As the streets of towns and cities across Europe and America fill with Christmas trees, fairy lights and decorations, this week’s photo challenge theme is yellow!
Yellow suggests various things to me – summer sun, sandy beaches and bananas – none of which is the slightest bit Christmasy, so I’ve gone back through this year’s photos to find some yellow favourites! Hope you like them!
Venice is a rabbit warren of streets, alleys and canals so to get around you need a good map, a good sense of direction and to look out for these not-always-helpful yellow tourist signs pointing the way variously towards St Mark’s, the Rialto Bridge or the station (Ferrovia)!
On the Grand Canal the Vogalonga regatta, or “long row”, in June attracted rowers from around the globe in crafts of all shapes and sizes from single canoes to traditional gondole and multi-coloured dragon boats. This year over 2100 boats entered but it was all very good-natured as this regatta is just for fun!
The summer saw a lot of action on the water but also some on land as protestors took to the streets against the massive cruise ships that process daily through St Mark’s basin. The cruise ships bring tourists but cause damage to the lagoon environment and although the largest ones will be banned from 2015, the argument over whether large ships should be allowed to enter the lagoon at all is likely to run and run.
June also saw Venice Gay Pride as young and old, gay and straight marched through the streets demanding equal social dignity and equality before the law. The Italian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) movement (their own definition) was celebrating 20 years of Pride this year with 13 parades throughout the country over the summer highlighting the issues that still exist and to assert the right for all to love whomever they choose without discrimination or persecution.
Out in the lagoon the island of Murano is famous for its glass-making skills but did you ever stop to think about the work that goes into those bead necklaces and bracelets? Each bead is made by hand in a sun-hot flame and then has to be cooled slowly in sand to stop it exploding. This is artistry at its best.
And as Venice is spread across 118 islands all its emergency services have to be water-borne, not least of which is the Ambulance service in yellow and orange. In practice the emergency services are the only ones allowed to break the Grand Canal speed limit of 7kmph and make quite a spectacle as they hurtle to the sick and needy.
September saw Giudecca taken over by its art festival. Bands played along the waterfront, baroque opera and a string quartet took over a monastery and street performers popped up all over the place. This one was part of a duo performing traditional old Italian comedy in the style of commedia dell’arte although I’m not entirely sure which character he was!
The city also celebrated the Regata Storica in September. The glorious historic parade of 16th century style boats glide up the Grand Canal headed by an ornate heavily-gilded ceremonial state barge, the Bucintoro rowed by 18 standing men in traditional Venetian style. The Regata Storica parade commemorates the visit of Queen Caterina Cornaro, the wife of the King of Cyprus in 1489, and re-enacts the rolling out of the proverbial red carpet for her visitors. It’s followed by a series of regate (Italian plural of regata) for boats of different sizes from one man gondole to these 6-man boats rowed by teams of men and women.
Back on Murano I spotted this glass balloon that looked as fragile as soap bubble. And in the summer sun it reflected the canal side and buildings opposite like a mirror. I have no idea how it’s made and in a way I don’t want to as it would spoil the magic!
And finally, say it with flowers! I don’t know where this chap was heading to or why he was carrying a beautiful bunch of sunflowers but they definitely brightened up my day with their vibrant colour and sunny nature!
So there you have it, 10 of my favourite yellow photographs from 2014. Don’t forget to leave me a comment to tell me what yellow suggests to you! And if you like these photos have a look at more via the Weekly Photo category in the menu to your right. Happy snapping!
And, finally, if you have enjoyed this or any other posts over the last few months, please nominate DreamDiscoverItalia for the Italy Magazine Blogger Awards HERE! Grazie mille!!
Buon Natale tutti!