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Popular Holiday Destinations in Europe. Italy. Part 2. Venice
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Popular Holiday Destinations in Europe. Italy. Part 2. Venice

This podcast is about probably the most romantic city in Italy, Venice. 
Discover something new about European cities with Olena Koshovska in Popular Holiday Destinations in Europe series.

 

Written and voiced by Olena Koshovska

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Popular holiday destinations in Europe. Italy. Part 2. Venice

Gondoliers, serenades, Giacomo Casanova, courtesans and luxury life that is full of idleness and merriment – it's the history of the heart and soul of Italy, a beautiful city Venice. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.

It is one of the most famous and amazing cities in the world. Built on water, the city has carried its original features through centuries. Winding canals, gondolas, floating on them quietly, mazes of narrow streets, arcaded bridges, old palaces and small houses, longstanding churches and bell chime, San Marco Square and the Doge Palace - all these are just fragments of a fairy tale that is called Venice.

What else adds to the enchanting mist of the city? Of course, numerous masks and the spirit of the Carnival! A mask decorated with feather, beads or sequins is considered to be the best souvenir from Venice.

What do you know about Venetian Carnival? I am almost sure that you would love to take part in it and have fun pretending to be another personality that is hiding behind a mask or a fabulous costume.

The Carnival in Venice is known to have dated back to the year 1162 as a celebration of an important victory at those times: San Marco Square was bustling with both noble persons and simple people who were wearing masks to avoid social differences and inequality. They were dancing, singing songs and congratulating each other.

Traditionally, the Carnival in Venice starts in February and embodies the merry freedom that not everyone can afford during the rest of the year. Walking along the street you can meet a glamorous fop dressed up in a motley costume that costs much more than a thousand euro. Or a man who is rushing on business, having bungled himself in a black mackintosh and covered his face with a white mask. It is a white mask and a black mackintosh (tabarro) combined with a silk cape and tree-cornered hat (tricorno) of the same colour that make the most popular elements of Venetian Carnival costumes.

Other festival participants turn into Pierros and Colombinas, angels and demons, knights, moors, amazons and stargazers. You can buy traditional carnival attributes everywhere and merge with the togged up crowd in no time. The streets during the Carnival are full of jugglers, magicians, mimes, acrobats, clowns and serpent-charmers. Piazzas named after different saints are the popular places for such performances: Campo San Marco, Campo San Luca, Campo San Barnaba and others. Besides, numerous pallazi de Venezia hold masquerade balls and live music concerts…

The Carnival will make you forget about vanity and fuss of life. Only one sad thing may hurry you there not to miss the chance: Venice is slowly, but steadily disappearing under water. For example, San Marco Square is covered by the water for more than 80 days a year; some areas of the city are flooded that leads to the buildings destruction…

In spite of these sad facts, the charm of Venice will remain forever even though you come to the city at least ones, at least for one day.