There is a party atmosphere in a chilly Venice, where revellers have been defying the wintry weather at the start of the city’s carnival.
Couples danced in St Mark’s Square where organisers had installed a fountain flowing with wine.
The first carnival dates from the 13th century, but the celebrations went into decline from the 1800s on.
In recent years there has been a major revival, and organisers are now encouraging visitors from all over the world.
Including one from Argentina, drawn by this year’s theme of masks and theatre that goes right back to the carnival’s origins.
Sofia Florencia said: ‘I’m fond of masks, of masquerade, so it’s a huge opportunity to see a lot of beautiful masks all together.’
Venice is playing host to a variety of shows and events in its main squares and along the Grand Canal.
Organisers are hoping the festival will grow into a major performing arts event.
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