Posted by: jeanne | February 26, 2017

troppi turisti omg

jim and marie got up before dawn and just missed a vaporetto, so had to wait another 20 minutes to get to san marco, by which time the lights were off and the sun was riz.  so he got these shots and more using the far lens.  i stayed in bed thank god.

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here’s a creative costume.  they’re dressed as police, and kindly posed for jim

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i always know where to find jim: he’s always chatting up the pretty girls

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as always, people wanted to take pictures of jim

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when they’d had enough, jim and marie walked home via the rialto market, where marie tried to buy some fish from a particularly rude fishmonger who studiously ignored her, and a rude frittelle seller who had the gall to run out of the confections before marie got to the head of the line.  but she managed to procure a kilo of gamberoni and three fine salmon steaks.

as they were crossing the rialto bridge, something unfortunate happened, and jim didn’t notice, but marie did, and snapped this picture before he could wipe it away.  i’m going to get him a new cap now; we were debating the expense before (9.50 euro) but now it’s inevitable, because when the foo shits, wear it.

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after i got up around 11:30, and marie got back up from a nap, and we had something to eat, we decided it was such a nice day that we would take a three-hour tour.  but it was going to have to be a quick three-hour tour, because we were going to put on costumes and go over to san giorgio for the evening costume session.

so we headed for the vaporetto stop, and got on a half empty vaporetto.  and that’s because it wasn’t a number 1.  it was an A or a B, something i haven’t seen before.  perhaps it’s only for fesitivals.  and since this is the last weekend before the end of carnival, i guess you could consider it a festival.  to judge by last night’s noise in campo san polo, anyway.

the first inkling that this was no ordinary saturday came as we went under the accademia bridge.  there were enough people standing around on it to bring it down.

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we had intended to get off at san zaccaria, and avoid a lot of the crowds, but the vaporetto dropped us off just past the usual line 1 stop, and we were forced to walk it.  and omg it was horrific from the start.  connor couldn’t run; i had to hold his hand the entire time, because if he had gotten out of sight for one moment, he would be lost in the crush and we wouldn’t have been able to see him, never mind yell for him.  he didn’t like that very much, but he stayed with me.  and marie stayed right behind me.  and jim lagged.  so we lost jim for a moment here and there.

the trouble was that i was the only one who knew where we were going, because i hadn’t had the opportunity to discuss the route before we left the house.  so only i knew we were going over the bridge to the san zaccaria stop and then disappearing down a random alley to escape the crowds.  marie and i agreed that we weren’t going to stop anywhere near san marco to take pictures of the costumes, but there are times when you simply can’t help yourself, and so we lost marie.

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so i sent jim up and across to wait on the other side, and kept connor back, and started craning and shouting for marie, as much good as that did.  and then we spotted both her and jim, stopping traffic in the middle of the bridge, looking for us.  a few frantic hand-waves later and we were all agreed, and made it to the other side, upon which we immediately ducked down an alley to get away from all that.  none of us enjoy that kind of crowd.  i get positively anxious.  marie gets panicky.  jim gets annoyed.  connor gets frustrated.

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once we were out of the crowds, a long way from where i had intended to duck out – but that’s okay in venice because all roads lead in a circle – we could relax.  we managed to stay out of the crowds for most of our walk.  marie liked the graffiti on this wellhead.  it said ‘art is good for you’.  connor just wanted to pose.

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we kept running into costumed figures doing various things, and sometimes we caught a photo, and sometimes we just barged past.  and sometimes they stopped to pose, and sometimes they just barged past.

we stopped at our favorite t-shirt place, a design firm called bragora that makes humorous statements about venice.  marie got a lion of venice t-shirt, and we got one with the map of venice as a bar-code, reading ‘made in china’ at the bottom.  they gave us a discount!  we’re working on a design for them, on the theme of ‘dead tourists in venice’…

they had a great column painted with chalkboard paint, and both jim and connor tried their hand while the guy painstakingly picked out all the negative space on our t-shirt transfer.  jim’s drawing is on top.

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then we wandered past the art supply store and ducked in to marvel at the many many things we would actually be willing to spend money on.  and then we traveled onward past a good view of san michele.  and the alps were visible today.  you’ll have to peer a little at the photo, and they look like clouds right at the top of the trees.

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i don’t include enough little canal scenes lately, so here’s one.

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this lady stopped to look in a shop window and adjust her headdress.

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what a knocker.  oh sank you doktor.

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and we got to campo giovanni e paolo, where marie got to take pictures of the scuola san marco, and connor got to run around the base of the church, as he is always wont.  we found a little market inside the base of the church, and i went in looking for glass angels, but didn’t find any.  marie found a lion’s head door knocker for 55 euro, that weighed a ton, and decided she could live without it.  so we moved on.

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we stopped in at the acqua alta bookstore, because marie has never seen it.  but the crowds inside the bookstore were hellacious.  there was a line to go up the stair of books at the back of the store, and idiots were going up and instead of continuing to the down staircase, were turning around and coming back down again.  so marie and i headed to the front door.  unfortunately we had kind of misplaced connor, and only by accident found him cutting thru the sea of legs to get back to the back.  so i grabbed him, and he got really angry, because he loves to go up the stairs.  but no way in hell.  we couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  funny, tho, the shopcat was perched in front of the register as always, seemingly unperturbed by the massive packed crowd.  we passed jim perusing the books in front, and waited outside until he appeared.  that was our first omg moment.

then we were in campo santa maria formosa, and marie took pictures of the belltower and the monster head guarding the belltower.  and then we were in the middle of the tourist track to rialto, and it was absolute hell.  with people deciding they just had to stop at this mask shop, and that mask shop, and duck in for an ice cream, and stop to look at fake murano glass, and real italian leather bags from china.

we took refuge in a yarn shop, where i got 3 skeins of cotton so i can relearn how to knit when i get to iceland.  the lady was on the phone, and didn’t meet my eyes until she had finished her leisurely conversation.  she was very nice at that point, and showed marie how to knit a piece of knitted ribbon to itself, which she then bought.

and then we took refuge in the bookstore that sells vera da pozzo, the book that catalogs all the wellheads.  the guy had two versions – a small paperback that weighed a ton, for 75 euro, and a large harbound book that weighed most of a ton for 50.  we told him after carnival, and left, having gotten our breath back in that short time.

and then it was plunging back into the nasty horrible line of tourists trying to get somewhere, and making what little headway we could until we got to campo san bartolomeo and the rialto bridge.

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once we were over that we immediately ducked into the street that runs along the canal, and picked our way between canalside diners and their waiters until we got to campo san silvestro, and within shouting distance of home.

i sent the others on ahead and stopped at the crowded coop store for prosciutto and came home to make sandwiches, only to find that marie and connor had gone for frittelle.

at this point, a quick canvas resulted in nobody wanting to go back out to san giorgio this evening, and so we have stayed at home, working and napping and reading.  and now it’s time to have dinner, which marie is cooking – salmon steaks and sauteed gamberoni.  i’ve got bread rising, but it won’t be done for hours.

tomorrow we plan to get up before dawn and all of us go to san marco to take photos.  we’re getting up even earlier this time, around 5.  it’s supposed to be a lovely sunny day like today, and since it’s sunday, there are only two more days of carnival  hell to withstand, and then it’ll be over.

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well, that should have been the end of our post, but while we were on skype talking to some of the folks back home (crisis time), we noticed a log-jam out on the grand canal, with fanfares being played periodically.  the boats were stacked 4 deep at times, for about an hour, just drifting out to sea with the tide.  so we got redressed and went out to see what the hullabaloo was all about.  we went down to san toma vaporetto stop, thinking the parade would continue down the grand canal, but discovered that what was actually going on was a procession of water taxis dropping off masked figures to some sort of carnival ball.  we couldn’t actually get any closer than the traghetto stop nearby, because when you’ve got a palazzo with a water door on the grand canal, you only also have a back door onto a very narrow alley leading inland, and no way to get on the other side.

therefore, we walked back home, but there was a bar open (there’s a joke in there).

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jesus, the pope, and a giant frog walk into a bar…

and around the corner from that, a pastry shop, so marie and connor stopped in to get frittelle and a cookie.

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jim and i were still stuffed from dinner and ice cream, so we demured.  i went around to the back of the palazzo and saw a hand lettered sign saying ‘pisani-moretta’ that presumably led to the servant’s entrance

after we went to bed, the party continued, and it bothered me and kept me awake, especially when the dance music started up at 12:30 (and continued until 3:30).  so i looked it up using the name of the palazzo.  it’s fascinating, for all the wrong reasons.  first off, this is the ‘super-exclusive’ (to hear them tell it) ballo del doge, which was started as an episode of a bbc production called ‘crusades‘ back in the 90s by terry jones of monty python fame.  the party was created as a segment of the final program, and paid for by the party-goers, which pretty much sets the tone – dupe the rich.

one venice carnival website has this to say about what vanity fair has to say:

DefinedDefinedDefined by Vanity Fair as “the event in which every lover of beauty should attend at least once in life” the Ballo del Doge is synonymous of luxury thanks to the excellence of its performances, the extreme attention to scenic details, the sophistication of the menu gourmet, the high level of the participants. Every year, in fact, among the international guests are present stars of the jet set, VIPs of the fashion world and sport, noblemen and noblewomen, artists and businessman whose anonymity is protected by masks and sumptuous costumes.

it’s not cheap.

1 – SUPER VIP ENTRY
• Entrance at 08:30 p.m., welcome cocktail and Opening Show on the ground floor.
• Placé dinner on the second floor in the Vip Lounge, SECTION A – front stage.
• View of the Great Show during dinner.
• Open Bar in the Vip Lounge and disco from 00:30 a.m. on the ground floor.
Price € 2.500,00 SOLD OUT

if you aren’t able for the super vip entry, then you can opt for an off-salon for 1800 euro.  and if you’re really out of pocket, then you can skip dinner and come in for the disco for only 800 euro.

oh, and you need an adequate costume – no tuxedos and evening gowns allowed.  that would be slumming.  the organizers of the show have graciously collected a whole bunch of period costumes that they’ll rent to you (prices upon request).

here’s the kind of overblown hyperbole the organizers expect the idle rich to fall for – very sychophantic and pretentious.

Pisani Moretta, an historic and majestic palace on the Grand Canal, home to the past 23 editions of what is by all considered the quintessential Venetian Masked Ball, will re-open its portals on Saturday, February 25, 2017 in order to depict in all its splendor the renewed magic of Il Ballo del Doge, the most famous and coveted masked ball in the world.
An event ardently desired by all those guests who every year eagerly confirm their presence and who enthusiastically await to know the theme of this year’s new Dream: designed and created for them…

Every year brings a new theme, along with its idiosyncratic costumes and outfits. Each and every scenic nuance, every ray of light and melody and the movement of each artist shall be a reflection of this original and unique realisation of the dream project…

The Il Ballo del Doge is an artistic event, a social appointment, an unforgettable experience that unites people from all over the world. A production that goes beyond the notion of a party and becomes an international happening lived by celebrities and by all those of us in search of a dream.

perhaps  you can tell that i was a little pissed off being kept awake all night so rich people could get drunk and party.  eat the rich.

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Responses

  1. Hi. Thanks again for looking after me last weekend.

    I got back to find Barcelona gearing up for Carneval; although it’s held every year, I’m usually not in the mood for such frivolity (ditto the city’s Festa Major, La Mercé, c. 24th September.

    The first day, set aside for eating special egg-based sausages (*botifarra d’ou*) is *Dijous Gras* – Fat Thursday, unlike Fat Tuesday, celebrated most places, notably Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans, as Mardi Gras, and in the Britrish Isles as Shrove / Pancake Tuesday just befor Ash Wedenesday, the first day of Lent.

    Friday’s the day for school parties and some concerts, while Saturday involved lots of parades – *ruas* – and open-air theatre and a special cake, culminating in a big fireworks display. It’s mainly a children’s festival, so costumes largely comprise bunnies, zebras, fairies etc. One little boy in an Italian chef costume reminded me of myself at the age of 5 or 6 dressed up as l’Escoffier!

    THe festivities end on Thursday with the mysterious beach ceremony of the Burial of the Sardine.

    OK, that’s it for now.

    Love, Fxxx

    On 26 February 2017 at 12:51, an irish travel guide wrote:

    > jeanne posted: “jim and marie got up before dawn and just missed a > vaporetto, so had to wait another 20 minutes to get to san marco, by which > time the lights were off and the sun was riz. so he got these shots and > more using the far lens. i stayed in bed thank god. ” >

    Like


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