|Boys chase giant soap bubbles made by a clown onstage: on a canvas by Chardin or 17th-century Dutch genre painters this would be an allegory of transience and folly, but on Lido it's just a good time|
Yesterday was one of those bright New Year's Days that make the annual dip of the Lido Ibernisti club seem almost like a good bracing healthy idea. But only almost. It may indeed be all of those things (as the Ibernisti claim) but, like an annually-increasing number of others, I was there to enjoy the water only from the shore, and to eat the combination of lenticchie and soft moist pork musetto sausage (called cotechino in Italian) that's supposed to assure one of good fortune (in the monetary sense) in the forthcoming year.
While someone in the role of the doge still solemnly and symbolically weds the sea every spring, the annual Ibernisti encounter with her each January 1st is a festive dalliance.
|Avanti! The number of photographers now rivals the number of swimmers|
|Sunshine and blue skies and a refreshing dip|
|Some bathers were in no hurry to get out|
|And a Happy New Year, too, to all the ships at sea, as I believe they used to say: there were more than a half dozen massive ones waiting their turn to enter the lagoon.|
|A hint of endless summer at the start of January|