“In the evening there generally is on St. Mark’s place, such a mixed multitude of Jews, Turks, and Christians; lawyers, knaves, and pick-pockets; mountebanks, old women and physicians; women of quality with masks; strumpets barefaced; and, in short, such a jumble of senators, citizens, gondoliers and people of every character and condition, that your ideas are broke, bruised and dislocated in the crowd, in such a manner that you can think, or reflect on nothing, yet this being a state of mind which many people are fond of, the place never fails to be well attended and in fine weather numbers pass a great part of the night there. When the piazza is illuminated and the shops in the adjacent streets are lighted up, the whole has a brilliant effect; and as it is the custom for the ladies, as well as the gentlemen to frequent the casinos and the coffee houses around, the place of St. Mark answers all the purposes of either Vauxhall or Ranelagh.”
–John Moore, an eighteenth century tourist, describes Carnevale in Venice
We were a multitude of pirates at Carnevale this year. Beware a pelting with confetti or a drubbing with a cutlass! If you were lucky, we poured rum down your gullet! Were our ideas dislocated in the crowd? I don’t think I had any ideas except dancing and making merry. Who needs any better ideas than that?