Venice was a marvel as soon as I stepped out of the train station. Right there was the Canal Grande, with the vaporetti (water busses) busily carrying passengers around town (there are no cars in Venice!). Even before 10:00 am, many, colorful tables were set up to paint faces, and carnival masks were on display for sale everywhere. Since I had followed the costumed people in Padua to be sure I was getting on the right train, I decided to continue to follow them. They would lead me to the Piazza San Marco, the heart of the city, and the place where all the best carnival events were taking place, right?
|Carnival masks for sale on the streets of Venice|
Somewhere on the Ponte di Rialto, I asked a shopkeeper for directions to San Marco. A language point: he attempted to respond to me in Spanish. Ha! This has actually happened a few times already, not on this trip, but when David and I came to Italy for vacation in 2011. At that time, of course, my Italian was less developed, and I suppose it was more obvious that I was basing a lot of the language on what I already knew in Spanish. At any rate, yesterday, we made due with Italiañol, and I learned that the Piazza San Marco was under water! Yes, flooded. Should I even try to go there? What would happen to all the carnival events?
Determined to at least get a glimpse of the piazza, I pressed on to San Marco, and finally arrived. Wow… while there was a lot of flooding, it was full of people who literally were not going to let their parade get rained on. I saw spectacular costumes everywhere, some, I later learned, have been passed down in families for centuries. There was also music, theater, and tons of confetti, floating in the water.
|Elaborate costumes in the Piazza San Marco|
|Ciao, Venezia! Ci vediamo presto!|