Venice has been the setting of some of the best New Year’s Eves of my life. Every time my friends and I promise ourselves will be on San Marco square at midnight, together with thousands of residents and tourists. But we never seem to make it.
Bottles in hand, our group heads out with the best intentions to get a spot. Yet, we are never organized enough. Either we get going too late, or not everyone in the group wants to go to San Marco. These elements pull in opposite directions stubbornly, and we keep walking almost in circles until midnight comes. Result: nowhere near San Marco Square. We uncork our wine in an anonymous, inglorious alley, screaming: ‘And another year has passed, cheers!’
On a previous New Year in Venice, someone warned— ‘It’s almost midnight, we should head out of the house and get going!’. We all grabbed our coats frantically. One guest resolved to pee in the kitchen sink, too impatient—or too drunk—to wait for the toilet to be vacant. We started walking on time to cover the distance, but we got stuck discussing which way would be the shortest. Typical Italian group dynamics: either not everyone agrees, sadistically protecting his preference; or everyone wishes to take the lead but no one really does.
We did not get to San Marco this year, either. At midnight, we were on halt between a Benetton shop and a cigarettes vending machine. You see - my best friend just could not wait until next year to buy a new pack. We had improved though: this time we could see the fireworks from the Basilica popping up, just above the roof of the next house, and the roaring crowd…
Next year we will make it.