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the beautiful costumes of Venice

Updated on February 26, 2013

Carnevale of Venice

A wonderful way to experience Venice, Italy is to travel there in late February and join in the celebration of the Carnival of Venice. Enjoy this photo experience of mysticism, romance, and awe. The beauty of the costumes worn during the Carnevale are breathtaking but also a bit unsettling. As you view each picture look into the eyes of the wearer...the person behind the ceramic mask. Are they a prisoner of their costume? Or do those eyes tell us a story of how our physical being is just merely a prop for our soul? Is to dress in a costume only another layer of deception to who we really are?....but what beautiful costumes!

Enjoy your visit to a place and time of enchantment, arts, and endless creativity.

A Special Thank You!

A very special thank-you to Frank Kovalchek for allowing me to use his wonderful photographs for this lens. In recognition for his generous gift all of the proceeds from this lens will go to the Squidoo charity fund. Because of photographers like Frank, Squidoo lensmaster's can enrich their stories with pictures that feed the eyes while our words feed the soul.

Reflection - A Brief History of the Carnevale

The Carnevale is believed to have begun as far back as the 11th century. Traditionally there were 40 days of Lint set aside for atonement, a time of "sorrowful reflection, fasting and abstinence" from fruit, eggs, meat and dairy products. In order to use up the stores of food before the start of Lint, the Venetians would have a celebration called "Carnevale" with all joining together to have a time of feasting before the fast. The word "carnevale" is the Italian word for carnival. It is believed to be derived from the Latin carne +vale meaning "farewell to meat".

The Carnevale of Venice is held yearly according to the Lint calendar. It always ends on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and begins two Fridays before the Tuesday. ( A bit of a math calculation)

Carnival 2011 will be held February 25 through March 8th.



Romance is always in the air in Venice.

Shall We Dance...

Waltz with me...

The Masks - a tradition...

Venetian masks were first documented in the 13th century. Today, the masks are typically worn during the Carnevale of Venice just for fun. They have also been chronicled throughout history to have been used as a cover to hide the wearer's identity and social status. The mask would allow the wearer to act more openly in situations where he or she wanted to mix with members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. This was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, but on the most part it was for personal encounters such as rendezvous with lovers.

Masks today are made of paper mache or leather then hand painted and decorated with beads, jewels and feathers. The prices for a decorated mask start at about $45 (US) for a simple design and can go up to over $700 for a highly decorative piece. Many prefer to purchase a blank / unfinished mask (average price of $24) and decorate it themselves.


A Jester's...


Dark Lovers



Drops of Color

Beauty prevails...

Water Reflection...

Couple In costume, Venice 1910
Couple In costume, Venice 1910






Woods Fairy...


Green Haze....

A lone....


Kitty in Wonderland...
















More about the Carnevale

The Carnevale is more than just a masquerade, there are 350 events that encompass the eleven day festival. Here is a short slide-show that elaborates on the happenings.

An Invitation For Your Response

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love all the colors and mystery around carnival!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      7 years ago

      WOW - probably the best collection of Carnavale masks I have ever seen online.

      Blessed by the western european angel.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      7 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Love the colors -- brilliant and vivid. But at the same time, the people sort of scare me. Don't know why.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      7 years ago from Iowa

      Wow these are absolutely stunning. So deserving of a purple star. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      An amazing lens with stunning pictures. Congrats for the Purple Star.

    • Othercatt profile image


      7 years ago

      These are so beautiful. I wish there were more!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous Rita!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      These costumes are absolutely amazing. They remind me of the Giesha. Fantastic lens. Best wishes for an amazing 2011.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      These costumes are absolutely amazing. They remind me of the Giesha. Fantastic lens. Best wishes for an amazing 2011.

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 

      8 years ago

      Absolutely amazing!! I've never seen venetian costumes like this.

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 

      8 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      A beautiful collection of costumes and masks from Venice. Many thanks!


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