For many years, certainly all the years I’ve lived in Venice, the Venetian Carnival has been a very touristy and commercial affair, with huge crowds flooding the city and many paid actors in fancy but a-historical costumes vying for the attention of photographers.
This year has been a different carnival.
There are very few tourists in the city, and the remaining residents are coming back to the places they have mostly avoided for years, like St. Mark’s square during the Carnival.
This last Saturday of the carnival saw our square full of families and children, many dressed up and playing in the square.
The main attraction was a group of teenagers who had dressed up in home made giraffe costumes, posing for photos with the children.
There were a handful of tourists, but they were few.
It does say something about the extent of tourism in Venice in the last decades, that seeing children play in the square at carnival is something special and unique.