Review of Venice Carnival 2013, Italy

The Venice Carnival 2013 last from January 26 to February 13. From circus to music, from gastronomy to science, the carnival of the Venetian city this year seems to be, despite the crisis, a generous carnival staging. The romantic water city sometimes covered by dense fog, full of stories and mysteries. Many events that was held during the carnival, grand costume balls, fierce mask contests, towering wigs and a parade of preening, enriched with sumptuous costumes and fascinating masks.

The 2013 edition, gives a foretaste of the spectacular energy of one of the most fascinating events in the world. The 2013 edition of the Venice Carnival revolve around the theme of “Life in color”, an overwhelming color becomes the protagonist of the events of the Venetian traction: from the Corteo and Festa delle Marie, there is a riot of colors also for the Flights of the Angel and the Svolo del Leon on Shrove.

Venice is the only city in color before the invention of color: Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto, Tiziano, Giorgione, Bellini, Veronese perfected the art of perspective and color painting in the lagoon. It could not be otherwise: there is no city in the world where the color spectrum gives its best, reflecting on the water of the canals and on the lagoon.

The city, which became important for color studies already at the time of the Bellini, Veronese and Guardi, once again sees the theme of colors as protagonist in the lagoon. A full calendar of events is being prepared in the name of color: concerts in Piazza San Marco, historical dances and performances in the fields, without forgetting the aperitifs with music and smaller events.

The 2013 Carnival of Venice is the Carnival of color because each color communicates and arouses an emotion and each of us associates a mood with this. Colors are the most subjective thing there is, and share with the spirit of Carnival the infinite variety and number of masks, in turn corresponding to our infinite different attitudes.

Color is the result of a synthesis of perceptual stimuli and neurological characteristics on the basis of which the body reacts to the physical nature that surrounds us. Imprisoned inside the retina, color sensors transfer color vision to the brain, reacting to the wavelength of a ray of light that, after hitting an object or a person, reaches our eye.

The theories of color tell us that everything we see does not depend exclusively on its nature (the material, the surface, etc.) but above all on the way we react to visual stimuli. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. And so is Carnival, where everything is allowed in the name of a temporary suspension of roles in which the observer has the right and duty not to define the characters of the people who wear a costume but only the mask they wear. Masking, a symbolic action of the Carnival, is the synthesis of this liberation.

Venice during the Carnival is spellbinding, with a historically rich mixture of performance and dining, and, of course, the magnificent costumes, including the extravagant masks for which Venice is so famous. If you have never had a romantic encounter in Venice, perhaps you have an opportunity to learn why countless generations of impassioned lovers have exclaimed that romance in Venice is the best romance there is. As every year there is great expectation for the Venetian festival, which always attracts a large number of tourists from all over Italy and the world for the occasion.

In the Carnival, the streets are filled with celebrants dressed in luxurious, festive garb; experiencing Venice during the Carnival is like stepping back in time, with no modern buildings to spoil the illusion. One can wander the streets, taking in the costumes and street performances, or attend an evening party, an opera or concert, in one of the palaces or hotels accustomed to hosting royalty.

Popular and exciting are also the Corteo delle Marie and the Flight of the Angel which celebrate the second weekend of Carnival, such as the Competition for the most beautiful mask in which costumed groups from all over the world participate, the Flight of the Eagle, the coronation of the Carnival Mary and the shows that close the party on Shrove Tuesday, in a riot of colors, applause, confetti and the grace and beauty of the girls protagonists.

The glamorous side of Carnival is that of the palace parties: stuccos, golds, velvets and candles, the experience is overwhelming and immersive: between food and perfumes couples of fairies and admirer, queens and courtiers, great leaders, doges, cardinals, comedians and dancers welcome guests who in a few minutes forget the era to which they belong.

All of an evening you might experience walking up the stairs of a candlelit palace, expecting Casanova to make his advances; enjoying cocktails over the glimmering Grand Canal, abandoning your senses to pleasure; all while revealing your true identity only to carefully chosen intimates. After all this extravagance perhaps your night is completed by a mysterious, romantic, moonlight tryst, leaving you entranced and breathless, ready to meet the whole experience again the following day.

Highlight events
Venice Carnival is one traditions with strong foundation in culture with the significance and beauty. The whole world also gathers every year around this time gaze on its grandeur. Every year, the Venice Carnival turns the city into a spectacular riot of pageantry, colour, musical performances, fireworks displays and glamorous Venetian balls. If you want to experience the exotic atmosphere of Venice at its best, carnival is the time to go.

It all start on January 26 with the “MetaMorPhosiS Aquaticae” parade on the water of the transalpine company Ilotopie. A path on the Cannaregio canal, between the Tre Archi bridge and the Guglie bridge, which awaken in visitors the passion for the rippling water movements in winter.

Venice Carnival 2013 was the Carnival of colours since it pay homage to Venice’s great artists Tiziano and Canaletto and the colours they used. In a whirlwind of chromatic variations and scores over the top, the Venice Carnival host the “Gran Teatro di San Marco” in Piazza San Marco, a majestic structure created in collaboration with Expovenice.

Every night in the Piazza San Marco a concert was held with a different colour theme and style of music. For example “Purple Rain” was dedicated to 80’s music, “Yellow Submarine” pay homage to the Beatles and “Black is Back” was centred on soul music from the 70’s.

There are many other things to do during the Venice Carnival 2013. The program includes gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls, chocolate tasting and theatre performances. An ice skating rink also be installed in the Campo San Polo for children and the young at heart. It is also tradition for visitors and locals alike to stroll through the streets of Venice in their elegant costumes taking photos of themselves amongst the gondolas and palaces of Venice.

Flight of the Angel, Venice carnivalSurely though the highlight of Venice Carnival is the Best Masked Costume Contest occurring throughout the carnival at the Gran Teatro of Piazza San Marco where competitors parade on stage each vying to be the contest winner by exhibiting their very best period wigs, masks and costumes. Joining the parades are street artists and traditional dancers adding to the atmosphere of the contest.

Vogata del Silenzio, Venice CarnivalOther standout traditions of the Venice Carnival are the “Il Volo dell’Aquilla” (flight of the Eagle) and the “Volo dell’Angelo”(flight of the angel) in which people dressed as an eagle and angel respectively, land in the Piazza San Marco via a rope suspended from the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica. The Flight of the Angel is on Sunday the 3rd of February and the Flight of the Eagle is on Sunday the 10th of February.

The glamorous side of Carnival is that of the palace parties: stuccos, golds, velvets and candles, the experience is overwhelming and immersive: between food and perfumes couples of fairies and admirer, queens and courtiers, great leaders, doges, cardinals, comedians and dancers welcome guests who in a few minutes forget the era to which they belong.

Visitors could attend the Gallery of Wonders at the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi Palace, where fine art, comedic performances and delicious food combine with wild costumes and dancing long into the night. The palace then hosts a number of similar events, so nobody need to miss out. Throughout the Carnival of Venice, visitors can also attend masked costume contests in the Piazza San Marco. Contestants are graded on the authenticity of their outfits before the Grand Finale.

The following was the program of the 2013 edition:

The Venetian Water Festival – Inauguration of the 2013 Carnival
The Venice Carnival opens in Cannaregio with an unprecedented and extraordinary show on the water, “Metamorphosis Aquaticae” by the French company Ilotopie, which takes us into a world of dreams and poetry with an unprecedented show for Venice, all set on the water. Afterwards, Rio di Cannaregio is filled with rhythm and music with the concert of the Dixie Funk Parade. To open this magical evening, the Circateatro company takes guests into a dreamlike atmosphere, with the show on stilts “Dream of a night strampolata”.

The Flight of the Angel 2013
The Angel 2013 is the winner Mary of the 2012 Feast of the maries, Marta Finotto.

The Flight of the Eagle 2013
The protagonist of the second flight, Fat Sunday, is the volleyball player of the Italian national team Francesca Piccinini with a nineteenth-century hussar costume, created by maestro Francesco Briggi of the Pietro Longhi Atelier.

Feast of the Marie 2013
The 12 Marys are back in the square for the Award Ceremony and the coronation of the winning Maria of this edition of the Carnival, Julia Nasi.

The Svolo del Leon 2013
After the success of the 2012 Carnival, the Winged Lion, symbol of Venice, descends from the bell tower to fly above the public, accompanied by the notes of the Hymn of San Marco performed by the Orchextrana group.

The Flight of the Donkey 2013
The traditional event from Mestre, a parody of the Flight of the Angel in Piazza San Marco, with magic pipers who enchant young and old alike, waiting for the friendly guest of the Flight with the rhythms of the Banda Berimbau.

The Most Beautiful Mask 2013
Competitors compete in creativity, colors and imagination with their Carnival costumes. Within the parade, the historical dances by the Overdream Association, the music of the Murga “Saltimbranco” and the show of “Moriss ei Pic”.

Cultural Program
Cultural events that take place in theaters, museums and city institutes. The cultural review of the Venice Carnival 2013 puts the city on stage by opening the doors of palaces, libraries and archives, museums and music halls to hybrid, impromptu projects, suitable for the more brilliant and festive context than the atmosphere of the Carnival induces. A largely free or very popular programming with dozens of daily events that outline an artistically vital and exuberant city.

A schedule that is organized for the entire period of the event by connecting the cultural realities of the city, from the Civic Museums to the State Museum Center, including the independent private foundations in a precious calendar of events (concerts, conferences, exhibitions, theatrical and film reviews) on the theme of the Carnival, works that testify to the culture of art and crafts in Venice; iconographic itineraries focused on the arts also in places of the sacred; theatrical and comedy performances; fairy tales for children and theaters, as well as workshops of the art of craftsmanship.

History
The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. It is one of the best known and most popular carnivals in the world. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks. Its origins are very ancient: the first evidence dates back to a document of the Doge Vitale Falier of 1094, where there is talk of public entertainment and in which the word Carnival is mentioned for the first time.

The institution of the Carnival by the Venetian oligarchies is generally attributed to the need of the Serenissima, like what already happened in ancient Rome (see panem et circenses), to grant the population, especially the humblest social classes, a period dedicated entirely for fun and celebrations, during which Venetians and foreigners flocked throughout the city to party with wild music and dancing.

Through the anonymity that masks and costumes guaranteed, a sort of leveling of all social divisions was achieved and even the public derision of the authorities and the aristocracy was authorized. These concessions were widely tolerated and considered a providential outlet to the tensions and discontent that inevitably arose within the Republic of Venice, which placed strict limits on its citizens on issues such as common morality and public order.

The Modern Carnival
Only in 1979, the centuries-old tradition of the Venice Carnival officially rose from its ashes, thanks to the initiative and commitment of some citizens’ associations and the logistical and economic contribution of the Municipality of Venice, of the Teatro la Fenice., of the Venice Biennale and tourist boards.

Within a few editions, thanks also to the media visibility reserved for the event and the city, the Venice Carnival has returned to tracing the footsteps of the ancient event with great success, albeit in different ways and atmospheres.

The individual annual editions of this new Carnival have often been distinguished and dedicated to a basic theme, which inspires them for parties and surrounding cultural events. Some editions were also characterized by combinations and twinning with other Italian and European cities, thus providing further involvement of the event at an international level.

The current Carnival of Venice has become a great and spectacular tourist event, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who flock to the city to participate in this festival considered unique for its history, atmosphere and masks.

The traditionally most important days of the Venetian Carnival are Shrove Thursday and Shrove Tuesday, even if the greatest influxes are certainly recorded during the weekends of the event.

The holidays
With the first edition of the recent Carnival, a program of events and a detailed calendar for the new major event are simultaneously established. The date for the start of the official celebrations is established to coincide with the Saturday before Shrove Thursday and the end with Shrove Tuesday, for a total duration of only eleven days. Unlike the Carnival of the past, which for a long time had an official duration of six weeks, the modern one takes place with a concentrated program, but full of individual events.

As in the past, the Carnival of Venice still represents a great popular festival for a large audience of all ages. Street parties and events of all kinds animate the days of the groups of masks and tourists, who happily scatter around the city. In addition to the official parties in the square between campi and campielli, still today as in the past various private parties and masked balls are organized in the great Venetian palaces. In these places, rich in furnishings and atmospheres almost unchanged over time, it is possible to relive the ancient splendors and the tradition of the Carnival of the past.

The Feast of the Marys
Only in 1999 the ancient Festa delle Marie was finally restored, with an atmosphere that combines the historical re-enactment of the ancient procession with the girls with a more modern beauty pageant in costume. It was officially revived about six hundred years later, by Bruno Tosi

In the weeks preceding the Carnival, a sort of selection is held among the young local beauties to choose the twelve Marys destined to parade as protagonists of the procession, during the celebration. The party generally takes place on the afternoon of the first Saturday of the Carnival, when the twelve Marys, accompanied by a long procession made up of a procession of bridesmaids, flag-wavers, musicians and hundreds of other figures in period costume, begins its slow walk starting from the church of San Pietro di Castello and heading towards Piazza San Marco, between the wings of a crowd of masks and tourists.

In Piazza San Marco, the next day, the bridesmaids parade again awaiting the official proclamation of the winner of the edition, the most beautiful of the twelve (the so-called Mary of the year), to whom a substantial prize is awarded.

The Flight of the Angel
In the modern Carnival it was decided to re-present to the public, in a guise similar to the original one of the ancient Carnival, the anniversary of the Flight of the Angel, in its variant of Volo della Colombina. While in the past this show was celebrated on Shrove Thursday, in modern editions it is generally held at noon on the first Sunday of celebration, as one of the opening events that officially decree the beginning of the Carnival itself. Until the 2000 edition, above a cheering crowd, with its gaze turned to the Campanile of San Marco, a mechanical bird with the shape of a dove carried out, as in the past, its descent on the rope towards the Doge’s Palace. Approximately halfway through, a trap door was opened in its lower part,

Since the 2001 edition, the first of the millennium, the old formula of the Flight of the Angel has been passed again, replacing the Colombina with a real artist and ending the descent in Piazza San Marco. The 2001 flight was entrusted to the Compagnia dei Folli, which lent its own artist for the event. For each edition, the Angel of the Carnival, secured to a metal cable, makes his only descent from the belfry of the bell tower, slowly sliding towards the ground, suspended in the void, above the multitude that fills the space below.

Tags: