“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”
– Truman Capote –
A unique place that is able to activate a sense of peace and tranquility even when it is submerged by a river of people, maddened by the joy of the carnival. One of the most beautiful in the world, indeed.
I booked a room in one of the endless “calle” of Venice, a strategic position to move easily by foot through the lagoon city.
My shooting experience starts in the early morning, about 6:00am, in San Marco square where the masks are ready to be photographed despite the early hour.
Hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, photographers and masks and hardly any tourist. Really amazing, as an Italian I never expected to see such a crowd at the dawn of the first day of the Venice Carnival.
After getting over my dismay, I took up my cameras and started looking around for something unusual and interesting, carefully avoiding posing masks, probably there because they are paid by agencies to attract tourists and photographers, but I soon realized that it was impossible to avoid them.
From lunchtime until sunset the town is literally over-run by masses of tourists that avoid walking quickly down tiny streets, slowing down the achievement of our destinations. So watch out!
The advice that I can offer is, if you want to photograph Venice during Carnival, is to always wake up very early enjoying the famous “blue hour” to capture the masks that are well-rested and prepared to pose naturally.
Wander away from the squares and places haunted by tourists trying to find everyday life situations uncontaminated by the event.