Headed to Venice Italy from NaplesVenice, are you ready for this?!

The plan was to travel in the late afternoon from work, and arrive at night. There wasn’t so much to do in Venice after we got there and had dinner.

We tried to find an open bar but around midnight business doors were shut, the people closed shop, and the narrow streets of the city cleared, leaving us to ponder exactly where we should go and what we should do. Beauty sleep won by majority, so we could wake early and be out the door right away in the morning, to see the city.

Venice Italy, Carnival WeekendRising just after the sun, soon we were scurrying down side streets looking for one of the main squares.

From the 9th to the 12th centuries Venice developed itself into a city state. Based on the location at the head of the Adriatic, coupled with Naval and Commercial prowess, Venice became a very large iron thorn in everyone’s side, and was near impossible to defeat because of location.  Eliminate all those pesky pirates and what do you get? A flourishing city of trade with Europe and the rest of the world.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 40
Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 2Venice was on the up and up, feeling great about art, architecture, and design. Then that moment happened where she peaked and started plummeting, mostly due to politics and fights over land (Thessolanika).

DSC02348The 15th century is when things took a turn for the worse. The black plague devastated the city twice, with over 50,000 deaths.

Napolean Bonaparte couldn’t keep his grubby fingers out of the pot, and stole Venice’s independence on 12 May 1797. After his defeat in 1814 she bounced back and forth between Italy and Austria a couple of times, like a tether ball on a rope. Finally, when enough was enough, Italy transformed into a Kingdom and took full control of the situation (1866). Venice has remained a part of Italy ever since.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 4The buildings are constructed and built on closely spaced wooden piles submerged under the surface of the water. Mostly all of these wooden blocks are still standing strong, even centuries later. The wood itself is from Alder trees, coming from what we know today as Western Slovenia. The wood was chosen for it’s resistance to water.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 5We were off in search of St. Marco’s square and would need to take a water taxi or 2 to get there. Because the canals are the streets of the city, all business is conducted by boat. There are police boats, ambulance boats, garbage barges, UPS and postal boats, sewage and contractor boats. If you call upon a service, it’s coming your way by boat.


If you are visiting Venice for the weekend then it is best to pay for the multiple day water taxi card. One ride costs 7 euro or for 25ish euro you can take as many rides as you want on a water taxi within 48 hours.

This will also get you to a couple of islands you should check out if you have time, specifically Murano. Plus with there only being water for streets, where are people buried when they die? On the way to the island of Murano you’ll pass right by the Venitian cemetery, it has it’s own island, too.

Just pay attention to the signs. Some ferry stations have digital readouts to tell you when your next boat is coming, some ferries only run during peak hours and stop running early.

One last note is that you can get a ride to the airport via water taxi from Murano. It is a separate fee which costs 8 euro but is totally worth it.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 6 Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 8Walking down a couple more alleyways, we finally started seeing signs for the square. In this maze of side streets any clues are wanted!

Church square Venice ItalyIt was easy to see exactly why Venice was one of the most influential cities of fine arts during her prime. Even today, she’s considered one of the most visited cities in Europe with an estimated 50,000 tourist per day! Wow!

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 9St. Mark’s Basilica. It’s truly breathtaking.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 10Headed towards the water.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 13 Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 17All means of transportation down here. Water taxi’s, gondola’s, ferries, paddle boards, etc.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 24You can eat lunch at a restaurant right here to the right, however the coperto is 7 euro’s a person.

For those of you who don’t know what a coperto is, that would be the table fee you are charged just to sit at a table for a restaurant. In Italy this is common, however a coperto fee is normally between 1 and 2 euro, so 7 euros per person is a crime!

The Beauty of Venice ItalyDown the way a bit, you can see a police boat all the way to the left side. One of my favorite photos of the day.


Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 14Ah, just what we were coming to find. Masqueraders decked out in fine attire, walking through the city.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 15The matching costumes were some of my favorites.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 18Some of the skirts were so poofy, they may not be able fit through certain doorways.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 21Posing on a side street. We captured photos throughout the whole day as we walked around.

Venice Italy, Carnival WeekendReally love this one!

Looking for someone over yonder.

Her ring is the most mesmerizing piece, aside from the head-dress.

Really lovely outfit with matching hat and fan.

A bit Aztec with the head piece don’t you think?

Lovely lighting on this lady.

Can’t get enough of these elaborate costumes, combined with the enchantment that is Venice.

Source: Ryan Tillman

Source: Ryan Tillman


Bellini's in VeniceIt was time for a stop at Harry’s bar, a short walk along the water. We had to order a round of the award winning Bellini’s. The perfect mixture of Prosecco, sparkling wine, and peach purée or nectar, it’s the perfect refreshment to sip when you take a break during your walk of the city.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 25Heading back out, we were now on a mission to find our own masks and costumes for the masquerade ball we’d be attending, entitled 50 Shades of Casanova.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 26 Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 23This was my favorite mask shop that we stopped in, and I was determined to find something fitting.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 29 Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 28Haha, love this mailbox.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 42 Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 432 guys dressed up like Bellini’s walking around town.

Venice Italy for Carnivale 90Sitting on a well, waiting for those other goobers in the mask shop.

DSC02400Wolf mask with a red eye.

Source: Kylie Docherty

Source: Kylie Docherty

The fab 4.

Source: Kylie Docherty

Source: Kylie Docherty

Mask decided!


50 Shades of Casanova Grand Ball Venice Italy 6Masquerade balls during carnival in Venice are wicked expensive. With dinner and a night out you’ll find tickets upwards of 450+ euro. We opted to forgo the dinner all together and pay 180 euro for the after party ball. For 2016 it was called 50 Shades of Casanova.

50 Shades of Casanova Grand Ball Venice Italy 2

Source: Chris M.

Happy to have found a costume.

Source: Kylie Docherty

Source: Kylie Docherty

At the Air Bnb getting ready for the evening. All decked out in our gear. Not everyone bought a ticket for the ball so we got ready, went out for dinner, and then went separate ways.

Source: Kylie Docherty

Source: Kylie Docherty

50 Shades of Casanova Grand Ball Venice Italy 5If you were headed to the fifty shades of Casanova Ball, then you were given the location, and in order to gain entrance you had to ring the bell.

50 Shades of Casanova Grand Ball Venice Italy 4Fire twirlers in the courtyard as you walk in.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 30

50 Shades of Casanova Grand Ball Venice Italy 3

Source: Chris M.

Everyone was finishing up dinner as we arrived. Dressed to the 9’s and ready to party.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 31A boat full of booze, literally.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 32Girl on a leash.. Don’t worry, it was part of the entertainment.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 33Upstairs, the venue was definitely some sort of castle.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 34Is this real life?

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 35They even had a dance floor, which is where we spent a majority of the evening.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 36Since we didn’t even arrive at the venue until 23:30, the party continued well into the night. We danced until after 3:30 in the morning.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 37Then it was time to head home for a few hours of sleep.


Source: Ryan Tillman

Source: Ryan Tillman

Ryan went to the top of the clock tower and took some amazing photos up there. He was even at the top when the bells started ringing right above him.

Source: Ryan Tillman

Source: Ryan Tillman

Venice from the top of the square at sunset.

We originally had an intention to get a tour of the palace, but some streets were closed and we didn’t make it in time.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 47So we stopped in for some food and were served some great home-aid pasta. Mine was with crab served right out of the shell. So good.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 38

Cassey and her menJust a bunch of dudes, + Cassey!! Everyone was heading to the airport except Kyle and I, so we decided to head over to the island of Murano.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 48Found this church on a side street in Venice while walking to a water taxi station.

Murano Italy, Island next to VeniceIn Murano, it was a bit dreary, but the island is famous for something awesome, glass blowing.

Sculpture in Murano Italy Oysters in Venice, ItalyWe stopped in for dinner and had some fresh oysters.

Soup from the Sea Murano ItalyA to die for zuppe di mare (soup of the sea) and then it was time to head to the airport, by water taxi.

Venice Italy, Carnival Weekend 39The boat has reached the dock and we are ready to fly back to Naples from here.

This article first appeared on The Cassey Excursion.