Tag Archives: venice

Carnival in Venice – 23 Jan – 9 February

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Recently ranked at number 7 on Conde Nast’s most beautiful places in the world Venice is indeed a unique city.  Venice is a collection of 118 islands connected by bridges and separated by canals, running through the heart of it is the Grand Canal, on which the Venetian noble families spent fortunes building impressive Palaces to show off their wealth.

Carnival in Venice is a two week long annual festival which ends 40 days before Easter at the start of Lent. Venice’s piazzas and canals become awash with cloaked figures wearing colourful and exotic masks.  The city is filled with street performances, parades and banquets, not to mention the famous Masked Carnival Balls which are held in the most historic palaces.

This years theme is Creatum: Introducing Art and Tradition, with the aim of a rebirth of Venices ancient origins, where arts and trades are the protagonists.  With a focus of attention on mask makers, weavers, tailors and glass-makers. Another highlight is the open air theatre in St. Mark’s square which will host live musical and theatrical performances.

Embrace the spirit of Carnival with a tour of the Grand Canal Boat Tour. Seeing Venice from the water is the best way to experience it’s charms and feel its magic.  Your tour will be aboard a luxurious Ventetian motorboat with professional captain. You will cruise down the Grand Canal sipping prosecco as your expert guide explains the history of the city and the majestic palaces.

Or why not spend a day in the Prosecco region on a Prosecco Wine Tour, learning about how Prosecco is made and tasting the sparkling white wine that is outselling Champagne in the Britain.  Start you day driving through the lush hills of the Valdobbiadene area to your first winery where your Prosecco Wine Tour starts with a visit to a small family-run estate where you will taste the results of their lovingly tended 100 year old vineyards.

From there you will visit the small medieval hamlet of Follina, with it’s beautiful Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th century.  Enjoy a delicious lunch of local specialities at a local restaurant before visitng a second larger state-of-the-art winery for your second Prosecco tasting, where you will begin to understand the many variations and styles of Prosecco production.

Carnival and Prosecco – pure decadence.

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Top 5 things to do in the Veneto

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The Veneto region is located in the northeast of Italy and is most visited and celebrated for being home to Venice. Millions of people flock to the Veneto annually to visit and experience the local scene and culture. If you are interested in the Veneto beyond Venice, here are a list of things to do and not to miss when in the Veneto:

1. Visit Verona

Home to the famous Romeo and Juliet story! Verona is the region’s second largest city and is a major tourist attraction not only for its roots to Shakespeare’s greatest love story but also for fairs, events, operas, and its urban Italian architecture.

2. Visit Venice

Experience this gorgeous city of lagoons and “city rivers.” The city is like a labyrinth with many footbridges connecting to hidden Venetian squares over looking the iconic gondolas and the Venetian canals.

3. Visit Padova

Padova is home to a botanical garden UNESCO heritage site which is famous for it’s large space (22,000 square meters!) and special collections of rare botanical species.

4. Visit Vincenza

Vicenza is a buzzing city with a rich culture filled with iconic Italian squares, museums and galleries, UNESCO heritage listed villas and Renaissance palaces. Vincenza is worth a visit in order to witness Palladian Villas of Veneto and  the city’s UNESCO world heritage site at Olympic Theatre.

5. Visit Lake Garda!

Forget Lake Como- Lake Garda is a spectacular destination not only with a crystal clean swimming lake with a backdrop of the Dolomite mountains, but it has small little villages nearby that are great to explore as they are full of gelato shops, old castles, spas, markets and more. A town of touristic importance is Sirmione, which is notable for the Scaliger medieval castle.

(images from wikipedia)

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Carnival in Venice- 5 things to do for food and wine lovers

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What is Carnival? The festivities in Venice for Carnival are most famous for their festive masks and masquerade balls. Carnival is the period before the onset of the celebration of Lent and in 2014 Carnival in Venice will run from February 14th until March 4th. Historically, people celebrated Carnival to celebrate in sinful excess until Lent when they should have given up their vices for 40 days. Those sinful excesses included eating loads of meat so from a linguistic point of view, the name (in Italian, Carnevale) literally breaks down to “away with meat!” Venice explodes with color, festivity, parades and beautiful mask shows to celebrate the occasion and this undoubtedly brings thousands of visitors to the sinking city. Are you planning to visit Venice during Carnival (carnevale)? Are you a food and wine lover? Here are 5 things you can do in Venice if you are a food and wine lover:

1. Eat Frittelle! Beware, this little gems are addictive bites of heaven. Frittelle are fried sweet doughnuts ( sometimes corn meal polenta or rice used) covered in sugar and can be found plain or filled with cream custard, nutella or chocolate. Street vendors will be selling these freshly battered and fried during the cities festivities and are not to be missed for any food lover with a sweet tooth. Our personal favorite are frittelle con crema (cream filled frittelle)

2. Take a cooking class in Venice with Isabella to learn how to make traditional carnival foods like a rich meaty lasagna,  creamy gnocchi, tortelli, carnival cakes like ricotta and semolina migliaccio cake and more! Isabella will also take you on a walk of the Rialto market where you are sure to find sweet carnival delicacies from the stall owners and festive decorations adorning the city on your morning market stroll before you whip up a traditional Venetian carnival lunch!

3. Enjoy an Italian hot chocolate (cioccolata calda)! Remember, Carnival is all about luxurious excesses. In Venice, they serve a very thick hot chocolate during Carnival that is almost like pudding that could be eaten with a spoon! And you might need it- contrary to the popular belief that Italy is a country of eternally beautiful weather, it is actually quite cold especially in Venice during February! so warm up with a carnival style hot chocolate.

4. Enjoy the parades with a cup of mulled wine! Now that we have given you many gluttonous foodie ideas for things to eat during Carnival in Venice, we are now on to the drinks! Mulled wine is one of the Carnival drink specialties widely available during this time. Mulled wine is warmed red wine with spices, orange peel and sugar. Again, a very decadent way to partake in the “sin-off” before lent.

5. Drink a bellini (or 2..or 3…) Bellini is a sparkling wine cocktail made with Prosecco and peach juice. The canals in Venice might as well be filled with prosecco since the city is flowing with it. Prosecco is produced in the Veneto region (where Venice is inside of) therefore it is a widely available commodity and a sign of Venetian life. You’ll find locals snacking on cicchetti (Venetian tapas) and sipping prosecco at all hours of the day (sometimes in the morning!). Bellini is a common prosecco drink consumed during Carnival- so make sure you fit in with the locals by sipping the local juice. Interested in a Prosecco Wine Tour? That’s another great thing to do in Venice during Carnival. Not visiting Venice during Carnival? A prosecco wine tour is a great tour offered year round, perfect for wine lovers.

Need help with your trip to Venice? Whether you are traveling to Venice during carnival, we can plan your luxury vacation to Venice for any time of the year. The expert Italian travel agents at Le Baccanti can help plan your trip to Venice from A to Z with 5 star accommodation, luxury private transfers, exclusive gourmet tours, art and museum bookings, cooking classes, restaurant bookings and more! Contact us for a sample proposal for the Venetian vacation of your dreams!

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Discover the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region: Italy’s Secret Treasure

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If you’re an avid traveler who loves to discover unspoiled regions, you must visit Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This Italian gem enjoys relatively little tourist interest—nearby Veneto has twice as many visitors. However, having stumbled upon Friuli-Venezia Giulia, you will find plenty to see in this diverse and interesting region of North Eastern Italy.

Because of its proximity to Venice, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, the region is a rich blend of diverse cultural influences, and several languages are spoken. The landscape mirrors the diversity of the culture: from Collio’s rolling hills to the charming Trieste ocean views, photography opportunities abound.

Please see on our website all the tours you can do from Friuli

If you’re staying overnight, you can find lodgings in Trieste, where James Joyce and other famous writers stayed. Soak in the medieval architecture and enjoy the views of the coastline. Because Trieste was part of Austria until the early 1900s, you will notice elements of Austrian culture here.


Once dubbed the Julian Forum after Julius Caesar, the Roman-founded city of Friuli is well worth a day trip (or more). Perched on the Natisone River, the patriarchs of Aquileia kept their seats here until the early 13th century. Fruili was possessed by Venice for some time, and the architecture reflects some attractive Venetian styles. Don’t miss the Santa Maria nunnery chapel, the twice-rebuilt Cathedral, and the stunning Bridge of the Devil. To learn more about the history of the city, the National Archaeological Museum is worth a visit.

Make sure to include Udine on your itinerary. Deliciously free from swarms of tourists, this appealing town offers elegant Renaissance architecture and relaxing yet affordable seaside resorts. From here, you can travel onward by train to Venice or Austria, if the fancy takes you.

Before you leave the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, make sure you savor a glass or two of wine. This region is known the world over for white and red wines. Sample the Friuli-Venezia Giulia cuisine along with your wine, and the rich flavors and multi-cultural blends will leave you well satisfied.

Book your Friuli Wine Tour!

Whether you have only a few hours or a few days to spend in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, you won’t be sorry you made time for this too-often skipped area. The diverse scenery, captivating culture and luscious wines make it one of Italy’s secret treasures.

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