Venice by Lidia D'Opera on Exposure
Where in the world can you go to party 24 hours a day for 2 weeks nonstop, and not even need to enter a nightclub or bar? Venice Carnevale. I love to travel Europe in the colder months for several reasons. The light is soft and subdued which are perfect conditions for street photography, there are fewer tourists around, the prices are more reasonable and you don’t have to wait half a day in line to get into tourist attractions. There’s also something about rugging up for a day out, stopping regularly at coffee shops for a hot coffee or chocolate or finding shelter from the rain in places you wouldn’t have battered an eyelid at. It makes you slow down and observe your surroundings – except during Carnevale. The energy is electric, the streets are packed from St Mark’s Square to Rialto Bridge and beyond with revellers well into the early hours of the morning. Streets are strewn with wine bottles, plastic cups and confetti. Surprisingly the litter adds to the beauty of the city, if only for a moment. Revellers congregate in St Mark’s square fully clad in costume every night, wine bottle in hand, dancing to the music playing over the loud speakers. And its about to snow, nobody seems to care. Everyone participates in one way or another. Whether it is donning a full 17th century costume, or something humorous like making out you’re Napoleon Bonaparte to wearing onesies (both big kids and little kids I’m afraid). Some chose a simple venetian mask, others chose face painting and silly hats. It all added to the vibe of the city. If you’ve been to Venice during summer and thought it was crowded, try Carnevale. It is classified as the high season with the largest number of visitors to the city during the two week period. To be honest I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would have to chase down addresses for majestic balls to see ladies and gentlemen in their finery. To my surprise they were on my door step, literally. On arrival, this was the scene when I checked into my hotel