On Venice Carnival and peacocks

Sunday, 19 February 2012

 I was one of thousands of tourists who travelled to Venice Carnival armed with an SLR camera this weekend.
Upon arrival at Santa Lucia train station, we met some mutual friends, one of whom had lived in Venice for some time.
He took us the scenic route to Saint Mark's square, and explained how his uncle used to stick homemade signs up in the city, proffering the route 'per Piazza San Marco', but instead leading tourists away from the main square and towards the open doors of his pizza shop.

The walls of Venice are covered in crumbling signs, stone gargoyles and faded frescos. Even the graffiti constitutes Fine Art:

As we navigated our way through the labyrinth of alleyways and bridges, we began to see more and more costumed revellers:

Drunken German tourists celebrated the Hedonistic traditions of Carnivale by thrusting their flacidity towards confused children:

Quite often, you couldn't tell if the expressionless white faces belonged to male or female carnival-goers:

Piazza San Marco itself featured a number of 'Best Dressed in Carnival' entrants slowly and deliberately making their way around the square, posing and preening like peacocks as tourists scrabbled to photograph them:

The entrants ranged from the lavish and impeccably robed... :

To those who went for a more subtle and understated look:

Many entrants opted to represent the personalities behind the traditional Venezian masks, inspired by Commedia dell'Arte characters such as Arlechinno:

The crowd of photographers were such that it was often easier to take photos of photos, rather than of the subjects themselves:

Or photos of photos of photos:

But in the end it was all just about enjoying yourself and having a laugh and that:

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