Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Gadget: Currency Convertor

There's a new gadget in the links sidebar: a currency convertor. Check it out--although you may not be happy to see that the dollar doesn't buy many euros. However, it's a great reason for our Venetian friends to visit the US.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Record Crowds at Carnival

It's all over for this year's carnival. From experience, I know the drunken roar of the crowds has instantly and mysteriously ended. Venice is probably very silent now that Lent has begun. I could almost hear the city sigh... According to news reports, carnival was a great success this year. Here's an article about the record-breaking crowds:

"A record 140,000 people crowded St Mark's Square and the narrow streets of Venice over the weekend as the city's carnival prepared to draw to a close with Tuesday's traditional Mardi Gras celebrations.

Organizers said the attendance rate, aided by sunshine, was the highest in recent years and spoke of this year's edition as 'a great success.'

'We hadn't seen these kind of crowds since the early 1990s,' a spokesman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Monday.

During the weekend, organizers awarded the Best Mask of 2007 to a German woman, Tanja Schulz, who paraded through the streets of Venice dressed up in an 18th century hot-air balloon costume.

The Venice Carnival ends on Tuesday with La Mascherata, a masked pageant in St Mark's Square, and a Marching Bands Collision, in which Latin American bands will play on the go, bumping into Scottish bagpipe players in the process.

Celebrations are due to be wrapped up with a high-tech pyrotechnic display, in which the bangs of fireworks will be replaced by synchronized music controlled by a computer.

The opening song of the show is to be John Lennon's pacifist hit Imagine.

This year's edition of the carnival was dedicated to Carlo Goldoni, a popular Venice-born 18th century playwright."

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Monday, February 19, 2007

Last Day of Carnevale

Closing Fireworks for the last day of the 2007 Carnevale start tomorrow night at 23:00
Place: Riva degli Schiavoni
Grand Fireworks Display and Music from the 2007 Carnival
Partcipation costs: Free

Send photos if you go!

Springsteen, Sting and Others in San Marco Concert

First seen on the web on

Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, and maybe Andrea Bocelli. These are the stars that in June could be in St. Mark's Square for two very special concerts for "Emergency", an humanitarian association directed by Gino Strada. The days are already fixed: Friday June 29th and Saturday June 30th. But the cast of the shows isn't completed. Lots of rumours about two others events: Sir Elton John that could play in St. Mark's Square in June and Maestro Ennio Morricone that will be in front of the Basilica on September 10. No tickets are available at the moment but soon we'll inform you about this marvellous Venetian Summer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

10,393 Miles Away!

If you look at the bottom of the page, you may see a little icon for Sitemeter, which counts visits to Weird Venice. I love looking at it to see where visitors live.

Tonight my longest long-distance visitor comes from Melbourne, Victoria! 10,393 miles away from my desk. Thank you. I am thrilled to have someone from so far away drop in to read my blog. One of these days I'll skip a trip to Venice and come visit you! Thanks.

Updates: Renting an Apartment

The photo is taken from the window of Ca' Gondola, which is mentioned below.

Recently, I’ve been looking at some of my older posts and decided it was time to follow up on a few of them. Tonight, I'm starting with Views on Venice.

A number of years ago, I read about "self catering" or rental apartments. I'd been to Venice twice and was anxious to be more than a tourist on my next visit. So, I turned to the internet, which was still in its early days. No TripAdvisor, no Expedia, no SlowTravel. I was pretty much on my own.

After some searching, I found Views on Venice and Ca' Giulia --the best apartment I have ever rented. I've had the pleasure of staying there twice and dream about renting it again.

Since then, I've rented Ca' Vidal (directly across from the Academia), Ca' Belle Arti, Ca' Gondola (you'll never find a better view!), and others. I have never been disappointed.

Why the update? Because I've been meaning to write about something that happened to me in December. I left work late and missed my train. I usually have a book to keep me company, but that night I was bookless. So I went to the newsstand to find something to read. I picked up the December 2006/January 2007 issued of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel because on the cover they were advertising: "Renting an apartment in Venice." Sold!

I got on the train and settled down to read about apartments in Venice. Imagine my surprise when the first thing I saw was a photo of "my" bedroom in Ca' Belle Arti! It's a nice article--check it out. The online version is interesting, but the magazine version has more pictures.

Congratulations, Filippo and everyone else at Views on Venice. And thanks for all you've done to make our visits to Venice memorable!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Carnevale Starts! February 9 to 20, 2007

A few years ago, I finally made my way to Venice for Carnevale. What I remember most is that the noise from the drunks in Campo San Stefano that kept us awake all night (we were renting this great apartment), the car in the campo and the snow. We didn’t attend many of the events, but had a great time exploring the deserted parts of the city.

Being in Venice on Ash Wednesday, the day after Carnevale, was amazing. A snowy hush quieted the city. The crowds had instantly disappeared, as if Harry Potter had waved a magic wand and spirited them away. We were treated to a sleepy (hungover?) city. We were accepted as people who were in Venice because they loved Venice—not because they wanted to join the drunken hordes.

So if you’re going to Carnevale, have a great time! Please quiet down in the wee hours of the morning so the other folks can sleep. Pick up your trash. Don’t clog the bridges. And stay over for a day or two after the party ends. You’ll be glad you did!

I took the photo from the window of my apartment. It's the car that had been displayed in Campo San Stefano. I took the photo on the day after, when they were loading the car to take it away.

To see the program of events, go to You'll also find the following story about Carnevale:

The Carnival is Venice!
It is going to be like a gigantic chariot drawn by a thousand horses, accompanying guests and Venetians through the streets of Carlo Goldoni and his company, now three centuries old.

Its name? Carnival!

It will be a voyage of discovery in a fantastic world, made of music, theatre, games and magic. A whirling universe where people from every country can experience the jokes, the masks, and the make-up. Where you can play hide and seek, then reveal yourself and...amaze.

You will return to the truth of “Carnov├ál,” magic and enchanting, to forget what you don’t like, don’t need, or don't want.

The Queen will be disguised. She will astonish her people and make men and women from all countries fall in love with her, through colour and coyness.

History, tradition, emotion, will be offered with mock modesty and immense allure.

Venice, Carnival, a single soul, a single idea ...undivided.

“Is Venice the Carnival ? No gentlemen, pardon me: Carnival is Venice!”

If you go, have a great time. Send photos and stories to me.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Little Foggy Tonight

It's a bit foggy tonight (this is from the San Marco webcam). Can you spot any pigeons?