Sunday, February 14, 2010
Venice in February
It is not the Invasion of the Giant Gnats,
It is just a creature in a far corner of the Piazza San Marco, scaring the little children and delighting all.
Il Gazzetino, the local newspaper, reported this morning that only 120,000 people arrived by bus yesterday for the last days of the annual Carnivale, approximately 119,000 of whom stepped on my feet and shoved from the front and the back and the side as we all strived to dance from point A to point B at a snail's pace in the narrow calles and streets.
It was the most exciting human contact I have had for months.
If you decide to stop for cafe, the view may look something like this the one at an angle looking out onto a tiny square near the fish market.
The scene has been madness.
It has been much less and much more than I expected.
Yesterday, San Marco was bursting with opera and cameras and children and drag queens.
The children are dogs or Spiderman or witches.
The cameras are all digital SLR's with enormous telescopic lenses. Everyone and her sister is posing as a famous foreign correspondent.
I have found it a great mistake, at least on my part, to smile approvingly at the drag queens, who in their fabulosy get-ups and heavy beards barely masked by their make-up take all pleasantries as a come-on. Ah well, it is always nice to be considered...
Historically, Carnivale was a grand excuse to indulge many passions, aided by outrageous covering disguises.
Is this still the case?
With the welcome and welcoming sunlight, the facade of the Pieta and the domes of the Basilica shine ever bright and beautiful.
Away from the crowds, Venice life continues at its stately pace.