Saturday, February 18, 2012

L’inizio del Carnevale

Today marked Enzo Ferrari’s 114th birthday and walking through Lodi, one might have been fooled into thinking that the confetti and streamers strewn throughout the Piazza della Vittoria were all for him. In reality, this afternoon saw the unofficial beginning of Carnevale in the town and children came out with their families dressed as various characters including Cinderella and Francesco from Cars 2. Actually, it was a little bit of a sad turnout considering that the weather was beautiful but I’ve been assured that the real celebration will be this Tuesday in Lodi and the people of Milan get the whole of next week off from work in honour of the festival.

My personal Carnevale experience began last night when last I was invited to a costume party at a local bar. I showed up expecting a room full of colourful outfits, but much to my dismay the angry bird mask, which I first talked about in my January 26th blog, was one of only several disguises in the packed venue. My friend Charlotte, who is from Holland and has lived in Lodi for several years, exclaimed that this was typical of young Italians who are all apparently extremely afraid of what other people may think. Thankfully there were a few humorous costumes amongst the mix including a hairy Marilyn Monroe, a Vulcan and even a Roman soldier. The Roman soldier was possibly the funniest because he was also absolutely trashed. At one point, he stumbled into the washroom while many people were waiting in line and proceeded to knock on all of the cubical doors before declaring by ‘special decree’ that the men could have one stall and the women the other. Of course, as chance would have it, there were no other men waiting in line and I exclaimed that he could either wait his turn or if he was desperate enough go outside and find himself a lovely tree…nice try buddy!

Once amongst my friends, I quickly discovered that it was almost impossible to drink with the angry bird mask on. In fact, unaccustomed to having such a long and large nose, I was also bumping into walls and innocent bystanders throughout the entire evening! Overall I had a fantastic time, but I must say that the Italians certainly did not live up to their reputation for being passionate and spontaneous. 

I realised during the course of the night that I still longed for an authentic Italian Carnevale experience and therefore made plans with Charlotte to head for THE place to see the festivities, Venice, tomorrow morning. Thankfully we managed to book our tickets today because there were almost no spare seats left on trains headed towards the Carnevale hot-spot tomorrow. It goes without saying that I am extremely excited, I have never been to Venice before and attending its Carnevale on the date that is rumoured to be the climax of the festival will surely be a once in a lifetime experience.

Be sure to read my blog on Monday when I post pictures and impressions from my day out at the Venice Carnevale.

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