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Venice during Carnival

I will be going to Venice during Carnival 2009. I have been to Venice several times (not during Carnival), but this time I will be traveling with my husband, who has never been to Venice. Do you think it is a bad idea for my husband's introduction to Venice to be during Carnival? We would probably be there the last few days, and then for several days afterwards. Does the city return to normal immediately following Carnival? Or does it remain just as crowded for a little while? Are shops, restaurants, etc. open following Carnival, or are places often closed? And during Carnival itself, are things generally open? I would really appreciate any thoughts you have! Thanks!!

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