Today is Mardi Gras, also known at Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. All around the world Mardi Gras celebrations are taking place. Since I am pretty much in seclusion here in the Mid-Atlantic region, I thought I would post some photos from a two-day stopover I made in Venice, not too long ago, while I was touring the continent. These images were made in October, but it might be of interest to see what an old world city looks like after the party is over.
Venice is a place of constant decay. It is unavoidable, especially if you consider the old city sits just a few feet above sea level. I love the many visual possibilities that the old architectural decay can create. In my short time that I was there I spent many hours wandering the back alleys and side streets searching for places like this.
From what I’ve read Carnival celebrations in Venice are not the wild street party that occurs in so places around the western hemisphere, such as Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans and Trinidad. Instead, it is a more formal and controlled masquerade involving elaborate costuming and masks that hides the identity of the participate. Perhaps, this storefront picture made in October carries that spirit with it.
Venice is all about the water. The canals run everywhere and crisscross each other in a network of waterways. A few are quite large, while others are just narrow backwater alleys.
Cars and trucks are not allowed in old Venice. So merchants must bring in their goods and produce by water transport. This is the most efficient way of transporting a large amount of freight to anyplace located in the canal district. There is also a newer portion of Venice that is located old solid ground. Lacking are the vast network of canals and the throngs of tourists that characterize the tourist zone.
For some sunset is not an end but a beginning. The nights in Venice are often warm and full of activity. Restaurants are busy and the humid atmosphere created by the moist sea air waits to be explored and enjoyed by all who wish to partake in a leisurely stroll.