This weekend in the United States is Mardi Gras, but in Italy they have a whole other style of celebration the beginning of lent: carnivale style!
We visited Venice this weekend because it is known for the spectacular crowds and costumes for carnivale. It was completely true, however, there can never be a weekend without something going wrong. We were planning on leaving for Venice Friday morning and coming home Sunday morning, train tickets already purchased. We booked a hostel, The Venice Museum, in the middle of January ready for Carnivale; however, Thursday night we got an email cancelling our reservation because “the heater was broken”. We personally think they double booked and decided to keep the people paying more then us who had planned in advance and had a better price. So we scurried to find something, but with a group of 8 girls, it was really hard to find something affordable. We split into two groups, and the group I was in split a room on Hotwire for less than our hostel was going to be! We had to sneak two of the girls in, but we stayed at the Molino Stucky Hilton, somewhat of a replay of Budapest except for we could not even afford a cup of tea at this hotel, it was 8 euro!!!
The weekend turned out really fun. San Marco square was packed with people. There was a stage with runway competitions of people’s costumes and also a few dance performances. It was insane that such a huge event was taking place in front of historic churches and palaces. I honestly thought Doge’s Palace was going to fall down from the speakers!
The weather was amazing this weekend and the sun was out! On Saturday, there were just so many people that it was really frustrating to try and go anywhere. When we woke up to leave this morning on the train, we saw normal students like us, just sleeping in the streets of Venice. It was quite the party!
It’s been pretty nice because we now have figured out a great way to save money. We only allow ourselves to pay for one meal a day, and go to the grocery store and just buy fruit and food for sandwiches. It’s pretty awesome, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to eat any prosciutto and bread for a long time once I’m back in the states!