To freeze or to hibernate, that is the question

“Ibernisti”, from the verb ibernare, which can mean either:

i)  to hibernate, or

ii) to freeze.

Today, on the Lido, about two dozen foolhardy (or foolish, depending on  your point of view) souls took to the waters of the Adriatic.

Many of us were there to cheer these brave mortals on, your intrepid reporter (IR) included. I was in my usual “prepared for the Arctic”  gear.

Here is the foot of your IR, in the wet, cold sand of the Lido. Well, not my actual foot, but it’s there, in my boot. I do so much for you, faithful followers.

Intrepid Reporter

After a lot of milling about, and some fun entertainment from this talented mime, the swimmers emerged, wearing brave smiles. (And swimming costumes.)

Here are some of the Intrepid Swimmers. Well, they didn’t so much swim as bob a bit, and then emerge from the water, to the cheers of their adoring fans. (Mostly family.)

Although the sun was shining, it was pretty darn cool. The participants were no doubt happy that there was no wind, nor snow.

There was live music, and plenty of freshly prepared food available for the hungry.

But, your IR was off on a different mission. I wanted to see the old Lido Hospital. More on that subject another day.

And, your IR has not forgotten the pissotta tragics in the group. I found a beautiful example today.




Filed under Venice

24 responses to “To freeze or to hibernate, that is the question

  1. Wow! Such brave and hardy folk. I quite like a cold rinse after my shower, but this is just crazy. 🙂


  2. How would you go about getting the ibernisti bathers? Good luck.


  3. Chris

    It isn’t bad when you get in the water but you do start to lose a bit of feeling after a few minutes! However it it felt lovely and warm getting out

    I didn’t really need the towel as I seemed to dry almost as soon as I was out of the water. Must be the degree of temperature change.

    Just need some of those ibernisti trunks now…


  4. Chris

    Well it was only my second year. I was however one of the few people to swim (having bobbed last year) and was the last person remaining in the water!

    Anyone joine me for 2013?


  5. Chris

    There is one crazy Brit in one of your pictures!


  6. Steven

    I love your pics of the swimmers–or bobbers. I keep looking at one particularly pale guy in the center of one with a suitably uneasy expression as he approaches the water.

    Is the Lido hospital you’re referring to the one there have been flyers posted around town about? With a theatre in it? If it is, we met someone involved in that who invited us out to visit the site but we weren’t able to make it, so I look forward to your report.

    And if it’s not the place I’m thinking of, I still look forward to your report.


    • Hi, Steven

      I just had a comment from someone from the UK, and I’m sure it’s the same fellow we all zoomed in on!

      Yes, that’s the Lido site I meant. I want to go back with a (male) companion, because there was evidence of squatters, and for once, I let common sense direct my feet. I’ve got some photos of the theatre, but need more … more … more. The hospital part is pathetic, it looks like a lot was just abandonded, including medical records! Mamma mia.


  7. Hi, Susie. I can’t get over our good luck with the weather. Did you watch the children on the dodge-em cars?


  8. Susie L

    Another excellent report Yvonne, thank you!

    We walked out to the Giardini yesterday, hasn’t the weather been fantastic?


  9. Holy night….what a brain freeze!!!
    Thanks for your fine reporting…..(Like your boots)

    Your pissotta doesn’t seem to have done its job…..some major leakage on the left….lol.


  10. Bert

    I’m sure Maxine means ‘pazzi’, as ‘pozzi’ are wells.
    In London there is a New Year’s Day swim in the Serpentine, when they must have to break the ice sometimes.


  11. Michelle

    Those hardy souls do it here too! A couple of years ago I was out to lunch with a friend and wondered why all these people were wandering around in white bathrobes. Thanks, I’ll take the Caribbean or a heated pool any day.


  12. I thought only crazy/pozzi americans do that. It’s called the polar bear club and i believe they do it every year in coney island bklyn…..


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