We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Claus is coming to town...( by way of the Babbo Natale regatta in Venice yesterday)

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.

 While standing around waiting for the regatta to kick off, this boat was just off to my right, decorated to the hilt for Natale.

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

This is, believe it or not, the top of a torte in the window of one of my favorite bakeries ( pasticceria) in Castello. Too pretty to eat!

Here's a version of the classic Christmas song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, performed in Venetian dialect by one of my favorite local groups, Ska-J.

Buon Natale! Buone Feste!


Anonymous said...

Buon Natale a voi!

karen said...

Yvonne- Buone Feste!!

Kaye said...

I love your blog! I live in Stephens City, Va...cold and windy here 32 deg..Thanks so much-Venice is my secret love...Buone Feste!

Kaye said...

I love your news... I live near Winchester, Va. I visited there in 2008(my heart is still there)Buone Feste!

Kaye said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! I visited there in 2008 and left my heart... Kaye

karen said...

Kaye- Grazie, and Felice Nuovo Anno! Thanks so much for taking time to leave comments for me, I love hearing from my readers! I hope you'll keep on reading, and letting me know what you want to hear about, and also your thoughts on my posts.


Anne Vance said...

Ciao Karen - what a difference a year makes! 😄

karen said...

Anne- oh my goodness, thanks for reminding me of this post. I clearly remember standing out there last year taking photos, wishing I could be in one of those boats! My wish was granted!