Venice, Italy. The Venice Carnival or Carnevale di Venezia occurs every year and ends with Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday. Masked men and women parade through the squares dressed in elaborate costumes and there's always a party of some sort at any given moment.
Legend has it that the Carnival began with the victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima", Venice's previous name, against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico in the year 1162. To honour the victory, people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started then and became official in the Renaissance.
But for some reason, the Carnival declined and ceased during the 18th century. In 1979, after a long absence, the Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice and sought to do so using the Carnival as the centerpiece of their efforts. Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival.
My take on the Carnival of Venice is one mixed with awe and intrigue. For the most part, I think the costumes are stunning and beautiful, with their elaborate detail and exquisite finishes. But then there are times when I think they're kinda creepy. Either way, I'd still love to make my way there at some point to see it for myself. Here's a sneak peek at what to expect: