Carnival of Venice, Italy
The Carnival of Venice, known for its intricate masks and elaborate costumes, is an iconic annual festival. It marks the end of the carnival season on Shrove Tuesday. The carnival, with roots stretching back to the Middle Ages, was revived in 1979 after a long period of absence. Today, it attracts around 3 million visitors each year. The festival is famous for its contest for 'la maschera più bella' (the most beautiful mask), judged by international designers. The tradition of mask-wearing, which dates back to the 13th century, is central to the carnival, symbolizing the freedom to be someone else for a few days.
During the Carnival of Venice, the city transforms into a hub of mystery and romance, with people wearing masks and costumes that range from the traditional bauta to the more modern creations. The masks, traditionally made from materials like leather, porcelain, or using glass technique, play a crucial role in the festivities. The carnival is a living testament to Venice's rich history and culture, offering a glimpse into a world of hidden identities and grand celebrations. It's not just a festival, but a cultural phenomenon that brings the city's past to life, captivating visitors and locals alike with its timeless allure.