General Italy Mardi Gras Venice

Is Venice Mardi Gras kaput again?

Venice carnival on Sunday, February 23, 2010
Wearing protective masks and suits at the Venice carnival on Sunday. The final two days of the event have been cancelled because of coronavirus. Photo by Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

Photos courtesy of Carla Gambescia, author of La Dolce Vita University.

Venice, once an exotic East-meets-West Xanadu had by the turn of the 18th century long been a tourist honeypot with Europe’s best courtesans, elegant gambling salons and the extravagant festival of Carnevale.
Most famous of all revelers was Casanova whose infamous seductions were, indeed, an expression of Venetian decadence.
But then, abruptly, Carnevale was kaput. Napoleon, notorious killjoy that he was, decreed an end to all masquerade balls and public festivities when he took Venice as his own in 1797.
It was not until 1979 that the pipers piped and revelers once again reveled thanks to many young art students committed to reviving the craft of mask-making.

Read Carla Gambescia’s nostalgic article.

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Can Venice survive?

Deutsche Welle or DW is a German state-owned public international broadcaster

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Read Carla Gambescia’s romanticed view of Venice

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Venice under water

St. Mark’s Square flooded
Famous spots like St. Mark’s Square were under several feet of water. The crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica was flooded.Credit…Marco Bertorello/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica
The crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica was flooded by more than three feet of water. Photo by Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
Hotel Paganelli in Venice
Using a makeshift bridge to exit a hotel on Wednesday. Photo by Marco Bertorello/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Contrast all this with beauty that Carla Gambescia’s article reminds us.

Photo by Carla Gambescia
Photo by Carla Gambescia

The text below is a translation of the article on November 14, 2019.

A masterpiece of art, history and spirituality is in grave danger, Venice is flooded. The situation is still at risk, the tide arrived yesterday at 187cm. Piazza San Marco World Heritage Site and the Basilica of San Marco, jewel of Venice are threatened. The salt water entered the Basilica putting the Crypt and the whole church at risk. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in Pellestrina due to a short circuit. Electricity outlets are water fountains, hotel bars and restaurants as well as shops and houses submerged by water.

The siren anticipated a nightmare night yesterday. Record high water in Venice has reached 187 centimeters and with winds of 100 km / h, high water of this magnitude has not been seen since 1966. In the lagoon they expect the three days of high tide with effects on the city still unpredictable .

The crypt has been submerged by more than a meter of water, so many are the infiltrations and damages that also affect the structures and therefore the foundations of the Basilica. In addition to the Basilica of San Marco, Cà Pesaro and the La Fenice theater were hit.

The mayor is preparing the request for a state of crisis and declares that for the Marcian basilica “we have been a hair’s breadth from the disaster”. Also the general secretary of the Mibact declares that the situation is “complex and worrying”.

Prime Minister Conte has visited the city noting the serious damage entering the Basilica. Now they expect three days of high tide, as usual. These exceptional events added the bora wind and the sirocco wind that joined together to create rough seas in the lagoon and waves at Piazza San Marco.

The damage count is still difficult while the Centro Maree itself has been hit by the storm that has also damaged the telephone lines. It is feared that the high water inside the Basilica of San Marco could compromise its structure and that the materials could flourish. The situation is particularly dangerous not for the interior furnishings, but rather because the water could give static problems to the columns that support the Basilica.

Art Italy Venice

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