This time of year brings many large celebrations, the most commonly known being Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana Fat Tuesday is February 28th); also Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (February 24-March 1), but my personal favorite is Carnevale in Venice, Italy (February 11th-28th). When I was abroad, despite having an invitation to join my Italian friends on a trip to Germany during Carnevale, I made it a point to visit Venice. The town is overflowing with costumes, artists, and live performances. When I was there, I even stumbled upon, what appeared to be, an impromptu Capoeira Jogo (I recorded the whole thing, I really wanted to join). One day I want to go back to actually dress up and experience some of the more involved aspects of Carnevale (masquerades and what-not), but that year is not now. However, in honor of this time of year, this months Mock Gathering is for Venice.
I was very tempted to look for rates during Carnevale for this, but they would be higher, and most Jedi would not be able to attend due to work and school schedules (not many holidays going on around this time of year), so I stuck to typical summer dates.
I am going to put up two locations for this one. The first is Rialto Palace in Venezia. There are 12 beds, so it could technically sleep up to 24 (though some of those “beds” are in the common area), but the price for 16 would be $174/person. Being in Venezia, there is no free parking, but neither are their roads… Italy has excellent public transportation however, so getting there is no problem.
The other location is Villa Linda in Noale. This is much cheaper, a total of $60/person (for 16, but could probably sleep more), a little bit less sleeping space as there are only 10 beds, but there is a backyard. Biggest drawback is that it is not IN Venice itself, but again, public transportation is good, and it is about halfway between Venice and Padua, another good city to visit. You could easily schedule one day in Venice, and one day in Padua.
Seriously, it is Italy. Venice (and Padua), like most other towns in Italy is rife with architecture and museums. You could literally spend an entire day doing a walking tour of the city and still not see everything. Examples:
- Basilica di San Marco
- Bridge of Sighs
- Ponte di Rialto
- Glassblowers in Murano
- Piazza San Marco
- Capella degli Scrovegni
- Palazzo Zuckerman
- St. Anthony’s Basilica
- Prato della Valle
- Botanical Gardens
You can even take a trip over to one of the other Islands, Torcello Island, for a hike to get a little activity in (other than the fact that you will be walking everywhere).
This is definitely a more laid back destination, but I think it is important for the Jedi to remember the knowledge aspect of the code, and sometimes it is worth it to go out into different cultures and just observe and learn.