This year's Venice carnival began yesterday with the Flight of the Angel. Julia Nasi, a 22-year-old student, descended from the bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica to mark the official start of proceedings.

For 17 days every year Venetians and tourists wearing colourful costumes and masks celebrate one of the oldest carnivals in the world.

gondolas
devil
columbine
Julia Nasi descends from Saint Mark's bell tower to mark the start of the Venetian Carnival
doges palace
arcade
kissing
gondolas kneel
pink red
three
violin
cathedral
tourists
black blue
lamp post
gondola