Many ran, some walked, some alpine walked, all of them were dressed as Santas--in greater or lesser degrees of verisimilitude. Once again, unfortunately, I'd missed the Regata dei Babbi Natale (of which you can see video here: http://alloggibarbaria.blogspot.it/2014/12/regata-babbo-natale-2014.html), but these I couldn't miss. I looked out my window and there they were.
I didn't concern myself with what exactly they were doing, or the official title of their endeavor, or who participated in it or sponsored it. I was struck more by the fact that if you put enough Santas together in one place they began to look as whimsical and perhaps even (because of sheer number) almost as vaguely wanton as the gangs of Pulcinellas that Domenico Tiepolo liked to paint and draw (http://veneziablog.blogspot.it/2014/10/the-clooney-wedding-seen-through-eyes.html, http://veneziablog.blogspot.it/2012/02/world-of-pulcinellas-at-ca-rezzonico.html). Which I intend as I high compliment.