When I think of carnival, I immediately think of Rio. I think of dancing the sultry night away to samba while wearing an elaborate, glitzy, mid drift bearing costume complete with matching headdress. While Brazil is host to the largest carnival celebration on the planet, the days leading up to lent are also celebrated in countries throughout Europe and around the world. This year I traveled to the romantic city of Venice, Italy to see how the Venetians celebrate carnival. It is mid winter in Italy, so the costumes aren’t as revealing as in Brazil, but they are just as elaborate and theatrical – some could even give Lady Gaga a run for her money. The center piece of the carnival costume is the Venetian mask. These hand crafted works of art are found on every canal corner in Venice – ranging in color, beauty, price and quality. The mystery and romance of what lies behind the mask is quite alluring – so much so that I bought two! I dare say – life is just a little more fun behind a carnival mask. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I figured rather than try to explain the magic of the Carnivale de Venezia, I’d share with you some of my favorite pictures from this memorable weekend. Enjoy!