As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by local artisans vying to paint my face, shops offering masks and street performers entertaining in every piazza. Permisso… Escusi… These were the words I used to make my way through the 3 million visitors that came to celebrate the Carnival of Venice. Carnival festivities spill onto the streets and the endless variety of masks on offer unify the droves of Carnival-goers. As I watched people waltz passed historic buildings and grand piazzas in their period oufits, the magical scene transported me back into the 18th century. I was mesmerised by the sea of masks, capes and meticulously crafted costumes. In awe of all this beauty, I turned into a total paparazzo!
And where better to take photographs than the largest square in Venice – Piazza San Marco. Piazza San Marco also served as the central hub for Carnival events where the professionals pose and parade their fancy dress. Here, the best of the professionals masqueraded in front of the grand Basilica San Marco and put on theatrical performances. Once great event I missed was just off the square at the posh Hotel Danieli who was hosting 18th century dance lessons to help everyone feel as regal as some people looked. Next time. L
Costumes come in all shapes and sizes. From the professionals wearing custom designed period outfits to the unpolished and random pairing of a mask with jeans. The mood was infectious and everyone was a part of the fanfare so it wasn’t long before I donned a mask and started posing for photos myself. J