Yep. Carnevale is just so much fun–I wish I could return another year and participate fully, huge ball gown, wig and full face mask. My half mask (very simple and completely different from everyone else’s–mine looked as though a child painted it poorly and stuck some faux gems on, but that was part of the charm).
Venice is even more of a labyrinth than Florence. Since the city is on the water (in the water, in some cases, such as the flooded St Mark’s Square), places that are geographically close together. My friends and I ended up on the wrong island, and instead of having a direct line to St Mark’s…well, we could have gone swimming.
We ran through the alleys, the narrow streets. Our hearts thumped. We were late. If we ran…maybe we could get there…no such luck. We raced, myself and two friends changing position as the leader. People crowded closely, guarding the four bridges we needed to cross. “Permesso! Permesso!” I bellowed. We grabbed each others’ shoulders, flying through the streets in a maddening game of crack the whip. It was stressful, insane, but above all…fun.
I may have missed the first boat to the mainland (but I did get there–thankfully there were two boats waiting). Would I have traded making that first boat with not having that little jaunt through the city? Nope. Whenever I think of Venice, I’ll remember that weaving, laughing, forty-five minutes.
With the extra long bus rides from Florence to Venice (the first being at six am…ouch), I managed to get some writing in. Alas, no good short stories, but the ‘impression’ writing I did turned out good–some of it may end up in future stories or perhaps in essays.