

Carnevale in Venice. Well done.

Ain’t no party like a Carnevale party cause a Carnevale party is… AMAZING!

This post is all about the pictures, to make up for my last post.  Enjoy the words... but really look at these photos.  It's kind of a random selection, but I hope it can capture some greatness.  I think there's about 100 on here.  I took 300 in the course of my two days in Venice.  I'll try to caption some, but many can be left to your interpretation.

I have returned from yet another magical weekend, perhaps the most incredible yet.  I was joined by 5 of my friends from ADA: Elena, Emily, Jonny, Stuart, and Morganna.

Where to begin.  We set out on a midnight train from Arezzo to Venice on Friday night and arrived around 5:30 am.   

Hogwarts Express!  Midnight train to Venice.
Even though the sun still wasn’t up when we exited the train station, I could tell that however much I had attempted to prep myself for the beauty that is this city, it wasn’t enough.  Water!  Water!  Everywhere!  Buildings on the water!  Boats!  Bridges!  All breath-taking! It actually made me really pine for Charleston and the ocean.

We hopped on the waterbus to get to our hotel, and it ended up being a very long ride.  But, one of the coolest things I realized about Venice this weekend is that public transportation is incredibly appealing!  Like, I would find excuses to go from place to place for the sole reason that I want to ride a boat again.  I won’t soon forget those first moments in the city, watching the sunrise from the boat.

We got to our hotel around 7 am, hungry and exhausted, but ready to get our party on.  Even though they had told us a 7 am check-in would not be a problem, it turned out the rooms weren’t actually ready yet and that we wouldn’t be able to check in until 3 in the afternoon.  So, we started cleaning up and nibbling granola bars in the lobby.  A few minutes later, the manager told us she had called the affiliated hotel down the street, which was cheaper and had rooms available for us now as well as breakfast.  Apparently we must have looked really pathetic because she had phoned in this favor and gotten us rooms at a discount at this other hotel, which was still very nice.  Someone came and drove our bags there for us, and we got to eat breakfast and have coffee (my first caffeine since I left the states).

Breakfast and coffee at our hotel.
We then started our costumery/make-up.  I must say, both individually and as a group, we looked absolutely fabulous.  With my new boots and a headband I had found in Florence the weekend before, I completed a rather fantastic pirate ensemble, and Morganna polished it for me by doing my make-up with Jack Sparrow-eyes and glitter.  Elena had a ringmaster persona complete with a fake moustache.  The others had wonderful make-up and accessories.  Jonny took the cake with his fake eyelashes and purple sequence hat.  People were taking pictures of him all day.  

Stuart gets ready.

Morganna was the make-up extraordinaire.

Lookin' good.

Ringmaster and Pirate... Ready to rock.

Cute dog outside our hotel.

Land bus we took to the water bus.

On the waterbus.

Yargh!  Settin' Sail!

Seriously.  I was there.

First glance of Gondolas.


Even the children get it done right in Venice.

We hit the town around 11 am, and spent hours just wandering and wading through the crowds at San Marco.  I bought a mask to go with my outfit right off the boat.  Carnevale is like Halloween but ten times better.  People are dressed up, but they’re dressed up to share and to show, not just to be slutty or kitchy.  I’ll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves.  We saw amazing sights.  I found myself almost welling up with tears sometimes at the sheer beauty of my surroundings.  Italy has had that affect on my several times in my time here.  

I think this was where I bought my mask.

Wish I could afford to eat here.

Our favorite character.  Check that purse.

We look amazing.  And we know it.
The best thing about Venice was there was no sense of needing to get to this certain attraction or go into that museum.  We really just walked and looked, and there was no need for a sense of urgency.  The whole atmosphere was incredibly crowded but incredibly chill and friendly.  No one was out to bring anyone down.  The only downside was the fact that a gondola ride was 100 Euro… Way out of our price range.

Loving this city!!!

This is a wedding we came across.  I joined the official photographer.

Jonny and I were both smitten with this Innamorato.

Master Elena's Flying Circus.

So. Many. People.

My favorite of the children.  Incredible!

We eventually decided to take the boat to Murano, famous for its glass blowing.  As soon as we got there we were herded into a glass blowing factory giving a free demonstration.  A large, crusty old man did the actual glass-blowing and made two really cool pieces right in front of us in like 5 minutes.  The guy who narrated it was very cool and took a liking to our group, namely Elena.  We were so impressed by this presentation and the pieces were so beautiful.  I bought some very nice Christmas ornaments that I hope I can get home in one piece.  After leaving the factory we went into some more glass shops and it was so hard to restrain myself from buying everything in sight.

Rankin!  There were two adorable twin boys dressed as pandas.  When I tried to take their pictures. They ran.  So, this is the best I could get for you, unfortunately.

Love this one.

Glass blowing!

Yes.  We watched him make this.  From Sand.

This is one of my favorites.  In the glass factory.

Sun going down in Murano.


We took the boat back to San Marco and decided to head to Rialto, the area recommended to us by the glassblower.  We had some sandwiches at a place that really gypped us on prices, but we didn’t let it bring us down too much.  By this point it was about 8 pm and after no sleep the night before and a full day of festivities we were wiped.  Stuart decided to stay and go to the many piazza parties that were kicking into gear, but the rest of us decided unanimously to go back to the hotel for wine drinking and chit-chat.  This was a marvelous decision.  I love getting to know this great group of folks I’m having the pleasure of living with, learning with, and travelling with.  Plus, our hotel was so clean and comfortable.

Elena at the Elena stop.  Quite funny.

Emily and Jonny: Belli.

This girl is at home at the water.

We did a bit more walking around San Marco and Rialto this morning, but had to get on the train at 1 pm to come back to Arezzo.  I’m looking forward to the week ahead.  Our first commedia unit is over, but we will be resuming it in 3 weeks.  This week we’re doing contact improv with another teacher we have coming in.  I don’t really know what it will entail. But it should be interesting.  I’m really counting the days until next week when I’ll be off to Germany to see Johanna and her family for my spring break!  I can’t wait.

Just talked to Mom and Pops.  I’ll get to chill with them in two weeks and I’m also counting the days to that. 

This weekend was so fulfilling.  Bright things ahead!!!  Onward!

Leaving you with this video of Jonny and I demonstrating our acrobatics outside our hotel in the wonderful weather.

Love and miss you all.