What’s the text of the operetta? “Get into the gondola and enjoy the ride …”
So head on to Venice for carnival and immerse yourself in the world of colors and opulent robes from another era.
The word, by the way, is composed by „carne vale“ and means „farewell from the meet“ (until end of the fasting period).
You feel like the member of a show group when driving southbound to Italy with a suitcase full of costumes. No question: if you want to trace the special atmosphere and 800-year history of robes and masks, a visit of the lagoon city without disguise or a fancy dress would be only half as exciting.
As the night train rattles along, I rethink our creations, which are more practical than glamorous. For all romance, a classic-ruffed hoop skirt is quite bulky and depending on the weather more a floor sweeper than an eye-catcher.
Besides the classic Venetian masks and the masks of the commedia dell’arte (best regards from poet Goldoni) you’ll find more and more fantasy masks. And finally, a half mask has the advantage that you can eat and drink without removal and so to retain your identity. Incidentally, the long beak of the pest-mask originally served to fill in camphor-soaked wipes to neutralize the virus as good as possible when breathing.
Well, the weather in “La Serenissima” is just perfect and it promises to be a nice and sunny Saturday. Although Sunday is the main day, but then Venice is so crowded that you can hardly move. By the way, at the time of famous Casanova the Carnival season lasted several weeks.
Traditionally it starts when a white pigeon made of paper-mache is drawn from the campanile to the Doge’s palace followed by confetti shower.
This year it will take place from February 03th till February 13th, 2018.
At around 11.00 am, we, dressed as noblewoman and noble husband, start in the direction of the Cannaregio quarter with its picturesque authentic craft shops. For example one of the last brocade weavings (the daily output on these historic looms are only 2-4 cm).
Carnival in Venice takes place in all known squares, in the courtyards of the palaces, in the streets and on the canals, where disguised people celebrate, sing, dance and have fun during day and night – a festival of all senses.
The presentation of the beautiful masks and costumes nowadays is more important than the purpose of hiding. See and be seen; eyes behind the masks meet each other or look sullen … and to our surprise, cameras are also aimed at us. Automatically you slip into this honorable role, become part of the scenery and stride with greetings or posings towards the crowd.
In the direction of San Marco respectively in front of the marvelous palazzi-scenery, the professional costumes dominate the promenade; as a local of course you present yourself in style and best shape.
Time flies by and we enjoy every moment. Traditionally, “Fritelle” (fried dumplings) are eaten at Carnival, but we opt for an octopus-risotto with a sparkling Friulano wine … and take a Bicerin (layered chocolate, coffee, milk froth) on the Piazza San Marco in the Cafe Florian before we visit a festive evening-event.
Like Goethe says “Hold on the moment because it is so beautiful” …. but pictures tell more than 100 words, … once in a life you should not miss this spectacle.
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