Carnival celebrations begin in Venice
It is the carnavale time of year once again. The festivities kicked off in Venice, and throughout Italia as people joined the parades, costumes, and sometimes barely clad celebrations.
This year in Venice there was more of an emphasis on the children, and entertaining them during the opening of the festival which will be from the 9th to the 20th of February.
Partying in Venice will get into full swing on Sunday with the traditional "flight of the angel", in which a beautiful girl flies into the city's main square from the top of the St Mark bell tower.
For the first time this year, organizers are catering for the young with a series of street parties dedicated to children and an Enchanted Wood full of kiddy games in Campo San Paolo.
The carnival will end on February 20 with La Mascherata, a masked pageant in St. Mark's Square, and a Marching Bands Collision, in which Latin American bands will play on the go, bumping into Scottish bagpipe players in the process.
I was the only one who did a double-take when I saw this display while drinking my coffee. The rest of the crowd--men, women and children--didn't pay any attention.
Breasts are just not a big deal in Italy. Newsstands openly display magazine covers with breasts. Female newscasters wear lowcut shirts that barely contain their breasts. Walk into a pharmacy, and you'll see advertisements for skin care products that showcase--you guessed it--more breasts. Even one of my daughter's preschool teachers always wears outfits that reveal her cleavage. And no one thinks anything of it.
In Venice, that means strolling clad in elaborate, themed costumes and masks. Fortunately, if you can't jump on a plane to catch Carnevale, you can witness the work of mask artisans throughout the year on a hidden streets of Venice walk offered by Ciao Italy Travel, a New York tour operator specializing in trips to Italy.