Masks for the Carnival
Wearing of masks in Venice (masquerading) began all the way in 1268 and it had to do with the relentless moral decline of the people of Venice. From the early 14th century new laws started to be promulgated to restrict masquerading especially during the night (men used to dress as women and enter the houses of young Venetians with "immoral thoughts"). Wearing of masks was limited only during the Carnival and official banquets. From 1608, the penalties were very heavy, for men it was 2 years jail time, 18 months galley-rowing and also a 500 lire fine. As for women, they were whipped from San Marco to Rialto, then they were banned to enter Venetian territory for 4 years and they had to pay the 500 lire fine. There are so many stores in Venice selling masks, from the little ones (7 euros), made in plastic, to the standard ones - face size - from 20 to 75 euros, depending if they are made of simple plastic, or other cast material, to the more complicate to process ones, that could be a real Carnival mask, that can cost anywhere from 75 euros up to 200. These masks in the picture were phenomenal - the woman with a superb crafted mask with stones, and the man wearing a lion head mask, looking heavy and very impressive.
Though covered by flowers, in small vases, gardens seem to be a rarity, in Venice. I remember the trees near Piezalle Roma, and the city garden near Arsenal, and… only a few palaces show a small and shy garden.
Technical problems to maintain them, or is it the consequence of the high prices of each square centimetre of land?
Venice - crumbling building detail
The accumulated affects of age, neglect and sea air. This building in Venice is not for long and it will soon have to be replaced or need major repair before it falls over, but it does have a beauty of its own.
Some of the canals are so narrow! Truly amazing! Only a small boat can get into these canals. Maybe the gondolas visit these small canals, I am not sure of that. But a good way to discover them is just to walk around in the many little streets. You'll bump into one of these little canals in no time for sure.
Ever heard of acqua alta?...
Ever heard of acqua alta? Well, it may happen in winter that a peculiar conjuncture of Moon phase (higher tides) and Southern wind (bringing rains) determines the extraordinary elevation of the sea level. During those days, special wood bridges are coolocated in the strategic points around in the city, so that people may walk easily. Unless you prefer to take off your shoes and have a ice-cold bath....