Venezia, Carnevale 2017

2017 Venice carnival edition "Creatum: Vanity Af-fair"

Venezia, Carnevale 2017

Venice masquerade parade photography 2017

During one Carnival in the mid-sixteenth century, among the multitude of events and shows organized in the city, an extraordinary event occurred. A young Turkish acrobat reached the top of the San Marco bell tower by walking a tightrope anchored on the quay of the Piazzetta. And during his descent over the enthralled crowd below, he stopped at the balcony of the Palazzo Ducale to hand tributes to the Duke. This spectacular undertaking, called afterwards the “Svolo del Turco”, has since undergone several name variations, including the “Flight of the Angel” and later the “Flight of the Colombina”.

Venice masquerade parade photography 2017

On Sunday February 19, 2017, when the exquisite Claudia Marchiori made the “svolo” (flight) from the top of the campanile down to the Piazza San Marco, the sight of it gave me goosebumps, and those several thrilling minutes sealed forever my deep devotion to the Serenissima and its Carnival. It had been 19 years since my last Venice Carnival, and I felt giddily transported back to that wonderful time in 1998, propelled again by the same fervor to explore every street, field, campiello or fondamenta in Venice and find that singular, captivating, Carnival mask that would leave me no doubt that I had rediscovered the magic of Venice.  

Carnival traditionally allowed Venetians to take a break from their daily chores and devote themselves entirely to entertainment, permitting the lower classes, disguised by their masks, to taunt the rich in broad daylight, giving them a brief illusion of equality with the higher classes. Stages were built along the Riva degli Schiavoni, in Piazzetta and in Piazza San Marco where people flocked to admire the dazzling array of attractions including jugglers, acrobats, and dancing animals. Trumpets, pipes and drums filled the air, and street vendors sold dried fruit, chestnuts, “frittelle” (Venetian doughnuts), and sweets and treats of all kinds.  Venice masquerade parade photography 2017

The spirit of modern-day Carnival under the current direction of Marco Maccapani is a return to its origins. In Piazza San Marco, near the great center stage, one can see at work live shoemakers, costume designers, gondola craftsmen, weavers, and glass makers, much like the artisans of 18th century Venice.

The theme of the 2017 Carnival is “Creatum: Vanity af-Fair”, a reference to the vanity displayed by its paraders, who dress to impress, and an invitation to satisfy the desire to flaunt oneself, to be another person, sometimes many people in one day.

Because I could not possibly commit the sacrilege of repeating such a long pause between visits to the visual feast that is the Venice Carnival, it is my great pleasure to announce that I am back in Venice on February 2018, attending another Carnival, and I invite you to visit my first gallery of digital images of the “Carnevale of the  Serenissisma” .

Pablo Munini © Venezia, February 2018

Venice 2017 Vanity Af-fair carnival masquerade parade photography

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