Carnivale di Venezia
Trip Start Oct 24, 2009
30Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
But in another, less theoretical, nerdy way, carnival is similar to almost any other giant street festival, only with more masks, costumes, and exclusive balls, and less flagrant public drunkenness and second-rate bar-bands on outdoor stages. Plus, it’s in Italy, which makes it significantly more awesome. And, of course, there are endless vendors selling their goods indoors and out, in elaborately illuminated kiosks or on plain blankets spread roughly on the sidewalk. It is here, ironically, where the merchants barter their carnivalesque artwork, visages, and cloaks that the masquerade ends. Here, I cannot be fooled. Here ugly is just ugly and beautiful is just that (of course, who can account for taste?). Even at carnival money has no opposite, and Tracy and I were willing to part with ours no more easily than any vendor would accept canal water as payment. Deals were deals, and we made a few good ones. During the three days and three nights we spent in Venice, Tracy and I purchased a few original oils and watercolors, and an awesome, handmade carnival mask. We ate pizza, gnocchi, pasta, and drank mulled, spiced wine (well, Tracy didn’t drink wine) to warm ourselves in the chilly Venetian night air, as we wove random patterns through the labyrinthine arteries and back alleys of the island-city
Venice is, without doubt, the most mysterious, theatrical venue I have ever experienced, especially in person. The fugitive Adriatic waters of the canals heave with drama, throwing waves against buildings in places, and in others, acquiesce contentedly with their temporary confinement. Dark, empty windows puncture the conjoined canal-side structures like a backdrop on a stage, foregrounded by wrought iron and worn stone, crumbling plaster revealing patches of brick, colorful, striped docking posts, humming water taxis, and crooning gondoliers on their polished black crafts. The festivities are rhapsodic and overblown; Venice is dignified and solemn. And the communion of the two, much in the spirit of the carnivalesque, is strangely harmonious.
More to come – stories about specific adventures and more photos.