Venice is a tourist destination for a reason. The picturesque canals and the thousands of staircases that allow you to “easily” walk around and get a good leg workout make it one of the most unique cities in the world. During Carnival however, the city is transformed into a mecca of sorts and I have noticed that the few times I have been lucky enough to attend. People ask me what to do when they are there and the best, and most logical answer I can always think of is to: A: grab a bottle of wine. B: go to Piazza San Marco C: walk around with camera and wine in hand and take it all in.
You will create your own party there but I want to share one of my best memories at carnival. While I was walking around with that bottle of wine, I found someone in one of those elaborate masks and while looking at the detail in that I noticed another person in a costume about two meters away. Was this person also in an expensive mask and dress? No they were not. This costume was a shitty looking bear that looked like it was used for Halloween when the guy was 10, he was about 40ish when I seen him, and while not wearing it for Halloween it was being run over by garbage trucks the other 364 days of the year. Despite that, he was getting people to take pictures with him just as much as the detailed and expensive masked person. That is when I realized at Venice Carnival it doesn't matter how you look, how you dress, how much money you spend or any of that. You see all the smiles and laughing and you just take it all in tell yourself your life is pretty sweet at the moment. Then take a big swig of wine and continue on exploring. You will see little girls dressed in Hello Kitty gear, Lego men and women, Dalmatian costumes, and other costumes that make you question peoples sanity.
Is it crowded? Yes. Does it smell sometimes? Yes. Will you get shit on by a pigeon? It is possible. Is it expensive? It can be a bit pricey. Is it something you need to experience in your lifetime? Without a doubt.