Venice is one of the best cities I have ever visited to start walking without any clue where you are going. Chances are even if you do have an idea where you want to go, you are going to get lost. Enjoy the adventure, some of best parts of Venice you may only discover while you are lost. On the flip side, if you see something in a small store that you are thinking about buying, saying you will come back later might be dangerous, because you may not be able to find the place again. Still enjoy getting lost, and go to parts of the city that may not be the most popular with the masses.
This is a major landmark in Venice. The Rialto Bridge spans across the Grand Canal and is heavily used by many pedestrians to cross from one side to the other. On the bridge itself there are a lot of shops and stands that sell gifts and souvenirs. The bridge can become crowded at times.
Ok so you can't go in but you can at least get a look through into the boat area from near the towers and as you cross over the bridge.
When we visted there was not a lot to see actually - no boats there. There is a small boat museum just as you approach on the right hand side
You get another peep into the arsenale on the opposite side - a quick passing shot on the boat. Used to be able to walk the pathway here but no longer. We just caught sight of some boats to be used for the Storica Regatta in a few days time in Sept 2005 visit.
The illusion of being someone else
The whole city becomes colorful and spectacular when the citizens celebrate their Carnival.
The Venice Carnival is one of the most famous celebrations, not only in Italy but worldwide, it has nothing to do with other Carnival celebrations, such as the carnivals of Brazil.
This pagan festival is an elegant and distinguished party, with its attendant tradition of mask-wearing, has existed since the 13th century, but the tradition began to be held in the early fourteenth.
For centuries, they have dressed up in colorful costumes with the typical Venetian masks.
The mask has a long tradition: for ten days a year, everyone can put it on and allow to the illusion of being someone else.
The significance of the mask is the proved in the Comedies of Carlo Goldoni too, where the masks play an important role always. But more exciting thing (5-10 €), if you have a street carnival mask painted by beauticians for yourself, which suits your character.
The disguises are however very expensive (2000-3000 €). Most of them are the property of the city or one of the local clubs, but it is possible to lend them, the 24-hour rental ranges between 400 and € 600
Venice got the title of the City Carnivals in the 18th century only. In that time it was not so unusual that courts of European kings and princes took part in the Carnival, in order to have a good time at the city's squares and on its streets, in the casino and in theaters and they spent large fortunes.
For example in 1869 also the Emperor of Austria, Franz Josef took part in the Carnival incognito under the name of Count of Falchenstein.
When the republic has fallen, the carnival became forgotten. The tradition came true in 1979 and again today already one of the world's most popular events.
The most magical night of the carnival is held at the Pisani Moretta Palace. This palace on the Grand Canal, located between Campo San Tomà and Campo San Polo is one of the most beautiful palaces frescoed by outstanding Venetian artists such as Giambattista Tiepolo, Jacopo Guarana, Gaspare Diziani. There the prestigious masquerade ball, the "Mascheranda" is held. Everything is set in the 17th century.
The Venice Carnival is one of those parties to which you should assist at least once in a lifetime.
Shoes for Getting Lost!
Comfortable shoes are the most important thing you can bring for walking around this city. It takes a long time to get from point A to point B here, because there's never a straight line (street) between two points. You'll always be wandering around and around, on uneven ground and up stairs and down. It's the only city in which I've ever had a hard time finding places, even with a good map, so I ended up walking around a lot more than I originally planned. My feet were screaming a few times.
I guess if I were a shoe person I'd have put this picture in the shopping tips, but I think if I had shoes like some of these in Venice I would've killed myself! (okay, maybe not, but I would have been very unhappy!) Insect repellant is a good idea for at night, too. There is a lot of water around here, after all.