Monday, September 29, 2014

UNLOCK YOUR LOVE & George Clooney Wedding in Venice


Amal Alamuddin & George Clooney wed in Venice

(Venice, Italy) Venice was truly the City of Love this weekend as George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married at the Aman Canal Grande. Photos of the wedding were tightly controlled, so the only opportunities for the paparazzi and the public to snap a shot were as the couple traveled by water-taxi, or entered and exited venues. People lined the Grand Canal for hours hoping for a glimpse of the couple, cheering and waving whenever they appeared. The sunlight sparkled on the water, liquid diamonds that set the backdrop for a long weekend of glamour and romance.


Palazzo Papadopoli - Clooney wedding night
I think it is terrific that the power couple married in Venice; it is the kind of energy that spotlights Venice at her best. George Clooney comes regularly to the Venice Film Festival, so I've had the good fortune to see him at press conferences, and think he is an honorable, intelligent man with a great sense of humor and charm. Amal Alamuddin was stunning in one magnificent fashion work-of-art after another, a unique combination of beauty and brains. I've also written about the Aman Canal Grande for CNN Travel, and think it was the perfect spot for the wedding -- Palazzo Papadopoli is more like an impressive home rather than a hotel; in fact, the family who owns the palace still lives on the top floor.

UNLOCK YOUR LOVE crew at the foot of the Accademia Bridge
As the Clooneys celebrated their new life together, Venice also was busy starting anew. In support of NATIONAL CLEANING DAY 2014, a day that civic-minded groups throughout Italy come together to tidy up the country, citizens in Venice spent Sunday painting over graffiti, cleaning the trash from the waters of the canals and chopping off the unattractive "love" padlocks that couples have clamped onto bridges throughout the city.

Venetian writer Alberto Toso Fei cutting off a "love" lock
I was part of the UNLOCK YOUR LOVE group, coordinated by Alberto Alberti, and spearheaded by the Venetian writer, Alberto Toso Fei, who also seems very adept with a pair of bolt-cutters.

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
We began at the Accademia Bridge, which has been covered with unsightly padlocks for years (a personable photographer who was waiting for an exclusive shot of the Clooney wedding party was perched at the top with a very long lens). As a portion of the UNLOCK YOUR LOVE group sliced off the padlocks with gusto, and another part explained what we were doing and handed out flyers, I asked couples from all over the world to express their love with photos instead of locks. People were happy to oblige as I snapped away with my very old cell phone.

#UnlockYourLove in Venice

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
The larger group that coordinated Venice's CLEANING DAY activities is called the Associazione Masegni & Nizioleti Onlus, which is headed by the divine Cecilia Tonon. "Masegni" are the paving stones you walk on when you come to Venice, and "nizioleti" are the black and white rectangular street signs you see all over the city that indicate the names of the squares and streets.

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
#UnlockYourLove in Venice
This is what the Associazione Magesni & Nizioleti Onlus group does:

"We are a group of citizens who care for Venice, its cleanliness, its livability."

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
#UnlockYourLove in Venice
"We keep an eye on our streets and intervene where there is graffiti, padlocks (lovelocks), evidence of lack of respect for Venice and for those who live in this city and love her."

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
#UnlockYourLove in Venice
"We gather together those of us who love Venice and want to improve her."

#UnlockYourLove in Venice

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
"We have removed padlocks from the bridges, and we have pushed the City Council to take action against this anti-ecological fad."

#UnlockYourLove in Venice

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
"We remove graffiti tags and degrading treatments from the walls and the Istrian stone."

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
#UnlockYourLove in Venice
"We promote the restoration of chipped and damaged nizioleti." 

#UnlockYourLove in Venice
To find out more information about the group, go to their website, or find them on Facebook HERE or HERE.

And when you come to Venice, be sure to express your love with a photo, instead of a padlock. Upload the photo to the internet, or tweet it to #UnlockYourLove, and it will last forever. But the padlock will be cut off. As one visitor said, "It's bad karma."

Severed "love" locks in the trash
I rarely have a reason to interact with the visitors who come to Venice, so it was a lot of fun to talk to people from all around the world. Most people were pleasant, and seemed to genuinely be having a good time. With the sun dazzling the waters, and the Clooney wedding playing in the background, it was another magical moment in Venice, the City of Amore.

George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin after civil ceremony
Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. As the Clooneys celebrated their new life together, Venice also was busy starting anew. In support of NATIONAL CLEANING DAY 2014, a day that civic-minded groups throughout Italy come together to tidy up the country, citizens in Venice spent Sunday painting over graffiti, cleaning the trash from the waters of the canals and chopping off the unattractive "love" padlocks that couples have clamped onto bridges throughout the city.

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