So I have now been in Italy for a week and true to form, Steve has already filled my week/weekend with events. I’ll start with my favorite: Venice Carnivale.
Since I was a kid I have had this romantic fascination with Venice’s Carnivale. What’s not to love about old fashioned ball gowns, getting your hair and makeup done, and wearing a beautiful mask?! It doesn’t hurt that it’s staged against the backdrop of Venice’s mysterious, winding streets. I was afraid that since it’s winter, Venice would be ugly and less magical. I was very wrong! The streets were as winding and confusing as ever (not to the point where you were REALLY lost, we DO still have GPS in our phones), with busy streets and the quaint little shops selling gorgeous masks costing as much as €300.
There were also many stands selling less expensive masks (hint to my friends, I decided these would make great gifts). Since it was Valentine’s Day, Steve and I headed to the St. Lucia area where our train would eventually leave from to take us back to Pordenone. We stopped in at a full restaurant and were told there would be two open seats shortly. We ordered risotto, a turkey dish, and two dishes that are said to have originated (or at least be specialized) in Venice: sarde en saor and Venetian liver. The liver is pretty self explanatory, and the sarde en saor is fried sardines, dipped in partially fried onion with pines nuts. I tried all of the dishes, but to be honest, Steve ate almost all of the sardines and liver. At least I tried right?
I would say my first Venetian Carnivale was a success and I had a wonderful night wandering the streets, seeing the people dressed in costume with masks.