About 10 days before Christmas my three-year-old son got an early surprise present: trucks appeared on the Riva dei 7 Martiri to the west of Via Garibaldi. It's unusual to see any vehicle with wheels in Venice proper--even adult bicycles are prohibited--and these were big rigs! With trailers!
Now my son's interest in boats had been growing stronger--especially in those that carried cars or heavy machinery--but he was thrilled to be able to walk around these huge things again, his first loves (don't ask me why), parked atop planks to protect the stone walkway. The fact their trailers carried carnival rides was of little interest to him at that point. He didn't care what they carried as long as it was large and mechanical, and when almost all of the trucks disappeared one day leaving only the rides behind, the mini-bumper cars and little roller coaster seemed scant compensation for the loss.
He has however come to appreciate the rides themselves or le giostre, which is also what the carnival as a whole is called. As the rides aren't especially close to San Marco they are frequented it seems almost exclusively by local kids. According to our neighbor who has lived here since his birth in 1941, le giostre have appeared every year for many years and will remain through Carnevale.
Below are some photos I took of le giostre from the vaporetto one recent evening.