Sunday, February 19, 2012

i spent this weekend in venice and viareggio at the carnevale festivities.  aka the biggest party in italy and quite possibly one of the most magical experiences of my life.  carnevale is italy's version of mardi gras, and they go wild with masquerades, dance parties, and parades.  i spent saturday in venice--a bunch of us went to the islands of murano (famous for their glass blowing) and burano (famous for their rainbow colored houses).  it was absolutely gorgeous. 
we missed the parade on the main island, but made it back in time for the festivities in the piazza san marco.  the piazza was filled with music, dancing, and crazy people running around in carnival masks and halloween costumes.  the best part was following the sound of italian reggae music to some crazy guys dressed as mice and joining in on a moving dance party up and down the little streets around san marco.

even though we didn't make it back to florence until 2am, we were still pumped for round two in viareggio.  we took a bus to the coast in the cold and rain, but when we walked into the piazza, it looked just like disney world.  palm trees, elaborate fountains, cotton candy stands, all kinds of italian pastries... and the floats.  it was like we were in a fairytale land with ginormous paper mache floats.  they came at us with music blasting, silly string and confetti flying every which way.  while the masks weren't as popular, everyone was still in crazy costumes.  it was like the biggest halloween/mardi gras party i've ever been to.  there were floats making fun of different countries and political figures, anything you could possibly think of.  the best was one of the last floats of the pope and president obama.  the dancers were dressed as priests, swinging incense, blasting 'i'm sexy and i know it' and we joined in another moving dance party behind the pope float with hundreds of crazy dancing italians.

scary zombies running at me.

pope float, pre-dance party
frolicking on the beach.  awesome end to an awesome weekend.