Caffé Florian is perfectly placed on the edge of St. Mark’s Square in Venice. In the very same location since 1720 it is considered to be the oldest cafe in Europe. A great place to visit and have a coffee or a treat anytime of year. Inside the small series of interior rooms are decorated so beautifully in the Venetian style. Other times of the year you can sit at a table in the square and listen to live music being played as you enjoy your surroundings. During Carnival it is the place to see and be seen. The photo above showing one of the waiters in his sharp white jacket and tie and gives an idea of the decor. Why I love this picture is that the man on the right in the big white basket weave hat so reminds me of Tom Hanks and the movie Big!
There was no music outside when I visited as there was some construction underway and scaffolding over the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. No doubt in preparation for the busy summer season. However there was music inside as one of the visitors brought his own harp, as you do!
I saw this fabulous hat from inside. Then I realised what was happening, I needed to go back outside and get a photo through the window.
The tables at the front of the cafe are the prime seats for those who want to share the beauty of their costumes with those who pass by the front windows. There is a crowd outside looking in and juggling for position to take said photos. It is quite an experience.
Back inside you can see a gentleman at the window looking in. At this point it was more than a cafe experience, it was like a live performance, a theatre, or as if you had completely stepped back in time.
Curls were very much the fashion as were hair adornments of all types and styles. And might I mention the intricate detail on the cuffs of the sleeves as well.
I had heard later that we were lucky to have gotten inside during Carnival that you may not be able to get in, either as it is so busy, or only if you are in costume. Either way I feel very fortunate to have been there.
Life like performance art. To have a peak inside this middle room was like a dream. I know some of these photos are not perfectly straight, but I wanted to keep them that way as not to loose any of the detail and the in-the-moment feel.
Cheers to Carnival in Venice. I would say a once in a lifetime experience, but who knows? I didn’t go to Venice to see the Carnival. It was a complete stroke of luck that it was on while I was there.
I was there with this equally fabulous group of people. Michael, from the Dallas Market Center and Kristi a designer from Texas, Toma of The Antiques Diva, Pandora de Balthazar, who has a fine linen and textile business and Jordan my editor from Victoria Magazine. I got to go on this trip as a photographer, a dream come true.
We first went to Parma, Italy to an antiques fair called Mercantinfiera. We were with a larger group of people there, and then we came to Venice as part of an Antiques Diva Tour. That I can share more of in the future. Not trying to be mysterious, as much of this will be published it will be limited to photos that I can share for now. However the Carnival photos I was able to share and there are some photos of Venice and Burano that I will post soon. Once it is all published I will definitely let you know!