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21 February 2024

Costumes out as Venice Carnival gets under way

Masked balls are a highlight of the Venice Carnival. (AP)

Published
By AFP

Masked revellers swarmed Venice over the weekend as the historic Italian city launched its annual Carnival.

Hundreds braved wintry weather to watch a street parade and performance of 18th-century Venice-set comedy The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni on Saint Mark's Square.

Yesterday, tourists thron-ged the main piazza to watch the Carnival's traditional "flight of the angel" in which a young woman glides on a harness from the belltower of Saint Mark's Basilica.

The centuries-old 10-day carnival had fallen out of favour but was reinstated – in part as a tourist attraction – in 1980.

This year, Venice shares the limelight with Rome, which launched the second edition of its own carnival on Saturday, and Viareggio in Tuscany whose 137-year old carnival is known for its papier maché puppet politicians.

 

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