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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Countdown to Christmas - Italian Style! December 9

                                                photo courtesy www.skiptomylou.com

Welcome back to Karen's Countdown to Christmas - Italian style!  It's Day number 9 (nove).

Do any of you have advent calendars you use every year?  Do any of you buy the ones made out of cardboard that have a chocolate candy behind each door?  I particularly loved the one I'm featuring on today's post. This suits my style, and I really like that each day is an ornament to be hung on the tree. Something like this might just make an appearance in our house next Christmas.

Today I've chosen to write about something that has become very meaningful to Venetians who live in the city, something that in recent years has become a harbinger of the holiday season.

An ice-skating rink (about 400 sq. meeters) is constructed in the middle of Campo San Polo It's the perfect location in the city, central to everyone. This year, the skating rink opened on December 6, and will remain open until February 17, including the entire Carnevale season.

This is the poster that is hanging in almost every vaporetto stop around the city, announcing not only the ice rink in Campo San Polo, but also the one in the center of Mestre.

I stopped in the campo yesterday and was gratified to see so many families and children enjoying themselves on a beautiful, sunny winter afternoon.  In a city that doesn't offer any winter sporting activities, ice-skating is a novelty that is quite irresistable. For the few short weeks the rink is in operation, it's a very popular spot.

Just look at these smiling faces! You know they are having a blast out there on the ice.

I came across a video of the grand opening of the rink in 2011.  That year the center of the rink had a spectacular "sculpture" in the center that was lit up each night, and my favorite local musical group Ska-J performed live that night. In the last few years, we haven't had anything quite so memorable, and no light sculpture either!

Video courtesy Venezia Marketing

If you are in Venice over the holiday season, I hope you will take time to enjoy yourself in Campo San Polo.  I've included a link for more information.

Buon Natale!


Anonymous said...

I love the orange seals to help the children. I think I would need one to stay upright as I've never skated in my life. Last year the rink wasn't very active when I was there but I wasn't there on a weekend so that is probably the difference. And I love the video from 2011. I'm sharing this with my Italian class.
Ciao, ciao,

karen said...

Michelle, it was a weekday when I snapped these photos, there were plenty of people there! good for them! certainly not as elaborate as 2011! But, that's Venice. Just yesterday it was announced there will not be a big New Years Eve event in St Mark's and the fireworks will be smaller, and relocated to down in the lagoon in front of Arsenale.

In my younger days, I skated alot. Now, as mich as I would love to, I am afraid I'd fall and break things, so I am content to stay on the sidelines and watch!

Hope your class enjoys the little clip with SkaJ!


Rob C said...

I get lots of the choccie advent calendars as Christmas gifts from Vendors, they help keep the team motivated!

So no Christmas market again Karen?
Not sure I'lol be on the ice myself, if I fall ?I tend to fall hard :-)

See you in @ 3 weeks I guess.

karen said...

Tiny Christmas market in San Polo again this year, Rob. Very tiny. Nothing like we used to have in Campo Santo Stefano. Check my post today!

I would be out there falling with you. I'm much better standing along the sidelines with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands, watching all the skaters!

See you soon! Hugs to you and Nat!

Annie said...

I'm really enjoying your Countdown to Christmas series. The last time I was in Venice in December, the market was in Campo Santo Stefano, but I heard that one no longer existed. Glad there's still a holiday market in San Polo plus an ice rink!

Happy Holidays, Annie

karen said...

Ciao, Annie-

Thanks so much for taking time to post a comment. I am absolutely delighted you are enjoying the countdown right along with me. The mercatino in Santo Stefano has been gone for several years now. I miss it, and have been hoping it would make a reappearance. Not yet- but I can continue to hope! San Polo's mercatino is teeny tiny this year, however, I will not complain. I'm very happy to have it.
Buon Natale!