Zombies invaded Venice this weekend as the annual Carnival kicked off. The living dead lurched around the watery city's canals before they were herded into a piazza and despatched by zombie hunters.

The first official event was the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal. Hundreds of small boats rowed by colourfully costumed revellers jostled for space on the famous waterway.

This year's Venetian Carnival runs from the 15th of February until Shrove Tuesday – the 4th of March.

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A woman crosses a canal during a "Zombie Walk", part of the Venetian CarnivalReuters
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Pirates of the Canareggio?Reuters
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Zombie Mickey Tyson?Getty
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Participants dressed as zombies and soldiers simulate a fight at a "Zombie Walk", during Carnival in VeniceReuters
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Some of the participants looked like they were just a bit too much into the whole zombie thingReuters
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Rowers lift their oars in sign of salute at the start of the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Venice CarnivalGetty
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Costumed rowers compete in the Historical RegattaGetty
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The regatta passes under the Ponte dell'AccademiaGetty
Tourists wearing Carnival masks take photos of the Historical RegattaGetty
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Two masked revellers wait for the passage of the Historical RegattaGetty
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A woman wearing a more traditional Venetian mask smiles during the CarnivalReuters
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The "Pantegana" (Big Rat) sails on the Canaregio Canal...Getty
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... and releases ballons and smoke at the end of the Historical RegattaGetty