The Italian city of Venice is one of many around the World to have celebrated the run up to the christian season of Lent with their customary massive carnival. Venetians old and young took to the streets in fancy dress to have fun before observing the forty days before Easter.
Eighty thousand tourists a day also flocked to the city. St Mark’s Square was the focus for the celebrations and was thronged with people dancing, singing and playing games. Many people wore traditional china masks, a custom dating back hundreds of years to the time when Venice was a republic. Popular with Venetians, it allowed people in the city to indulge in all kinds of revelry but remain incognito.