15 February 2009

A confetti conspiracy

Carnevale 2009 began Friday evening, and early yesterday morning I noticed something a bit odd when I opened my shutters and looked up and down Calle dei Fuseri. As usual, the pre-dawn streetsweepers had brushed away every single cigarette butt, scrap of litter, and soda bottle. Clean as a whistle. Yet there was still a dusting of vividly colored, high quality confetti all along the calle. Hmm. Strange…

As I have mentioned here, my street is a major artery between San Marco and Rialto, lined with many shops and other businesses. It’s no secret that these enterprises rely heavily on the income from this busy tourist season. Was it possible that city fathers had planted this false evidence of street festivity to encourage and enhance the Carnevale experience for the tourists who would soon be making their way along this route? Sort of like using breadcrumbs to trap pigeons??

I had to get up early this morning and check to see if my hunch was right.

Yup. There it was again! Spic-and-span streets all around Campo San Luca, made bright and inviting with that very same confetti, sprinkled in a far too regular “random” pattern. “This way to the fun!” it seemed to be saying, “Follow me!”

It made me wonder…

Who is appointed to do this secret scattering task? And what do you suppose is the amount of the confetti allotment in the annual Venetian city budget? (For that matter, what do you suppose it is in New York City?!)