In 2009 I convinced my boyfriend (now husband) that it would be a good idea to dress up for Carnival and go to Venice. His great aunt rents a tour bus and goes to Venice with her friends EVERY YEAR in full costume. This year two of her friends couldn’t go so she asked us if we wanted to take their places….YES!
My husband was NOT found of the idea he hates costumes, crowds, organized activities and having his picture taken. But he said YES anyway!
A few years earlier, while I was on vacation in Venice I bought this mask! I would have never thought at the time that I would be wearing it one day at the Venice Carnival. My dress was a rental!
I have to admit I knew NOTHING about what Carnival was when we went, and today I want to share what I now understand and pictures from that day.
What Is Carnival?
I will be honest and say it hasn’t been easy for me to understand exactly what Carnival is. It is so ancient and widely celebrated and has been adapted by almost every Catholic population on the planet that I didn’t see a connection between Mardi Gras, Brazil and Venice!
Have you ever been in a situation where a woman walks in and you can’t take your eyes off of her? That’s what happened to me when I saw Cristina for the first time at the Caffè Concerto. She was wearing this STUNNING leopard coat and had such an elegant presence that I actually did a double take.
The Reason She Dressed
You may recall the Caffè Concerto from this post, it is a beautiful caffè in the main Piazza in Modena. They also serve a fantastic buffet lunch with all kinds of local dishes. It has become one of our favorite places to go for lunch because they have something for everyone, the price/quality ratio is very good, they are open on Sundays and they have all kinds of perks like high chairs, change tables & live jazz!
Last week I read this post by a fantastic blogger I’ve been following for a while named Agnes, she blogs at Vodka Infused Lemonade and I like her blog because, like me, she’s interested in fashion WITHOUT being a fashion blogger. She’s a mom, she’s a woman, she’s real.
And a few days ago she wrote about going make-up free! Surprisingly enough Agnes has a very supportive husband who tells her she is beautiful without her make up on, and in my humble opinion he is RIGHT!
When I first moved to Italy I had no idea what Carnival “Carnevale” was.
In Canada it just doesn’t exist, and at the time I hadn’t made a connection between Mardì Gras in New Orleans and the Carnival of Venezia or Brazil. And, to be perfectly honest, I had no idea that there were carnivals in almost every Catholic country on the planet (of course aside from 90% of North America for some reason!).
When I moved to Italy it was mid-December, and in February one of my best friends from Canada came to visit me with her man. This week she reminded me that when they were in Milan they kept commenting on all the little pieces of colored paper everywhere and I realized WE MISSED THE CARNIVAL!