Since 1162, Venetians have come together to celebrate Carnevale, marking the beginning of the Christian period of Lent with a serious party for visitors from far and wide. This year, we were on the scene, scouring the sinking city’s streets to bring you the best of the traditional Carnival masks for which the festival is famous across the globe.
The origin of the Carnival mask is said to stem from the harsh class system that formerly existed across Italy and Europe. The idea was that on one day a year, Carnival day, class would cease to exist. Instead, citizens would wear masks and all be equal, even if just for 24 hours.
Today, the masks, which are painstakingly created by specialist artisans all year round, are true works of art, spanning thematically from the beautiful to the terrifying.
Here are some of this year’s best of the best Venetian Carnival masks, costumes, hairstyles and overall looks snapped by our photographer on the ground.