Monday, February 6, 2012 3:16 pm EST

A typical Venetian mask
Every year, 40 days before Easter until Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), Venice becomes a huge stage for colorful carnival masks and welcomes approximately 3,000,000 visitors.

The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) started as a time for celebration and expression throughout the classes, as wearing masks hid any form of identity between social classes. Still today it is one of the most beautiful events you can experience in Italy.

There are many different kinds of Venetian masks. They can be made in leather or with the original glass technique, but nowadays, most of them are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf. Nearly all are hand-painted using natural feathers and gems to decorate.

This beautiful city celebrates 24/7 in an elegant and fascinating way and thanks to the numerous events that the city offers every day, (see the official website and check out their live webcam service on San Marco square) there is no chance to get bored. On every corner, square or calle (alley) you will see jugglers, amazing street artists and absolutely breathtaking colorful masks.

It becomes, without any doubt, a truly unique experience.

Buon carnevale a tutti!