The unexpected is what I find most fascinating here in Venice during Carnevale. Around the corner glided by another enchanting 18th-century masked participant. She was followed by her fellow masked reveler. Both women carried accoutrements of light, which lent them an even more ethereal quality.


Since I’m a bit on the shorter side, I sometimes only get a glimpse of the tops of fabulous hats when folks bend down unknowingly. It’s a nice surprise, and again, another detail to enhance the overall spectacle of costumes.

Now when I see birds or birdcages as hats, I just have to stop and shower compliments on the wearer. The woman with a bird and birdcage received molti complimenti from me! And the bearer of the boat…well, that was most definitely a surprise, but fit with her nautical-themed costume.

More typical were the eighteenth-century or earlier dresses, jackets, and tricorne hats. The women always looked beautiful, but the men surprisingly also went to great lengths to be in period costume. Of course, the king in the image below said he’s “like Burger King, right?” More like Henry VIII, and with such detail in the stockings and footwear.


And then there are the masks… I must say, a lot of planning goes into these costumes, and it’s never just one person, but a team of people involved. I mean, I have a simple mask. But even with a simple mask, I don’t wear it around town when I’m not with my friends who must also wear masks. So imagine if you’re one of these jesters? You need two or three more to make the whole spectacle work.



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