What better excuse to go to Venice for Carnivale than to celebrate your flatmate’s birthday? This past Friday, Laura, Sara and I jumped on an evening flight for the weekend. Last time I had been to Venice was over 8 years ago when I studied abroad. The city was just as I remembered, and I was absolutely mesmerized all over again by its beauty and simplicity.. it’s so unbelievably romantic. When we weren’t navigating down one winding, narrow alley after another, we would sit outside in the sun on a terrace for a refreshing aperol spritz or gelato. We walked nearly 9 miles both days, which we figured warranted trying all the local foods. Favorites included frittole (fried doughnuts) from Tonolo, fried meatballs from Ca' d'Oro –Alla Vedova, fried mozzarella and sardine sandwiches from Rosticceria Gilson (sensing a theme here?), yogurt flavoured gelato from Grom..you get the idea. On our last night, we met and spent the evening with some locals. They brought us to several bars completely off the beaten path and in Venetian fashion, we bar hopped. We would get a small glass of wine or half pint, and have small plates at each so as to sample the best. Three genuinely amazing spots included Taverna Al Remer where we enjoyed prosecco on the dock right by the canal, the cozy Timon Bar with its timber ceilings, and Ai Promessi Sposi, where enjoyed the cabernet house red for a mere 1 euro a glass, along with a plate of artichokes and octopus. La dolca vita!