|End of Venice Carnival 2016 - Photo: Cat Bauer|
(Venice, Italy) The Carnival of Venice closed yesterday as an enormous Venetian flag soared its way to the top of the Campanile, a purple sky dramatic in the background.
|Masked revelers in front of the Florian Caffè . Venice Carnival 2016 - Photo: Cat Bauer|
This year, the carnival theme was "Creatum," with new artistic director, Marco Maccapani, at the helm. Maccapani has a wealth of experience directing events in the fashion industry -- he was once married to Angela Missoni -- and aimed to create a carnival that both residents and tourists could enjoy.
|Mask Making - Venice Carnival 2016 - Photo: Cat Bauer|
Instead of an imposing stage that separated visitors from performers, smaller sets were scattered throughout Piazza San Marco, highlighting the traditions that Venice does best: glass blowing, mask making, costumes, fabrics -- even a gondola was in the square.
|Gondola in Piazza San Marco - Photo: Cat Bauer|
Venice is a strange enough place to live under ordinary conditions. During Carnival, it becomes surreal, trying to do everyday activities with all sorts of colorful creatures moving through the streets.
|Venice Carnival 2016 - Photo Cat Bauer|
The liberation that grown adults get by dressing up in costumes and striking poses never seems to lose its appeal.
|Plague doctor - Venice Carnival - Photo: Cat Bauer|
A favorite costume is that of the Plague Doctor, which was an outfit that doctors actually wore to treat victims of the plague. The beak-like mask was stuffed with scented materials like myrrh, mint, cloves and camphor to protect them against a poisonous vapor or "miasma" believed to spread disease through the air. Straw was used as a filter.
|Live Commedia dell'arte in Piazza San Marco - Photo: Cat Bauer|
Stivalaccio Teatro performed L'Arlecchino Furioso in the square, riveting the audience with their wild antics, and giving them a taste of some good old-fashioned Commedia dell'arte.
|BrassOperà - Photo: Cat Bauer|
La Fenice Opera Theatre presented BrassOperà, serenading the square with La Traviata and more.
|Cocktails from Harry's Bar - Photo: Cat Bauer|
Harry's Bar served cocktails to the crowd.
|Venice Carnival 2016 - Photo: Cat Bauer|
Throughout the carnival, the mood was light and festive, well-organized and secure. It was nice to know in these days when the international community seems permeated with fear, that folks can still come out and play in the most beautiful drawing room in the world.
|Through the window of the Florian - Reflection or Reality? Photo: Cat Bauer|
During Venice Carnival, the curtain dividing the past from the present, the real from the imagined becomes more transparent. And anyone can use their imagination to become whatever they dream they can be.
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog