Tag Archives: carnevale

Where and what was travel photo #3

The photo of the man with the vacuum cleaner was taken in Cannaregio, a sestiere (district) of Venice, at the beginning of Carnevale in 2014.

I, along with a throng of other onlookers, was waiting on the other side of the Cannaregio Canal to watch the parade of oar powered boats arriving to mark the opening weekend of the festivities. The dramatic finale of the parade was a larger than life pantegana (rat) whose rear end exploded, releasing a swarm of coloured balloons!

Later, we had the chance to try many typical Venetian foods and beverages from stalls set up on the fondamenta (canal side walkway), and listen to Venetian musical presentations. It was cold, but a lot of fun.

This couple were on an adjacent balcony. Their housework must have been done, so they could enjoy the passing parade.


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Saturday housework must be done

While watching a Carnevale activity on the Cannaregio Canal, I chanced to look up toward a balcony on the opposite side, and saw this house proud fellow vacuuming his balcony. He paid not one scrap of attention to what was happening on the water, just got on with his task.

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This couple, on the other hand, were taking complete advantage of their prime position to watch the fun.

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Here’s some of what they saw.

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Back to reality

Just a few images from  the last few days in Venice. Then, it’s back to the fun, fun, fun of unpacking.


Twins, Castello

This pair kept bobbing up in odd places. Which means, I must have been in some odd places!

My friend, Rita, picked me up at Cairns airport. It had been really cold on all the flights, so I was still in a woolen sweater and jeans. That didn’t last long. I even had a cooling dip in the swimming pool. What a contrast to a couple of days ago in Venice.

Just across the road from the flat where Rita’s friend lives, is the ocean. There was a handful of windsurfers having such a good time with the strong wind that was blowing.

Wind surfing, Cairns


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The inauguration of the Gran Teatro in the Piazza took place this morning. The crowd gradually grew, and more and more costumed, masked Carnevale celebrants began to appear.

Vin brule was going to be a popular drink today, and these ladies were making a start on a batch.

I walked down to the far end of Via Garibaldi, in Castello, to wait for the procession of the Marias. This has its roots far back in Venetian history, and each year, 12 Venetian girls are chosen to represent 12 brides who were abducted by pirates. The 12 girls are seated on platforms and carried for the latter part of the parade.

I noticed this lady watching from her home. Was she remembering  when she was young, like the Marias? She must have seen many of these processions pass her window.

The procession finishes in the Piazza. There was a lively musical group from Milano waiting for its arrival.  Although I was tempted by the offer of some red wine, I had my reservations about the receptacle this happy gent was using! I remembered it from nursing days …

To help us get into Carnevale mood, the winter sun was trying to make an appearance for us.

My camera battery died about then. I think the cold air drains it more quickly.


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You really should be!

They’re playing “A Carnival in Venice” on the radio, just to set the scene.

They’re working frantically on the Gran Teatro in Piazza San Marco, to have it ready for the big opening ceremony tomorrow (Saturday), at 11 am. The sound system works, I can tell you that from first hand experience! The big TV screen should be popular with those of us who will be watching from the crowded Piazza. Those lights on the boxes will look very attractive at night-time. They are putting out low tables and benches in the space in front of the Teatro, the ticket office is set to go, and so is the Gran Cafe.

Campo San Stefano looks a bit different today. A semi-circle of tents has sprung up around Sig. Tommaseo (el cagalibri). He looks somewhat bemused by what is happening. Well, actually, he always looks that way, come to think of it.

What's going on now?

 Tomorrow, if you were so inclined, you could come to one of these tents to have your special Carnevale makeup applied by experts. It might be fun to come and watch the process and results.

Each tent displays one or more of the many popular characters you might see at Carnevale time.

It’s still very cold here, but despite that:

You really should be here!

PS This is a good webcam link to get some snapshot views of what is happening around San Marco:  http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/42385


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Castello, part 2

Today, they were starting the process of stringing the cables from the Campanile to the far end of the Piazza, for the Flight of the Angel, to take place on Sunday.  The Gran Teatro di San Marco, with its stage, sound equipment, lighting and seating for the lucky ones, is well under way.

Meanwhile, this was the third day in a row that I spent in Castello. I wandered mainly in a  small area, bounded by Rio di San Daniele, Rio delle Vergini, the Canale di San Pietro and Rio di Sant’ Anna.

I found so much to enchant me, I’m having a difficult time deciding what to show you.

Here are some paired offerings. The first photo shows a bricked in former window. On the other side of the door was the twin to it, but not bricked in.

Then, there were two lion heads on either side of a door. One has had the task of clenching a wall support in its jaws, the other has suffered the slings and arrows of age, erosion and decay. 

Not really twins, but two views of an attractive door handle.

Here are two of the lions who stand (or sit) guard outside the entry to the Arsenale. The first one has suffered the indignity of having a prosthetic head added at some time. The other suffers from SBS (Square Bottom Syndrome). It was once butted up against the wall of a balcony.

An old friend bobbed up, Federico, the bridge builder!

This graffiti, on paper, is slowly degrading. Goodbye, Sig. Starfighter.

Castello has its own pissotte, here is one of them.



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Gone with the wind

This afternoon, I stepped outside on the vaporetto as we passed the Dogana, so I could get a good close-up shot of Il Toro. But, he wasn’t there! I asked a couple of Venetians on the vaporetto if they knew what had happened. They didn’t even know there had been a bull there!

At the vaporetto stop, I tackled another Venetian, and we talked about it. There had been a very strong wind last night, reaching 130 km/h (81 mph), which is one stiff breeze.  If anyone saw a couple of people laughing and singing “Stormy Weather” and doing a few dance steps at the San Marco Vallaresso stop, fear not, it was only your reporter and the friendly Venetian man.

I just read, on the venessia.com Facebook site, that poor old Toro was toppled in the wind, and has been removed and taken, in pieces, to a shed.

The daily newspaper Il Gazzetino is predicting hotel cancellations this weekend as people hear about the inclement weather that Venice is experiencing. Well, let’s see what happens.

In the meantime, I hope they can put the big bull back together, in all his masculine glory, so he can take his place in the Carnevale celebrations.


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More bull, and other stuff

I walked over to the Dogana to get a closer look at the anatomically correct bull. I wanted to see what he was made of, how big he was, etc.

So, I can tell you he is made of thin branches, very like we use in Australia to construct fences. His tail looked like hessian, wrapped around some type of filling. He’s on a floating platform, and popular opinion has it that he’ll be burned on the water, on that platform. That will give the Vigili del fuoco (firemen) something interesting to do! I wonder if it will be combined with the silent procession of gondolas that takes place that last night? Oh, and he’s pretty darn big.

Although it’s warmer today, there were still signs of the big deep-freeze. There were pieces of ice floating in some canals, and icicles hanging from the underside of the prows of gondolas that were not in use.

The tide was very low this afternoon, with the result that boats that should have been floating on water, were sitting in mud.

Here is the fountain of wine flowing in the Piazzetta. You have to pay for your wine today, happy hour has come and gone!

And, here are two jugs of wine being carried to the serving counter. That wine will be cold today!

Some people were in the swing of Carnevale today. It’s going to be interesting to see the costumes as the official opening draws near. I’m beginning to understand the attraction of being in disguise.



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Where do I start?

Well, first of all, the daily newspaper showed photos of ICE in the lagoon. I had heard of this happening, but didn’t know I’d be part of the experience.

Then, on the train to Treviso, with my friend, J. from England, we saw the ice in the lagoon with our very own eyes. Incredible! Yes, that’s really ice out there, and it was still present when we returned to Venice in the afternoon.

To contribute my totally cool report, J. noticed that a water wheel in Treviso was coated with thick ice.

It was having a truly difficult time making its revolutions.

As we walked back to the train station, these young lads, who were out having a heck of a good time ice-skating, called out for me to take their photo. “Reluctantly”, I obliged!

This fellow was trying  a difficult manoeuver, which didn’t quite work out.

The weather vanes were showing the direction of the wind, from the NE. (Not from Canada, after all!)

Back in Venice,  a market has sprung up in Campo Manin. Today, the customers for the food and beverages were very few. Maybe once it warms up a degree or 5, we’ll be more enthusiastic about stopping.

While we were waiting for the vaporetto, J noticed something strange on the Dogana. (I think I’ll have to hire her as my assistant observer.)

Now, is this not a whole lot of bull? Apparently, he will be the symbol of the Carnevale, and will be “sacrificed” on the last day (21 February). Darn and blast, I’ll miss that! Meantime, he gives the lad and his frog a run for his money.

 I did (bravely) venture out to watch the Brindisi, with its promised happy hour of freely flowing wine. But, I could not get anywhere near the action. If this is a foretaste of the crowds at Carnevale, I blanch in anticipation! I came home for my own happy hour.


 And, finally, thank you to Cee for yet another beautiful card, and a welcome knitting pattern for a hot-water bottle cover! I liked your suggestion of modifying it so the bottle and cover could hide under my jacket. 

Ciao from your really cool reporter.


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Doors and Brindisi

Tomorrow, this will no longer look so rough and ready, and will be dispensing wine to all comers. I may be a good reporter and join those throngs. Just for you, dear reader. Cin cin.

And, in typical Venice style, the other double decker pissotta I had been seeking turned up today.



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