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 By far the most elaborate, colorful and creative costumes I’ve ever seen.They are so exquisite, I’ve never seen such wonderfully ornate costumes. I wonder who designs them.


The carnival in Venice was first recorded in 1268. The subversive nature of the festival is reflected in the many laws created over the centuries in Italy attempting to restrict celebrations and often banning the wearing of masks.

Masks have always been a central feature of the Venetian carnival

Venetian masks can be made in leather or with the original papier-mâché technique.

Bauta is a “mask which covers the whole face, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding”.

The moretta is an oval mask of black velvet that was usually worn by women visiting convents.

The larva, also called the volto mask, is mainly white, and typically Venetian.

An inspiration for the carnival lies in the fact that during Lent, traditionally no parties may be held and many foods, such as meat, are forbidden; the forty days of Lent serve to commemorate the Passion of Jesus.

Many local carnival customs are also based on local pre-Christian rituals

More Photos from Venice