Venice is in the throes of Carnevale with masquerades, fireworks, festivals and food but the historical Venetian Carnevale had moments that played out like a scene from Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Leonardo Dicaprio’s role would be as a battagliere, part of a mob of men representing different factions of the city (sailors and shipbuilders vs. fisherman) in a prearranged mock battle or battagliola. Described as “too small to be a war too cruel to be a game”, these staged fights involved men with helmets and shields hitting each other with wooden sticks called canne. When fought on one of the many ponti or bridges over the canals of Venice these ritual encounters were called battagliole sui ponti or “little battles on the bridges”. Frenzied Renaissance crowds were known to throw roof tiles off the nearby balconies in support of their gang.