Masked revelers take to the canals, bridges, and piazzas as the annual VeniceCarnival gets into full swing.
The 17-day celebration began centuries ago as a period of excess before Lent, the 40 days of fasting that precedes Easter. Venetians would hide their identities behind elaborate masks and do as they pleased.
A tradition that tourist Lolanda Parra said is even more vibrant in-person, "It surely has its fascination. This city is very rich with a particular atmosphere so let's see what it will offer us these days, with all these elegant and lovely masks that we usually only see on television that we now get to experience first-hand."
From now until February 12, thousands will line Venice canals to observe gondola parades and attend masked balls.
This year's theme - "Live in Color."