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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Carnevale 2012 - Day 1

Today is the first day of Carnevale!!!  The big events begin next week, there are only a few things going on in Venice today, the first of which is the arrival of Il Toro.  Lighting a wooden bull on fire on the last day of Carnevale is an old tradition, which has not been part of current celebrations here, until this year. Today the  bull was put into place at Punta della Dogana where it will remain until Feb 21, the last day of Carnevale, when it will be set on fire at midnight.

Mike and I walked all the way up the Zattere to the Dogana this morning around 11:30 to get photos of the bull on it's first day. Today was the coldest day we've had all winter ! The lagoon was frozen this morning, it was -1 F when we were out. Trust me, I wanted to stay inside, but my desire to see Il Toro on it's arrival had a higher priority than my staying warm.

All of the news articles advertised the inauguration would be at noon, and indeed it was. Not a very big turn out however, only about 30 people, mostly press, and a few other locals like us. We know the sculptor and mask maker Guerrino Lovato, the artist who made the bull, from our neighborhood, and we were very happy to be able to congratulate him on this incredible sculpture in person.

Mike estimates the bull is about 50 feet tall, way bigger than I imagined it to be. Above is the view you have when you are standing on the Dogana.

Here is Guerrino Lovato as he is talking to the press this morning. When I had a minute to congratulate him he turned to me and told me he was dressed in style with his scarf and hat for the occassion!

These guys assisted with the construction.

After seeing the bull at the Dogana and talking with Guerrino a bit, we got on the vaporetto in front of Salute so that we could ride past the bull in the hopes of getting a few decent shots of a front view. It was very grey today, so my photos are not so great. But- here's a front view. Cute, isn't it?
This photo is courtesy of the Carnevale 2012 website.  The bull is anatomically correct, including a huge pair of balls!

We disembarked the vaporetto at San Marco Vallresso in order to check out the Fountain of Wine that will be used this evening for the grand Brindisi (toast) to celebrate the offical opening of Carnevale. When it is working, wine will be spouting from all the top and all the lion's mouths.  I had originally planned to walk to St. Marks at 6pm to witness this event also, but it is way too cold. One walk was enough today. toasting Carnevale from the warmth of our apartment.


Michelle said...

Don't blame you for staying in with those tempratures. All the revelers will need long underwear under their lovely costumes.

g^m said...

Hello Karen -

Yesterday I spoke to my Italian relatives in Friuli. I had been reading about the snow all over Italy and I was amazed to hear they hadn't had snowfalls. They mentioned it was bitterly cold and that the Bora was blowing. They had been to Marco Polo airport near Venice the previous day and everything was fine there.

According to them the Bora has been rather fierce this winter.
Bundle up when you go out. Non devi prendere un colpo di freddo.as

karen said...

Good lord, yes it is frigid here. The Lagoon has been frozen over the last few days, and we even saw ice in our little canal outside our apartment. I've been bundling up when I need to go out, but limiting my outside trips cause I do not want to catch a cold right before we go off on holiday on Thursday! Thankfully we're headed to warmer temperatures!!!!