Carnival in Venice

For us, Slovenians, Venice is very close, just about 2 hours drive from Ljubljana. So it's quite common to visit Venice at least once a year, if nothing else, we frequently use Venice Marco Polo airport to fly to our holidays. This year we didn't have any plans for visiting Venice, we felt like we'd seen already everything there, but then I got an email ... tour agency was offering a rather cheap day trip to Venice carnival. Well, why not, I said and booked tickets for us.

Venetian mask
Few quick facts about Venice carnival: noone really knows when this festival originally started, but surely it existed already in the middle ages. However it attracted the most visitors in renaissance era. No doubt, as it lasted from Christmas till Ash Wednesday! Events during the carnival included many ball dances, ceremonies, visits of different circus groups, shows with exotic animals, many feasts ... Carnival was THE event in the Venetian Republic and it supported most of its economy, therefore contributing to being one of the richest republics at that time. The rumor has it that the restaurants earned half of their annual income just during the carnival. The year of 1797 was a year when Venetian Republic collapsed and the carnival decayed with it. About 200 years later in 1979 Italian government decided to revive this tradition, mostly to attract more tourists and to boost their economy. Well, as you can see, they succeeded. Nowadays people from all over the world are rushing to Venice to see the carnival.

Winter in Venice is also beautiful
Carnival in Venice is known for its typical face masks. They used to be very simple, covering only eyes, nose and a bit of cheeks, but later they developed in very rich and big face decorations. Now they are of all kinds, shapes, colors, with decorations like feather, pearls, shiny material ...  and mostly sold as souvenir in Venice :)

Classical Venetian mask
Modern mask

We visited Venice on Saturday before the actual carnival day and the city was full of masks, but no carnival as such (as we saw on TV in Rio). So basically we walked around the city center and admired the costumes and the masks. There were also some smaller stalls where you could get Venetian-mask-like face paintings for 5€. Katarina was of course the first in line for it:)

Katarina is getting her face "tattoo"
Katarina and her friend Neža with face paintings
The boys (Rok on the left and Pero on the right) opted only for some pink hair spray
To sum up, here are some photos of the best masks that we saw that day in Venice:

"Where are we traveling next time?" :)
When it rains in Venice ... people just wrap their legs in plastic bags and keep on walking :)



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