BEAUTY and the beasts rule the roost, bringing a splash of colour to the faded grandeur of Venice. It’s Carnival. And it’s now.
I captured these splendid scenes during a live streamed virtual tour of Venice this week as revellers took to St Mark’s Square and surrounds.
The carnival runs until Shrove Tuesday, which this year falls on March 1, and with city streets quieter than usual there are photo opps, quite literally, round every corner.
I was in the company of the inimitable Igor Scomparin, a Venice city guide of many years standing who streams free-to-join trips on the Heygo platform.
As we chatted with him in real time, he kindly approached masked revellers so that we could secure ‘postcard’ shots via the platform’s image capture facility.
People go to tremendous effort and expense to create their costumes for Carnival, each looking for something that will set them apart from the crowd.
The many ornate entranceways and steps in the area around St Mark’s Square are a favourite flaunting place for revellers to pose and be admired.
Some are glamorous, some unworldly, some surreal – and then there are those that offer a sinister smile as they strike a stance for passers-by, inviting you to step closer.
This one offers a ray of sunshine with that glorious backdrop of the lagoon. And what’s with the parrot? Who’s a pretty boy then?
The dark lord peering round this pillar definitely falls into the creepy category, but what a sense of style. He’d make a great villain in a superhero movie.
The costumed characters stop to chat with each other during their regal procession around the city – and check out the samurai on the right gatecrashing the party.
And, of course, everybody wants a selfie with these gorgeous characters. They’re only too happy to oblige because Carnival offers them the chance to be unashamedly admired.
They come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life and from every age group. What unites them is their love of flamboyant fashion and the skill to make – or the money to buy – their costumes.
Some of the costumes are almost architectural, with fantastic head-dresses to top off the outfit, as they stroll along the waterfront under a watery setting sun.
For news of Igor’s upcoming trips, including canal cruises on a gondola, head to heygo.com.