Carnevale di Venezia

After spending a weekend in the icy Swiss Alps, I thought even record-breaking low temperatures in Italy would seem warm (or at least bearable).

Venice laughed at my ignorance.

Patches of the canals were iced-over and gondolas were stowed away, but hundreds of people from across Europe still gathered in the streets, dressed in gaudy costumes and traditional Venezian masks to celebrate Carnevale di Venezia — one of the world’s most famous Mardigras parties.

My friends and I took a bus to Venice early Saturday morning and spent the day exploring the city and admiring hundreds of elaborate costumes. We bought handmade Venetian masks, and took as many food/coffee/wine stops as possible to escape the cold.

I didn’t take many photos of the city because I’ll return for a weekend in April when it’s much warmer and much more beautiful.

Shopping for Venetian masks

Even the puppies were celebrating.

We met this awesome American woman (and her annoyed British husband) in a wine bar.

When evening fell, we headed toward St. Mark’s Square to join the main party in town. We didn’t plan to stay long (our fingers and toes had been numb for hours), and after a few songs and photos, some of the girls began leaving to find refuge in a bar. I trailed behind, dancing, when a reporter grabbed my arm and asked if he could film my friends and me.

Well, when in Venice!

We danced to three more songs beside the man while he did a live stand-up for a news channel in Russia. After our 15 minutes of fame, we grabbed a quick dinner and hot wine, ran back to the square and danced until we had to catch our bus home.

Erika and I

Confetti is still falling out of my clothes!

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