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If I go to Venice, Italy during carnival (somewhere between mid-January and end-February), should I expect anything special, like eg.

  • herds of tourists? - OK, I know, that's Venice, so, more tourists that usual?
  • any special "carnival" events?
  • people wearing carnival masks around?
  • higher prices than usual (rest of year)?
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Did you check the standard websites first? Wikipedia. I'm a bit surprised though that the WikiVoyage article on Venie has nothing to say about the event at all! –  hippietrail Oct 12 '13 at 9:31
    
@Tschareck plese consider to choose one of the reply as accepted if fits your needs... –  Ale Nov 4 '13 at 15:01
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Yes MANY more tourists than usual.

You can also expect very cold weather, sometimes sunny, sometimes not, but always cold and windy.

Better to bring a camera that looks less amateurish than traditional tourist compacts. Masked people expect to attract photographs and to appear later in newspapers, magazines or websites. This is a game between masked people and photographs. If you want to play, you have to differentiate from regular tourists.

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The Carnival is a huge thing in Venice with lots of related events in and outside the city.
The city is going to be very crowded and you may want to book in advance if you want to find accommodation inside the city. Prices are higher, too. Another option I usually consider when going to Venice is sleeping in Treviso or Padova (or other city nearby) which are very close and well connected to Venice. It's not ideal but it could be a good option if you can't find a place or can't afford one.

You will find a lot of people wearing masks but the Carnival is not as "static" as it seems from all the pictures you may have seen around. It's very lively with a lot of small concert around the city and, if you are lucky, you may even bump into some original "veneziani" singing and playing traditional songs.

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Here you can find lots of info about the Venice Carnival: carnevale.venezia.it

In the programme you can check the events. It is easy to find many masks in the city during those weekends.

In Carnival period Venice is more expensive than the rest of the year so I suggest you sleep in Mestre (the part of Venice on land) to save some money. You can easily arrive in Venice on many trains, or by bus in ten minutes.

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