The canals and narrow streets of Venice have long been known to breed romance, but for the first time 60,000 people will seal the reputation of Italy’s most romantic city by kissing on New Year’s eve.
Called LoVe 2008 (the VE = stands for Venice), it’s the brainchild of Marco Balich, a Venetian known for a deft hand at video clips and as the executive producer for the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Casanova, La Serenissima’s poster child for the more debauched side of love, would probably sneer at the event. Organizers are casting for 100 camera-ready couples (a multi-ethnic assortment of the young, attractive and straight?) to be immortalized as they kiss at midnight.
Still, it does give people milling around in St. Mark’s square other to do than ogle each other and set off fireworks.
According to news reports, it’ll work like this: at 10:45 p.m. on December 31, 200 kissing couples will kick off the lip action. At 11 p.m., everyone does a practice lip-smack. At 11:45, another trial kiss (who said Italians don’t take romance seriously?) followed by a countdown accompanied by a “medley of love songs.” Twenty seconds into 2008, the collective kiss.
Just remember the Chapstick.