...being there, but without the crowds
The masks in Venice
Festa del Redentore fireworks (15 Jul '17)
Just after the end of the Sanfermines in Pamplona, it might be worth it to head directly for Venice, to attend the festivity of the Redentore. This celebration takes place on the third Saturday of July, marking the end of the plague of 1577. An exceptional pyrotechnical show is on that night, and the most interesting way of enjoying it is from a private boat or apartment, where one just had an excellent dinner. That’s the way the real Venetians do. Knowing the right people, it’s one of the rare occasions when a “foreigner” can actually enter the Venice of the Venetians.
And still in this amazing town, among the most spectacular events in the world, the Carnival of Venice (February the 18h through February the 28th 2017). There are many balls to which a ticket does grant access: these are unique experiences, but not the only ones one should seek when in costume in Venice. During the Carnival, only those in costume and mask are “in tune” with Venice turning into a marvellous, natural scenic design. With the right attitude and the appropriate disguise, one can become a main character of the Carnival only by strolling down the streets. Something will then happen; be it being requested to pose for hundreds of pictures by those incongruously in “plain clothes”, be it getting invited to share a table at the Café Florian with other amazing “masks”. The Carnival of Venice is an event to which we don’t participate, but we contribute. It’s surely important to know where and from whom to rent the costumes or to get them tailor made, where to meet with others, with whom to mingle; but the real “way in” will always be “wanting to make” the Carnival, and not only “being there”.