Monday, February 23, 2009

Carnevale Update

From the local press:

(Sunday) Carnevale burst at the seams; 125,000 people visited the city Sunday. Then, when everyone tried to leave from the train station, all hell broke loose. There weren't enough trains or cars to meet the demand.

"Chaos" and "hysteria" ensued. What trains there were, were packed to the gills. People couldn't get on. The Railway Police set up cordons and tried to keep people calm. The system was, as they say, "in tilt."

At 6pm the 6-57 to Bologna was already filled with thousands more trying to get on. The same thing happened with the 7-57. The trains coming into the city had also been packed full, leaving thousands of people unable to reach the city. (Thank god.)

The award for best costumes went to the suite of 18th C. lanterns, inspired by Marco Polo and the Emperor of China. (I had tagged them as best, and as French early on, but they were in fact German). They were the best and the only gorgeous costumes around and they deserved to win. You can see them here. Third place went to an eight-year-old dressed as a trash can stuffed with garbage bags (sorry, no picture).

I went out to dinner with Richard in Castello. When we got off the packed vaporetto at San Zaccharia, the lines to get on snaked all the way down the Riva; the crowds were heading for Piazzale Roma and the train station. We planned an alternate route home. Castello was deserted; the streets peacefully empty. It was as if we were in a different city. By the time we headed home, toward 10pm, the lines were gone. The crowd was now blocked at the train station.

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