Throughout the month of February Italians celebrate ‘Carnevale’ and across Italy celebrations take place.
Viagreggio, a seaside town not far from Pisa also celebrated Carnevale in style with a parade and floats. However, we ventured to Venice for Carnevale, the most traditional location of all.
Carnevale is a medieval celebration, and today is characterised by locals and people from all over the world dressing and parading the streets of Venice. It traditionally marks the 40 days before lent, in which many Christians would give up meat.
Carnevale is usually depicted with images such as these.
Today however, people dress up and perform rituals that would have occurred in the Medieval period.
I was fortunate enough to be in Venice for the opening for the ‘Volo del Angelo’ – the flight of the angel.
Every year Venice holds a contest with twelve local girls, and the winner gets to ‘fly’ from St Marks Campinelle down to the stage for the opening of carnevale dressed in traditional dress.
The rest of the celebration occurs in St Marks square, a square which Napoleon is quoted to have named the ‘ballroom’ of the world for its beauty and elegance.
Venice, itself, looks nothing like the rest of Italy. Firstly, yes the most obvious factor of canals, but the style and architecture of the buildings is very Eastern. I believe this is due to the Crusades and Italian plunder.
Piazza San Marco was by far my favourite part of Venice. The clock tower in particular which has my favourite blue design covered in golden stars. It is a very typical Renaissance design. Rumour has it, that when the tower was completed, the venetian government blinded the architects so that they couldn’t build anywhere else, or duplicate the tower.
We also visited the Peggy Guggenheim Museum whilst we were there, and of course, most importantly of all, had a ride on a river taxi.