Carnevale di Venezia is an annual festival that ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Carnevale literally means ‘Goodbye Meat’ and Roman Catholics traditionally give up meat and many other ‘rich’ foods for Lent. The Carnival of Venice is the oldest pre-lenten celebration in the World having been started to celebrate a victory of the ‘Serenissima Repubblica’ over the Patriarch of Aquileia in the year 1162. Carnevale became an official celebration in the Renaissance. In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival was a way to promote the prestigious image of Venice to the world and it was very famous by the eighteenth century – the era of Casanova – as it encouraged licence and pleasure. Following Napoleon's invasion and subsequent rule by the King of Austria the festival was banned in 1797 and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. It reappeared gradually in the nineteenth century for private feasts, where it became an occasion for fabulous artistic creations. After a long absence, the Carnival was officially revived in 1979. Today over 3 million visitors travel to Venice for the Carnival. The festival is world famous for its elaborate masks which allow revelers to be anonymous: pauper, prince, physician, politician, priest, or prostitute – male or female – all are hidden by the mask of Carnival. Every night there are many elaborate Masqued Balls and during the day the Masqueraders enjoy walking out, or the Passeggiata. We'd like to thank the hundreds of masqueraders who so willingly posed for us – if you are featured in any of the photographs please e-mail us and we will happily send you copies of your photographs. Enjoy Carnevale!
Your album is superb and bravo for its quality. Thank you for the wonderful photos.
Beautiful pictures. Thank you.
Wonderful pictures! Congratulations on your site.
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© Gigi & Robin Williams Photography