Venice puts on a spellbinding show of masks and magic as thousands turn out for Carnival
Hundreds of revellers dressed up in colourful outfits and wore elaborate masks to celebrate the world-famous Venice Carnival.
Locals donned extravagant costumes to mark a day known as the ‘Flight of the Angel’ in St Mark’s Square in the Italian city.
Elisa Costantini was seen descending on a zip line from the bell tower into the packed square on Sunday afternoon.
The festival runs every year in the lead-up to Lent, beginning every year two weeks before Ash Wednesday and finishes on Shrove Tuesday.
According to the festival’s website the carnival first took place in the 11th century, when it lasted for two months of revelry, but fell into decline in the 18th century.
It was revived in 1979 and mask-wearing revellers parading around Venice and enjoying live music are now a staple of the Venetian year.
The theme for this year’s carnival, which runs from January 27 to February 13, is ‘Playing’.