The Great Masquerade: Carnevale di Venezia
At dawn they emerge from the shadows, posing and primping against historic backdrops like mysterious apparitions. Meticulously costumed, they could be stars of a lavish period drama or Vegas production. Instead, they're players in a celebration that draws some 3 million annual visitors to Venice, including a throng of photographers eager to document the visual feast. In the weeks before Lent's austerity, Venice's Carnival blurs reality and fantasy with two weeks of escape and new identities.
Collected by Melissa Adams, AFAR Local Expert