I’ve just returned from spending five days in Venice at the tail end of the Carnival season. It’s great that my husband loves Venice as much as I do; we both feel it’s our second home and that the five days just flew by. Upon arriving at Marco Polo Airport I saw a charismatic guy who was like a human abstract expressionist painting; he was wheeling his paint-splattered suitcase which coordinated with his hand-painted outfit. He is an artist and fashion designer called Daniel Chimowitz and had come to Venice for a Secret Garden Party:
He invited us to check it out but I myself am not currently drawn to attending private parties and events; one of my favourite things is just walking around and seeing the signs of masquerade and fancy dress interacting with every day life.
The picture below was taken in a Venetian bookshop. I love the surreal quality of a regular bloke in his North Face jacket donning a dramatic mask and checking out an Italian book on the Hebrew language!
Choosing an ice cream:
Or this couple having a drink in a bar, where the 18th century meets WiFi:
Or hanging out in the local coop supermarket in a massive peacock headdress:
I like the fact that carnival is for all ages. Here’s a woman sitting on a bench in Campo Santo Stefano:
Carnival costumes airing outside the shuttered windows:
Waiting for the vaporetto boat:
And this luminous woman on the vaporetto:
Next up are some pictures of people who had gone to amazing effort. Below a group of tourists having tea in Piazza San Marco in full 18th Century garb:
The following pictures were taken near the Salute area:
This woman was a Manga artist; her friend had handmade their outfits and they had brought them all the way over from Japan:
Here they are getting on the Vaporetto stop at the Salute:
I liked the creativity of this bespoke carnival handbag with its abundance of clowns and colour, seen in San Marco:
This Scandinavian woman had hand sewn flowers and feathers into her beret and added a red veil for a more eclectic take on carnival:
She was with this young girl who was wearing beautiful shades of blue:
There’s a bit of a steampunk fashion trend in the masks this year:
As well as some religious figures, possibly inspired by Sorrentino’s Young Pope:
Some masks that caught my eye:
And this existentialist one with all the question marks!
At carnival time the bakeries and cafés sell special seasonal carnival doughnuts called frittelle, my favourite are the ones filled with zabaione, a custard flavoured with marsala wine:
You can also encounter live music walking round the streets; this punky brass band were playing in the Rialto Mercato area. You can see the Venetian buildings reflected in the brass, and just make out the harlequin clown (the Commedia dell’arte figure arlecchino) in the background: