We start la Quaresima – Lent period with fritole (!!!) – the apple fritole – Fritole alla mela were the typical sweet eaten in Lent in the past. That is to say, until about fifty years ago. Immediately after Carnival has ended, we just can’t give up celebrating, and there’s a good reason for it. One could call March the first month of the year, for the New Year did start on 01 March during the times of the Republic of Venice, that is, until 1797. The Roman god Mars has a special relationship with Venice, which is beautiful and dangerous at the same time, both inside and outside.
And then, in our times, La Festa della Donna is celebrated here in Venice, like elsewhere in Italy. On this day, 8 March, women are given mimosas and that’s an easy task in Venice, for mimosas are abounding right now in the gardens, as long as there’s no snow (there was snow on 1-2 March 2018 in Venice, and then again, it was snowing on 19 !!! March).
And finally, we are all in for a special birthday, and this time, it’s Venice herself ! According to legend, she was founded on 25 March 421 when the first church at the Rialto Market was built. This is a legend, yes, but it does show us that the Rivus Altus islands (118 islands!) were settled during those times.
We are telling more about the early history of Venice in this article and I have set the story to take place in March.
One step a time, weather permitting, spring vibes abound and the shops are being decorated for Easter. rIt’s tradition in Italy to eat Colomba for Easter, but that’s not the traditional Venetian Easter cake. In Venice, we have always eaten focaccia ..
Lent in Venice is as quiet as you can see in the picture to the right. More often than not, you get misty days, mild but foggy. On the other hand, you could also find yourselves basking in soft and restoring sunlight .. and you can make out wisteria budding despite the cold spring showers.
Soon, it will be time to harvest the first Lagoon herbs and vegetables. Artichokes – le castraùre – are the first that we made it to spring!! The colors of Easter in Venice are linden green, a bright yellow and soft pink, peach and purple. Much like the decorations of the colombe you can see in the shop windows in town – to be continued in April :-)
You walk about town without many tourists around, on a special itinerary. You could, for example, discover the private home’s of a Doge at Palazzo Grimani (in Castello) or the Museo del Profumo – the permanent exhibition arranged at Ca’ Mocenigo dedicated to the story of Venetian perfumery.