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Steve & Heather Harris from CA

Adventures by Disney – Day 9 – Venetian Mask Making & Carnival

Posted: June 04 2014
Related Categories: Destinations Italy Resorts Disney Adventures By Disney

After breakfast at the hotel, we met at 8:30.   We a guided tour of Doges Palace.   Again, we had VIP access, so instead of waiting in the huge line, we just walked right in through a special entrance.  The Junior Adventurers had their own guided tour which included a scavenger hunt and their tour of key areas like the prison and the weapons room.  For the adults, the guide was very good.  He showed us where the Doges and the Counsel of 10 met.  He took us through the prison, which was open to the public, but most people were walking by, not knowing what they were missing.  We had time, so he also showed us the weapons room.  There were many kinds of swords, spears, guns, shields, and few other interesting things.   They had a real chastity belt.  It looked very painful to use if you tried to bypass it.  They also showed a Devils Chest.  This chest had guns pointing in every direction.  If you didn't open it right, you and anyone standing nearby would be shot.  He also explained the meaning of the iron piece on the end of the gondola.  Each curve represents something different. 

After the tour of Doges Palace, we headed to Tragicomica for our private Venetian Mask Making.  On the way there we walked through the open market with fruits, vegetables, and fish.  When we arrived, we were given an introduction to the history of the masks and how they are made.  We could then tour their shop for inspiration.  Then we went to the work shop and picked out our masks.  We had about 20 masks to choose from.  They gave us paper and pencil to sketch our designs.  They showed us the different colors, patterns, and decorations we could use including lacing, feathers, and ornamental pieces that could be glued on.  If we wanted gold or silver paint as a base, they would do that for us because it was a spray paint.  Once you had your base painted they had hand dryers that you used to dry them before you put on your 2nd coat or finer details.   We were there for 45 min or so.  Once done, we had the afternoon on our own.  We left the masks there and they were delivered later. 

Ardan and I walked around and got a sandwich at a place the guides recommended.  We walked around more and then had lunch by the Grand Canal.  We ate at Riva Del Vin.  The view was nice and the price was reasonable, but the food was average.  I would not recommend it with all of the other places with great food.

I took Ardan back to the room because he was tried and went for a walk.  It was around 4 pm.    My plan was to walk until 5 and then turn around so that I could be back by 6pm.  Around 4:45 I started to see signs for Sa Marco square so I thought I did a loop.  I walked for about 15 more minutes.  I came out at the Grand Canal and nothing looked familiar.  I started walking in the direction I thought and started getting concerned that I was going in the wrong direction.  I was able to find my way back and got back about 6:10.  It was an adventure. 

We were meeting at 7pm for our final dinner together in Italy.  We had our Carnival in the hotel’s grand ballroom.  All of our masks were there.  We were asked to put them on for a group photo.  It was interesting to see all the finished designs.  There were some really interesting ones. 

They took our dinner orders the day before.  By the way, there were a couple of vegetarians on the trip and they said they were very good with options.  They Adventure Guides knew everyone's dietary needs before they arrived.  If you had a severe food allergy, you would be fine with the planned meals. For meals on your own, I would take the guides recommendations and have them call the restaurant to make sure they know your restrictions.  Some of the restaurants we visited, didn't speak much English and others spoke good English.  With a severe allergy, you'd want to make sure that your message was clear. 

For dinner, I had tortellini with cheese cream sauce and truffles.  It was very good.  Ardan had pasta in tomato sauce. They served it in a bowl made of fried parmesan. For my 2nd course, I had chicken with roasted potatoes and vegetables.  Ardan had chicken tenders.  For desert, I had tiramisu and Ardan had gelato.  They had 3 kinds on the plate: pineapple, pistachio, and berry.  Ardan only liked the pineapple, but I though the others were good too. 

After dinner, they took 4 Adventures as volunteers.  They left the room.  They came back 10-15 min later and did a play for us.  It was very entertaining.  There was time for socializing.  They also brought a frame around and you could get family photos in the frame.  Then they had their magical moment and handed out what we thought  was our final pin.  The Adventure Guides gave us a card with a website to access the pictures.  The pictures should be up on that site within a week or two. 

After dinner we went back to the room to pack.  Our flight was out at 11:35am.  We were scheduled to meet at 8am with our bags out at 7:30.  Others had much earlier flights.  Some were out at 6am, so they had to meet at 3:30 am. 

When we met in the morning, we were met by our Adventure Guides.  By the way, you do tip your Adventure Guides at the end.  Your documents give suggestions for tipping as well as an envelope for each guide.  We gave them our tip when we met for dinner, but I imagine some give it when they meet to leave.

Before we got on our taxi, they had another magical moment and gave us our 10th and final pin. 

We had a guide who escorted us to our water taxi to take us to the airport.  Our bags were loaded onto the boat.  The boat was nice and the ride was about 1/2 hour.  We docked at the airport, but rather than walk the 7 min with all of our bags, they drove us to the terminal.  We checked in and went through security.  They have a restaurant in the airport, but we got sandwiches. 

We had a great time this Adventure.  It was a great time.  We met some great friends; had lasting memories; and will never forget it.  I highly recommend this for couples, singles, and families who are looking to get the most out of their time in Italy or any destination.  The local guides, VIP access, and special attention really put Adventures by Disney above any other tour.  Please contact is to book your next Adventures by Disney Tour.  They have them all over the world including many destinations in Europe, Costa Rica, Africa Safari, and even in the US.