Last year's lion waited a year to spring out of her hibernation for Venice's Carnevale. I just got back from the most spectacular sunny and warm Sunday carnival, perhaps in history! The weather was absolutely beautiful in the lagoon this year during a late carnevale that boasted VERY spring temps today. Hooray! (It's not always fun to tread Venice's streets in the freezing Febuary cold, during the usual holiday's dates.)
I got out the costume that I never got to wear last year because I got a bad cold the only weekend I could make it to the event. See post. So the lion "queen" finally made her debut and was especially appreciated by the kiddies (under 10 years old). The best part was roaring in their little faces and getting both excited eyes and a tinge of fear.
Every year I go to Venice, I find fewer people wearing costumes, and even fewer that are wearing costumes that they have not rented, but have made with their own hands and imaginations. It's sad to see this evolution of the "business" of carnevale and a general laziness by the public. Everyone is more interested in taking pictures or getting their face painted or wearing a funny wig, rather than truly transforming themselves in some total way: the real reason for the season.
Another horrifying addition to this year's event was witnessing a fenced-off area in Piazza San Marco near the stage, where a fee ranging from Euro 5-100 was being charged to enter certain areas. The city has thousands of ways that it takes our money, from expensive hotels to myriads of mask stands to exorbitant parking and boat transport fees. Now tickets in the main square, too! Just plain pathetic.
On the up side, one of the costume highlights from this edition of Carnevale features groups of 20-somethings from the area that band together and dress up with a group theme in mind. This year I saw or heard about Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, a CSI crime scene set-up including victim, assassin, scientific police team and fake TV journalist on the scene, and 6 friendly clowns.
Here are some pictures of a few interesting costumes I found today in the piazza and captured on my camera, while fumbling with a lion mask on my face.