The baseball hat and cigarette meet the plumes and masques of centuries ago. This is the Carnevale of today. Clusters of costumes, lumber jackets, sneakers and high boots of nobility co-mingle. Plebeians with aristos. One must keep adjusting perspective to see anything. Are you really sure you saw that? Oops, it’s gone—swallowed up by a down coat or an arm or hand trying to get a snap. Ultra-long lenses are part of the scene, too. Most important is the involvement of everyone in their own way, whether it’s selling merch or doing acrobatics, or taking the kids out for an experience that has been a tradition since 1162 when the first Carnevale was held in Venezia. The value of this event is the populace coming together around San Marco Square, and what will be will be. The excitement of spontaneity and surprise thrives here. This is a time to imagine and fantasize, while dealing with the reality of too many people on that bridge.
Paula Sweet is a regular contributor to Lucire, with her photography, writing, and illustrations (which often manifest in the form of the ‘Couture Comix’ each week). She created the Muslin Mink, iconic enough that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has a three-quarter-length one in its permanent collection.