Carnevale in Venice
You know what the problem is with Venice? It’s too easy to take gorgeous pictures.
In Venice, Carnevale is a two week festival that ends with Mardi Gras, just before Lent starts. It used to involve quite a bit of debauchery, with people in all levels of society donning masks to conceal their identities. Now, it’s mostly a big spectacle, and the party ends at midnight every night … when Venice floods. (yes, seriously)
The first night we were there, we headed out to the main Piazza for a drag show, which was pretty hilarious. Not that I know about this kind of thing, but I think they were probably amateurs. ‘Cause the performing wasn’t particularly exceptional – but it was mesmerizing in a train wreck kind of way.
We told our friends where we were so they could meet up with us – but we didn’t know they had dressed up … so one of them played a pretty effective trick on us. He stalked me from a distance, and then circled his way closer and closer until he offered me a rose … and lightly brushed Ryan’s cheek. Ryan eventually recognized his eyes … I didn’t figure it out until he broke character and started talking. I almost fell over laughing. (Our friend is the guy in yellow on the right)
The next day Ryan and I got up early and bought our own costumes, (as you can see above) and went out into the Piazza to wander around in character.
All day, that’s pretty much what most people do. Just wander around looking at the amazing costumes, taking pictures, and enjoying the spectacle. Ryan and I were shocked to find ourselves being stopped for photos. We looked pretty good – but we were nowhere near as impressive as some of the other costumes. (Though when Ryan got in character, he definitely managed to freak me out!)
Throughout the day there were also various performances, bands, and activities going on.
By the time the evening rolled around, the rest of our friends had joined up complete with costumes.
And then we went down to the Piazza San Marco where there was music and dancing. And people who didn’t notice that the piazza was flooding into their pretty costume shoes. And people who did notice that the piazza was flooding, but they had had enough to drink that they didn’t care – so they ran through the ponds. And girls dancing around happily … until they fell into a cold dirty puddle…
The second day we went more casual with our costumes. But it was still fun to be in the spirit of the celebration. We had another beautiful, sunny day – so we walked around and saw lots more people in their crazy costumes.
It’s amazing how happy a couple days of sunshine makes you when it’s been raining all winter. I know all you guys back at home are sick of snow, but I really think that snow is not nearly as depressing as rain. You can brush it off your clothes, and it makes everything look so beautiful!
More pictures, in case you haven’t already had your fill.