Thousands watch 'flight of angel' at Venice carnival

Thousands watch 'flight of angel' at Venice carnival

For those with vertigo, it may be a dubious honour. 

But every year a young Venetian woman is chosen to be the next year's "angel" and to make the 100-meter (328 foot) drop on a cable from the bell tower into the square.

This year's angel, Linda Pani, was dressed in a long orange gown with plumes, designed to resemble a popular local drink, the Aperol spritz.

This year the festive atmosphere was overshadowed by concerns of flooding in the city, the coronavirus and global warming.

Record high water in November 2019 badly damaged the parts of the city, raising concerns about how to protect it from rising seas and freak weather patterns brought on by climate change.

Despite the joviality, concerns about the spreading coronavirus were not far from many minds, with some tourists seen in St. Mark's Square wearing sanitary masks.

The Venetian Carnival is a public party lasting for weeks that leads into the Roman Catholic period of Lent.

Its official beginning is two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras -25 February this year).