Venice is a place of magic. Its magic is the difference it has over many other possible destinations. Venice's uniqueness to many comes from a pervasive quietness. Its 'streets' are of water and walking is a prime method of getting from one place to another. This absence of common sounds with no noise from cars, motorcycles or trucks is immediately apparent. Festivals, costumes and masks have been an integral part of Venice for centuries.

Carnevale is an Italian original. The word Carnevale is thought to have originated with a combination of the words 'carne' and 'vale' or 'farewell to meat' associated with the Christian practice of Lent. Carnevale traces its roots to pagan Rome, but in its present form originated in the 13th century after being integrated into the Christian liturgical year.

Thousands of tourists converge on Venice each year during Carnevale to both view, as well as to be viewed in costumes and masks. The costumes of today's Carnevale run a gamut from the simple to the fantastically elaborate.

© Gary McLaughlin 2013 All Rights Reserved