welcome to the beautiful madness

This is the penultimate evening of this year’s carnevale di Venezia, so it’s about time I finally did a post about it. So let me take a deep breath and begin…

There are events in our life that take us inexplicably long time to get to. One such event for me has always been the annual carnival in Venezia. Ive always been fascinated by it’s fantastical, mysterious masks to the point that Ive gathered a small collection of them during all these years. I remember making a promise to myself during my very first trip to Venezia that one day I will attend this event to see the masks live. And so a little over a week ago I landed in Venezia about 10 minutes before midnight to fulfill said promise, something that had taken me two decades to do…

Sure, there were people who thought it their duty to warn me before I went. Warn me of massive crowds that would forbid me to enjoy the carnival. They told me that there literally won’t be a way for me to see anything due to the masses of people blocking the way etc etc. I admit, talk of massive crowds did make me worry because of my dislike of such things, but… Do the concerned ones even know me and my relationship with this city?

Yes, San Marco, the place I love so much and find so fascinating, was crowded, however, the vibe was so wonderfully beautiful and scintillating with joy sparkling like bubbles of prosecco that it even saw me do the unbelievable – go to the dance parties held each night on the piazza where mysterious bautas danced along with pirates, lords and ladies from the 17th or 18th century, cartoon characters and all other visions your imagination could conjure up to both the latest dance hits, Balkan inspired melodies and 80s and 90s pop and rock. It was the most magical conjuring of light and shadows, dreams and illusions.

This year I had chosen for myself a part in the shutterbug crowd of the carnival. I needed to feel the event out, to understand it’s flow, to see how (if) I could fit in. Said role of mine brought me incredible amount of fun, especially because, due to my shooting style that confuses ten hells out of people, most masks never took me seriously. And why would they? There were so many pro-looking photographers lugging around massive cameras with even more massive lenses attached to them, so they most definitely were the ones worth posing for, while me and my small (in comparison) camera was not worth any attention. I understand the logic behind such thinking and don’t mind being ignored. It’s what makes me the invisible street shooter that I am. And yet it was nice to have some wonderful and beautiful masks pose especially for me…

In my previous post I’ve already shown you the most stunning mask I was lucky enough to see, the one that made me (and everyone else) pick my jaw from the floor before I could get to capturing it with my camera. This time around Im gonna show you other magical characters I saw. All of them made me smile. All of them made me want to be them. All of them made me want to go back. And I already have my head full of ideas about what my mask will be next year…

Soundtrack: Fabrizio Moro “Alessandra sarà sempre più bella” (click here to listen)

Click on the first thumbnail to access gallery


5 Replies to “welcome to the beautiful madness”

  1. mvaden1948 says:

    Could you hear that big sigh from here? It won’t let me click like more than once but that’s okay as love is a more appropriate word.
    I just have to get there someday. After all, I have been planning a costume (with many changes since) for many years. We shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I could, bella, and I truly wished you were there to experience it. I tried to enjoy it for both of us and for everyone who couldn’t be there with me for one reason or another and I hope to all the powers ruling the Universe that you will experience it yourself one wonderful, magical day.


  2. J.D. Riso says:

    So happy for you that it turned out so magical and that the vibe was positive. Your photos are absolutely divine. The crowds in Venice have always put me off, but your posts really make me want to experience this. I hope you can make it back, as a participant.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was one of those rare occasions when the event not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them a million times. I am truly hooked. I want to experience it all again and stay longer than for a weekend.

      Speaking of Venice and crowds, my most sincere suggestion would be to go during off season, when there literally are no crowds. Winter is magical time for this. Spring too, as in March and April, when you can sit somewhere in the sun, listen to the sounds of the city, watch the water and just let the place enter your senses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mvaden1948 says:

        I agree. I have only been to Venice in the low season. Never had really bad weather. December 2012 was really cold with daytime temps in the high 20’s and low 30’s…. that’s Fahrenheit! The following year it was at least 20 degrees higher. But if you are dressed for it you can do it as it was gorgeous, sunny and clear most days… just cold.


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