How to make an ordinary day extraordinary? Take ten minutes to watch about 50 Venetians participating in one of the cities newer traditions, the annual Babbo Natale regatta. Despite fog and spitting rain, these stalwart rowers donned their Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) outfits and raced the course between San Zaccaria and Ca'Foscari down the Grand Canal yesterday.
I took up a post just the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop, knowing I wouldn't be able to see any more than all the racers queuing up and taking off. It was enough to put a big smile on my face and start my day off right.
This rower changed up their outfit a little bit by adding a reindeer hat (FYI- reindeer in Italian is la renna)
The boat with the pink flag on the end is the local Pink Lioness group, an organization who row in support of Breast cancer research and cures.
This is still pre-race, and although hard to distinquish in my photo, this woman is taking a last minute phone call, probably from the North Pole!
Elves, reindeer and Santas, oh my!
The race official giving the signal to begin racing.
It's been a week of preparation for the holidays. Besides getting our tree up, apartment decorated, last minute gifts purchased and meals planned, my preparations included beefing up my Italian vocabulary related to Christmas and studying about Christmas traditions in Italy.
Here's some useful Italian vocabulary, if like me, you are learning too!
Buone Feste - Happy Holidays
Buon Natale - Merry Christmas
Felice Anno Nuovo - Happy New Year
Stella di Natale - Poinsettia
Babbo Natale - Santa Claus
la renna - reindeer
la slitta - sleigh
il presepe - nativity scene
il presepe vivante - living nativity scene
il pupazzo di neve - snowman
il fiocco di neve - snowflake
il regalo - present
l'albero di Natale - Christmas tree
la vigilia di Natale - Christmas eve
luci di Natale - Christmas lights
Buon Natale! Buone Feste!