Right now in Venice it’s carnival!
A very festive time of the year where you can dressed up as you want and go around your town or city with your little friends throwing colourful confetti all over. I know ( apart from the confetti probably) you can have carnival every day here in the UK 🙂
But this time for us is quite special. As a child, I wasn’t used to dressing up to go to a birthday party, or simply to stay at home and play or just because. We dress up once a year, at carnival and we are all very excited, yes even adults! During these time we typically eat frittelle and crostoli, mmmh very delicious sweet treats I really miss here!
For sure you know the very famous Carnival of Venice, known for its very elaborate masks. The carnival ends forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. This year it will be right this weekend.
We went there 2 years ago with my daughter who was 3 at the time and I would recommend going with your children!
Carnival of Venice with children? Yes!
The Carnival is fun and worth to live. But I want to give you a few tips when you are going there with your kids.
Plan and book ahead of the trip. Sometimes the carnival is during half term, others, like this year, the week after. Whatever the time the flight can be very expensive if left at the very last minute, especially if it half term! So it’s a good idea to have a look around October-November. Same for the accommodation. There are people going there from all over the world and rooms and hotels are going to fill up quickly. If it’s your first flight with your little one check this post.
It’s crowded. If you can avoid going during the weekend, it would be better. If there is no school holiday, like now, well at least try to get there early. There are lots of people yes, but I found it was quite safe even with my girl. She had the space to move and run around. She was welcomed to have photos with the masks.
Can be cold. Be prepared and dress accordingly. I bought a bigger size dress for Amy so she could wear a warm jacket underneath. And remember you are around all day so you will get cold.
Check out events for kids. Sometimes there are ice rink for skating, music and dancing in many Campi (squares), there is the “flight of the donkey” to represent with irony and comedy the famous flight of the angel. You can find out what’s going on here, I’m afraid is in Italian, but you can see the time and the locations of the different events.
Leave buggies at home! I loved going everywhere with my Maclaren, so easy to move and load staff as well and sometimes I miss it! Bit Venice is not buggy friendly, especially with big crowds. There are hundreds of little bridges, small alleys, and it can be very frustrating to keep lifting it. Get slings, baby carriers, baby carrier backpacks but stay away from buggies 😉
You can walk everywhere. The best way to know Venice is by foot. If you need to get quicker to one place to another you can use the vaporetto (waterbus) but it’s not that cheap.
And for the parents?
Definitely have a glass of good prosecco. You are in the area where great prosecco is made.
Have a snack at one bacaro. In Venice, there are many bacari, old name for bar, trattoria where you can have a quick stop. You can grab a few nibbles that can be fish-based, grilled veggies, salami . . . really many delicious choices. You can’t go wrong with any!
If you haven’t tried yet have a glass of Spritz Aperol. Again this is the region where spritz was invented. Have it before dinner as an aperitif and you won’t regret it 😉
Just one more thing before showing some beautiful masks . . . Venice is truly a beautiful city but it smells. Watch out where you walk, it’s not rare to step on poos! 😉
Have a wonderful trip! And feel free to share your experience and tips n the comments below.