Carnevale in Venice has many pleasures (and a few pains), but one of my favorites is the confetti. At my first Carnevale, I was attacked in the street by a group of firemen with inflatable mallets (or was it the doctor who held up his stethoscope and inquired, “Fisica?”) who threw confetti at my face. It slithered down my bodice and into my underwear, where I found it later that night.
Then my travel buddy did this to all our beds:
Usually, Venice is about looking UP at the architecture or statues or gorgeous sky. But at Carnevale you shouldn’t miss the view at your feet:
Pirates like not only cutlasses and rum but also confetti:
The word “confetti” comes from the Latin confectum, referring to small sweets (confections), which were originally thrown (well, they still sometimes are) at weddings and other celebrations. The word morphed into confetto (singular) or confetti (plural) in Italian. (Would anyone throw only one confetto?) But in Italian there is also the word coriandoli, which sounds like (you guessed it) coriander, the seed that people originally threw in celebration. (I have a vague memory of a Venetian friend telling me that there is a dialect word for confetti. Can someone help me out here? I didn’t find the answer online.)
We got into some fun confetti wars with children at this past Carnevale:
In the Piazza San Marco, after the Angel flew down (so very slowly!) from the Campanile, they shot confetti cannons at the crowds:
One night while running around the Piazza in our pirate garb, I approached countless strangers, danced with them, gave them rum, slew them with my (inflatable) cutlass, and then asked permission to throw confetti down their shirts. All but one said yes. A tiny Korean grandma even let me do it. That’s the spirit! We knew we had had the perfect Carnevale experience when we got back to the apartment to discovered we had a case of Confetti Belly:
I hope you get a chance to suffer from this malady one day. Watch out–I might be the one to inflict it upon you.