Saturday, January 2, 2010

Love 2010 in Venice - The New Year

(Venice, Italy) On New Year's Eve, I found myself on the lower level of the stage in the middle of Piazza San Marco surrounded by 35,000 people who were knee-deep in acqua alta. (That image you see is from last year's festival, but I could not find a photo from 2010.) At midnight, everyone hugged each other and kissed, and it was lovely.

Now, I have been in Piazza San Marco before on New Year's Eve, and was truly frightened by the crowd. This year, however, it felt like Love 2010.

We were immersed in the lagoon, up to our knees -- it is only possible to ring in the New Year like that in Venice, caressed by the gentle waves. 

I have always believed that Venice would defend herself against her enemies, and New Year's Eve proved my theory correct. The lapping water discouraged violence and rowdiness, wrapped us in her arms and kissed us! --  Yes! Venice (Venus) herself, together with her husband, the Sea (Neptune), made a special appearance in Piazza San Marco on New Year's Eve and everyone was happy! We kissed each other under the full moon and drank Bellinis from the Canella family. We waved old-fashioned sparklers and danced. It was magical, and I hope it is a sign that all the bad guys are finally getting washed out of Venice. Venice herself is washing them away!

Other magical things have happened this holiday season that makes me think the future might brighten: on December 23rd there was a stupendous, free concert at the Church of Santa Maria Formosa -- Handel's Messiah, with such an interesting list of sponsors that I will feature them here:  
Nell'ambito delle celebrazioni del duecentocinquantesimo anniversario della morte di Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), l'Associazione Musicale Orologio e l'Associazione culturale Tiepolo in collaborazione con la Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi, la Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, Chorus Associazione per le Chiese del Patriarcato di Venezia e l'Associazione culturale Cultura Venezia Futura hanno organizzato la prima esecuzione in Veneto dell'Oratorio Messiah nella sua versione originale, con strumenti antichi e cantanti internazionali

I was weeping throughout much of the performance, it was so beautiful... it was spiritual... the music melted my heart, which I feared had frozen solid from all the abuse it had suffered in 2008 and 2009. The cold water from my heart poured out through my eyes, hot and hopeful. Listening to those human voices used as musical instruments... it was as if God had sent the angels down to Venice from heaven.

On Christmas Eve, I went to Midnight Mass, and, again, we had very high water, the highest it had been for a long time. But the Basilica was warm and full with people; it was amazingly dry inside, and our Patriarch was in good form. Afterward the service I was fortunate enough to pray in front of the Pala D'Oro! If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I love to do that!

Click here to read more: Mary-ascends-to-heaven-and-Pala-D'oro

Happy New Year and Ciao from Venice,

Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog


  1. Bonne année à vous, a presto !

  2. Bless You Cat, Happy New Year and Welcome Back. I was in Venice two years ago (there was no acqua alta)and it was one of the most wonderful New Years Eve celebrations I have ever experienced...warm and friendly people welcomed me and talked with me as we rang in the new year together...I was there alone, but felt like I was with family! I look forward to returning again soon. AND I can't wait to read you next post! Thank you for helping to keep Venice alive in my heart 'till i can return.
    Pace & Amore!

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