Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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Budget Travel to Carnival 2012.. yes it IS possible

07.02.2012 4 Comments

Budget Travel to Carnival 2012.. yes it IS possible

07.02.2012 4 Comments

Lets face it.. visiting  the famous Venice can be quite  expensive. For those who live further away  in Italy, getting there can quite easily cost 40 euros one way on Eurostar if not more depending where you are based. Factor it being more likely a day trip and lunch, snacks, vaporetto ( water bus ) trips and you are looking at a  pricey day whether its carnival or not.

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Do I think its a must see? ABSOLUTELY, carnivale is truly a magical time in Italy and bringing a group of friends and experiencing it at least one time in your life is a wonderful experience. Venice’s carnival lasts two weeks and among the various mask and boat parades they also shoot fireworks on the final day.

carnivale venezia 2011

There are many travel options including getting your own tickets via trenitalia or going with an organized group. If you book your own train tickets be on the lookout for DEALS, Trenitalia has a great one that if you travel on a saturday allows two people to travel on the same ticket for the price of one. Link to the site here.

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The option we chose was the European study abroad organization called Aegee which organizes a day trip to the carnivale ( this year will be on the 18th of February ) for a shockingly low 27 euros roundtrip. They travel by coach bus and honestly it was a pretty comfortable ride. Everyone was European and friendly; we had no problem chatting and getting to know people. Once you get there, you are free to do as you please so we broke off into smaller groups and just toured the amazing city, snapping pics, getting snacks and enjoying a spritz or two on the way..

a sunny carnivale day in February
Giant Praying Mantis in the famous Piazza San Marco

I recommend packing some lunch and bottle of water and just opt to walk everywhere rather than taking the expensive water taxi’s or buses. We did eat dinner at a restaurant and it wasn’t as overpriced as we expected. I am not native of Venice or I would provide some suggestions. You can’t go wrong with a cheese plate.

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Want to join Aegee on their 2012 carnivale trip on the 18th? The info is here , and you normally pay at their language tandem aperitivo at the Casa della Creatività, on vicolo Santa Maria Maggiore. Its a great place to practice your italiano and enjoy a cheap dinner.

If you are looking for more local options for carnival,  try Viareggio! They also have a very famous carnival that grows in popularity every year and even has a papier-mâché parade.  It is only an hour from Florence and I may just hop on a train this year and see for myself weather permitting.

The Viareggio carnival attracts  more than one million spectators every year. This year, the five carnival masked parades are planned for February 5th, 12th 19th 21th 26th and March 3rd,  along the seaside avenues. Every evening, there are carnival celebrations in all of the city’s different quarters. The official site is here . It costs about 15 euros to go and you can pick up the train ticket at the Santa Maria Novella station in the center of Florence.

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Other famous carnival celebrations in Italy include the one in Verona on the 17th of February. Their carnival tradition has lasted over 470 years and the event marks the end of the epidemic that in 1660 killed many of the towns residents in illness and hunger. They serve gnocchi (a potato pasta) to mark their return to “plenty”. I have heard they have a nice parade so if your near to the area, pay beautiful Verona a visit.

Apparently there is an “orange throwing” carnival in the town of Ivrea, in the Piedmont region about 40 minutes north of Turin. The carnival includes a colorful parade followed by orange-throwing battles in the centre of town from February 18th – 21st. All of the details can be found here on the official site . The culminating event is the burning of the scarli (big poles, erected in the middle of each district’s square, covered with dry bushes).

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This honestly sounds like something I need to see at least once in my lifetime. Seriously, people throwing oranges at each other? That sounds AWESOME , hand over the vin brulé ( spiced wine or mulled wine ) and throw me an orange.

Needless to say have quite a variety of options for carnivale if you happen to be lucky enough to reside/visit in Italy during this time. Check out Insiders Abroad  ( an all about Italy english community website ) for some good restaurant recommendations or tips or The Florentine’s event listings which is pretty accurate and up to date.. Until then, ENJOY and don’t forget to eat frittelle and cenci.. aka carnivale dolci. 

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Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as social media manager and content editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' Moscow mule and laughs with the girls.

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  • Avatar
    Alexandra 07.02.2012 at 17:32

    Nice post! the orange throwing thing is really funny.

    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 07.02.2012 at 20:32

      i need to see it one day.. throwing oranges seems right up my alley 😉

  • Avatar
    bundleofbooks 13.03.2012 at 16:46

    This brings back memories of when I went a few years ago. I loved it!! Thanks for the great post!

    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 13.03.2012 at 16:47

      thanks for stopping by and the kind words, I love the season of carnivale in Italy and all that the festivities bring.. 🙂

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    About Me

    About Me

    Hi There!

    Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who calls Florence, Italy home for the past 11 years. I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. My bylines have appeared in Lonely Planet, Luxos Magazine, and International Living. This blog is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling and living in Italy, weekend trips around Europe, and a monthly roundup of interesting events. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!


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