Last weekend I took a school-sponsored (though self-funded) trip to Venice to see the opening ceremonies of Carnevale and to experience the city. Let me start this post by stating how incredibly hard it was to select photos for this post- they were all absolutely amazing.

 
The city itself was breathtaking. We stayed in a hotel across the Grand Canal from the main festivities and thus didn’t encounter tons of tourists when we were near it. Friday night we went out to dinner and then to a bar where we met Mary Curran. Martha Stewart’s hair and makeup person. NBD or anything. Below is a picture of me with the Grand Canal in the background.

 Above, one of the smaller canals. Saturday we headed to the center of town where the main stage was set up and wandered around there for a while. Morgan and I and two other girls even got our faces painted all mask-like!

Then we headed over to infamous Murano. Below, a picture of a glass demonstration. Murano was cute- basically another island a lot like Venice.

 Morgan and I ended up staying on Murano a little longer than the rest of our group, so we met back at the hotel later to head out for dinner and the opening ceremonies.

 
Take it from someone who knows: if you’re ever considering buying a mask, buy one that ties on. The stick masks look cool but are a PAIN! I actually bought another one in Venice, but Morgan’s lost her internet so it’ll be a bit before that pic is up. Morgan and I plus Taylor and Ash, who I’ve met but never spent time with ended up breaking off from the rest of the group during the opening ceremony and heading back out. I’m sure they play was funny in Italian, but we didn’t understand it and were becoming literal human sardines!!!!!
The next morning Morgan and I headed out to explore more and had, literally, perfect timing all day long. There are no words. Anyway, we decided to walk to San Marco, and as we were walking around in the huge crowd we suddenly saw a cop ‘parting the Red Sea,’ aka making a huge open space in the middle of the crowd. We were confused for a minute… and suddenly found ourselves on the front row of a huge costume parade! Tons of people walking and showing off their costumes and masks.

It was SO cool. Then we held hands and wove our way through another huge crowd, only to just catch the lowering of the woman from the tower! A woman in a gigantic dress was lowered from the bell tower in the square. So nifty. Then we ran quickly to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. It had a great collection of art, and the house itself (which she had owned and lived in) was INCREDIBLE. It was right on the Grand Canal and had tons of rooms, the back half of which all had windows that looked out onto the Canal and her back porch, which abutted the Canal. Gorgeous. All in all, a great trip. Venice is beautiful, and is probably my favorite place that I’ve visited in Italy thus far.
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