Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – January 8, 2021

It is sad to see that one of the best and most colorful of yearly
partys, as well as the grandfather of many others worldwide, will go the
way of other such enjoyable events in this new year. Carnevale, a fixture
in Venice, Italy, is likely to be cancelled this year along with many
other similar events that find themselves filling the month of February.
The ten day extravaganza, scheduled to take place February 6th thru the
16th, is likely to be one more casualty of Covid-19

This epic event having begun in the 12th century to celebrate one of the
many victories of the Venetian Republic has been a fixture in the watery
city as a preparation for the 40 days of Lent, a solemn Christian
holiday leading up to Palm Sunday.  This year’s Carneval ends on
February 16th the day before Lent begins on the 17th.  Having attended
two of Venice’s treat to millions of people, I can say without
reservation it is a party like none other.  The color and pageantry that
packs San Marco square for much of the ten days is a sight to behold. 
Colorful costumes and masks are in endless supply.  Some costing
attendees thousands of dollars.  The revelers dance through Venice’s
passage ways from its main train station all the way to Arsenal.  Truly
a sight to behold.

Yet, the pageantry does not stop with the activities in San Marco as the
revelry lasts well into the night with party’s, the Opera, and Balls to
be enjoyed by those in attendance.  It is truly a ten day spectacle not
to be missed.  One caution, if you find yourself looking to be at
Carneval in February, start making plans well in advance.  Some of the
nicest places to stay can be booked full up to a year in advance.  Some
people attend the event nearly every year and the mix of nationality’s
is diverse.  People tend to be friendly as most are visitors, up to
three million pack Venice for the event.

The events themselves after ten days can leave you wishing for some
peace and quiet, and Venice aims to please.  The City becomes almost
deserted after the last few days and strolling through Venice’s quiet
passageways is a pleasant way to finish your trip. Museums tend to be
empty and visits to the lagoon’s other islands are not to be missed. 
Gelato or a quiet cup of coffee at one of San Marco Square’s many cafes,
while watching the birds return after the tumultuous events that have
banned them from the square is a unique experience.  Venice is truly a
remarkable place to spend time.  Once having been, its hard not to want
to return.  I have been four times and counting.

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