There can only be one first time

I remember my very first kiss (I was 15). I remember the birth of our first child (a long time ago now). And I clearly remember (32 years ago now) that first stunning view of Venice as we stepped out of the very ordinary train station.

Today, I had an experience that ranks with these, and many other, firsts. I had a ticket to the Capodanno (New Years Eve) concert at La Fenice. The attendant ushered me to my box (another first), unlocked the door, and showed me which chair was mine.

Only then did I raise my eyes and look out on the wonder of this little theatre. Tears came to my eyes, I just couldn’t begin to believe that I was really in this fabled place. It has been a long time since I have been so moved by a first time  experience.

I bought my ticket on the day I arrived in Venice. I wasn’t going to miss out.

 The ticket!

 Every day when I go toward either the Accademia or the Rialto Bridge, I pass the theatre.

Looking across at the other banks of boxes, and down onto the people on the stage level. I think they may have had a better line of view than those of us in most of the boxes.

Just to prove I was there, and enjoying it. (This was taken before the concert had begun.)

 The program, directed by the “handsome as a movie star” young Diego Matheuz, included Tchaikovsky’s  5th Symphony , and works  by Verdi, Puccini, Bellini and Mozart, and others.

 It was also a days for “the last time”. This will be my last view of the moon for 2011.

 Piazza San Marco was still relatively quiet at 10 pm, but by the time I tried to get back into it, at 11:30, it was totally packed. So, no on the spot photos of the big kiss, sorry!

It’s midnight. The bells are ringing, people are laughing and cheering. My first Capodanno in Venice!



Filed under Venice

41 responses to “There can only be one first time

  1. I think raising your eyes and looking across at the boxes on the other side is what does it. I know there are far larger theatres, but this one is so stunning, Pat.


  2. Pat

    I’m just catching up from last week and what a surprise. I’m so envious! Had finally gotten to see the inside of LeVenice this past Sept but WOW to be there for a concert and on New Year’s Eve no less! What a fantastic experience……..


  3. Caroline Jones

    I have so much enjoyed catching up with your adventures after our Christmas break. What a lovely photo of you at La Fenice – you look so happy too ! It’s such a shame we won’t overlap (looks like we are about the same vintage :-)). The Capodanno concert sounds very special – something else for us to aspire to next year (or this year, now !!).

    We made it to La Fenice once but our seats were as high up as you can get and it was a one act opera so we didn’t get the full experience; but although we had to enter by the ‘back stairs’, we did get go out out down the main staircase. Did you notice lots of firemen ? When we went they seemed to be stationed along the walls about every 3 metres, which gave us a good laugh.


    • Well, you’ve just explained why some folks were turned away at the front door, and sent out back!

      No, I didn’t see one fireman, unless they were in plain clothes. 🙂


  4. Steven

    Now that I think about it, that pesky woman in the red coat isn’t so bad to have to encounter time and again; it’s the very short person in the red hood that you really really really want to avoid in Venice!

    Just ask Donald Sutherland.


  5. Buon anno, Pierre and Isa. That’s the best offer I’ve had today! 🙂 Nominate the time and place.


  6. Hello Yvonne! Buon anno! What about a nice spritz next week in Venezia?


  7. Steven

    Don’t you look sharp!

    I was too distracted on Lido to think of much else than the Ibernisti and I didn’t see this post until after getting home from there or I would have congratulated you on what looks & sounds like a great night.

    AND somehow you actually managed to keep that inquisitive & indefatigable woman in the red coat from sneaking into your pics!


    • Wasn’t that fun on the Lido? And, what great weather. I went and had a look at the old hospital after I left the “polar Bears”. What a huge complex, just rotting away. Grumble.

      That darn woman in red was actually in my box at La Fenice> She had a long red coat, which I politely asked her to hang up, out of sight.


  8. Hello, Joanne. It was more than I ever expected. I will cherish the memory, for sure.


  9. Joanne Hoefer

    I am pea green as scarlett would say………………glad the dream came true


  10. Rob, it was almost like a physical blow, that first reaction to the theatre!

    I do hope you make it back for Christmas “this” year. Dorsoduro holds many charms.


  11. Rob C


    You look absolutely radiant, La Fenice is yet another ‘must do’ we haven’t done yet. NYE here was wet and uninspiring, but hopefully we can make it back to Venice in time for Christmas 2012.

    But, maybe in Dosudoro this time, just for a change.




  12. Happy New Year!!! All the best!


  13. Every time I see a street shrine, guess who I think of!!


  14. What a fantastic experience. So happy for you! All the best in 2012!


  15. I like that , but hope I will not be hopping by then !!!!!


  16. Maybe you can hop over the Channel next year, Jan. It was such an outstanding experience.


  17. What a lovely experience, one you surely will never forget,
    how I envy you,


  18. Michelle

    Cara Yvonne, tears in my eyes also…I can barely see to type. What a wonderful way to spend this day!
    Only 6:30pm here and doubt I’ll be awake for midnight…if I am I’ll be watching those fireworks on TV.
    All the best for 2012!
    Michelle and Lili


    • I was surprised to be awake so late! I could hear the bang of the fireworks, but there was no way to get through that mass of people. Carnevale must be the same, every day.


  19. Dear, dear Yvonne….what a joy!! Venice has given me a few of my most memorable firsts!!
    Here’s to a memorable 2012!!!


  20. Barb

    Another friend here who had tears for your happiness. And what a wonderful photo of you. Your smile says it all! Wishing you a happy New Year and many many more visits to your beloved Venezia in the years to come.


  21. Brian

    I am so glad for you! Buon Capodanno!


  22. What a wonderful experience! And, on New Years Eve – you will never forget the date that way (of course,they don’t “do” Concerto di Capodanno any other day). Happy New Year!


  23. Thank you Yvonne for sharing this experience! Happy New Year!!!


  24. That brought such a smile to my face! Happy New Year lovely friend!



  25. My friend you bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your wonderful 1st.


  26. Kathleen

    Happy New Year, Yvonne – still another 40 mins till midnight here.

    So glad you loved La Fenice – lovely photo of you!!


  27. WOW! WOW! WOW! What a great experience for you and I had no idea your first trip to Venice was 32 years ago. Was that with Mom?


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