Small head and shoulders photo of us in mask and costume

Taking part in the

Venice Carnival


About the carnival


1. Costume
2. Sightseeing
3. Who goes there?
4. Impolite people
5. Carnival themes
6. Weather
7. Carrying things
8. Where & how
9. Mutual respect
10. Have fun!

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2. Don't expect to do any sightseeing!

Being in costume doesn't cause people to give you undue attention. Well, that's not entirely true. OK, people don't laugh and point, because it's Carnevale and just about anything goes. But the moment you emerge from your hotel room, you become a photo opportunity for lots of tourists. Don't expect to sit quietly at a pavement cafe sipping coffee!

Don't worry - it's not a bad thing.

Two characters in costume pose for the small crowd of tourists that have gathered around them. The caption reads: Crowds can gather - it means they like you! Lots of people don't dress up themselves, but come along just to see the people who do. So there will be people coming from all directions, pointing cameras at you. This is strangely reassuring after a while, as when you take that first step in costume, you feel - well - rather uncertain as to whether you fit in. The truth is, you fit in no matter what you're wearing (because it's Carnevale and anything goes!).

The majority of people - whether in costume or not - are engaged in the carnival atmosphere and will enjoy taking your photo. We got snapped as soon as we stepped off the water bus, and the lady photographer made a nice comment about our costumes. We relaxed a fair bit after that, and the rest was plain sailing.

There will be plenty of others in costume being photographed, so you'll by no means be alone. But because of the crowds that can form if you stay in the same place for too long, don't expect to sit quietly and admire the scenery. And when you're moving, don't expect to go anywhere fast!

On the next few pages, we'll tell you how this feels, and why it should add to your enjoyment of the occasion, instead of being a major hassle. But the biggest tip about sightseeing we can give is this: leave some time aside in your trip for sightseeing, and do it in your normal clothes!

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