It’s Venice carnival time again. Beware the masked faces lurking near the gondolas and the ancient buildings.
The event first started in the 9th century but was entirely outlawed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II in the 18th century. It was then brought back in the late 1970s and it leads nicely into the Roman Catholic period of Lent.
The masks come in all shapes, sizes, designs and colours. Some even make their own.
The main appeal to wearing a mask is to allow yourself to be whomever you want for just a short period of time.
The carnival will last until February the 25th and it attracts even more tourists to the busy tourist city than usual.
This year, however, the picturesque Italian town seems to be less packed than normal.
As regional newspaper Il Gazzettino reports, hotels in Venice – which tend to be almost sold out over this period – got only an average 70% of their rooms booked.