The carnival is officially opened with the Flight of the Angel, at midday on the first Sunday. (For the last couple of years festivities have been extended by a week or so before the usual start date, but the Flight of the Angel is always on the same Sunday now, just as the end of Carnival is always the beginning of Lent.) More than 100,000 people pack into St Mark's Square to watch the angel descend from the bell tower to the carnival stage. Afterwards there's a parade of costumes, which this year I took part in. Well, it was one way to get across the crowd to Cafe' Florian! Then those of us in costume go for prosecco at Florian until it's time to head off to our various soirées. It's nice to see everyone again.
|My Dutch friends Helen, Andre and Godelieve. Costumes by Nicoletta Lucerna of La Bottega del Costume, Venice. I deliberately didn't crop this so you can see the crowd behind the fence of the press pit.|
|It's great fun inside the press pit. While we wait for the Flight of the Angel and the parade, we catch up with old friends and take numerous pictures of each other.|
|Godi and 'Vanity'.|
|There is always a wide variety of costumes on display. Some, like this play on Munch's 'The Scream', are particularly artistic.|
|The theme this year was 'Natural and Fantastic'. Here Helen compares feet with a dragon.|
|A good selection of the living history community are represented, too.|
|Andre and I. Soon after this picture was taken I took off my cloak and let the Watteau pleats at the back of my dress run free! My scarf and gloves stayed tucked away in my panniers. It was an amazingly warm day :)|
I hope you've enjoyed these. I'll post some more soon, of different events and of the city itself.
Until then, here's a brief snippet of the Flight of the Angel: