Today we ventured into Venice with the intentions of experiencing the carnival first hand. The atmosphere in San Marco was very lively, even though it was raining quite heavily initially, the rain stopped in the early afternoon.
The main square in San Marco was very busy with various stall’s, bars and an open theatre where there was entertainment showing throughout the day. The Cathedral in the main square attracted a lot of attention and there were many people queuing to have a look inside. One thing that we noticed today was that people made a lot more effort to talk to us and entice us into restaurants, and the many stores selling venetian masks. There was also a clear differentiation between the shops that catered for people of a higher class, offering high quality jewelry with original venezian masks and products in comparison to the cheaper stores that provided for the tourists that simply wanted to feel as though they were taking part.
Walking around Venice there were various places that caught our attention, the Hard Rock Café which was very busy was one of the first, and it was situated just by the main square attracting an array of cultures. We also came across many fashion franchises such as; Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Armani. Although there were lots of beautiful restaurants, and shops it was hard not to notice the actual state of Venice away from eye level. Above all the places the buildings were decrepit and dirty, the city almost seems to use tourists to gain most of their capital yet the scenery does not seem to offer much in return.
The main square hosts a very original wine fountain which we can only assume had colouring added which made the water appear like wine, and the bar built around the fountain almost lowered the tone of the whole area which is situated right next to the beautiful cathedral with music blaring and a party atmosphere. Another huge building situated in the main square housing stores, restaurants and bars was covered with a huge billboard advertising Versace perfume. The billboard caught our attention as it was a continuation of the building yet it covered the architecture itself.
Now that we have experienced the carnival, tomorrow our plan is to do our third classic ‘derive’, from Cannareggio through to Castello. After completing the derive we will go back through San Marco to view the square at night and see the difference in atmosphere.