Venice holds its breath for giant New Year kiss

ROME, Dec 28, 2007 (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in a giant New Year’s kiss in front of Saint Mark’s Basilica in the romantic Italian city of Venice, the authorities said Friday.

“New Year 2008 in Venice will become the New Year of love,” the Venice municipality said on its website.

Willing kissers are expected to gather from around 10 pm (2100 GMT) Monday in Saint Mark’s Square where they will kiss at midnight “to begin the New Year with a gesture of love, peace, brotherhood, and passion,” according to the website. Some 60,000 people are expected to join in the “Love 2008” event, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency.