Never before in my life have I witnessed such a stunning presentation of humanity, spirit, and culture as I encountered during Carnivale in Venice. This city revealed two different facets of itself to me. I like to think of it as mask on and mask off. One late night before I left for Seville I stayed the night in Venice. I strolled through Venice’s narrow streets and over her murky canals soaking in the textures, smells, and uniqueness of this stunning place. When I returned to Venice a few days after my time in Seville the city had transformed. Throngs of visitors packed the floating city to whiteness and participate in the most grand Carnival in the world. Venice’s streets were bounding with people in amazing costumes – wardrobe that came straight from another age. Graciousness and pride filled eyes (all I could really see of these costumed and masked individuals) of those dressed for the event. They were celebrities, worshiped by visitors’ cameras. Not one person refused a photo and all sealed the brief connection with a gentle, “Grazie”. The culmination of the festivities took place in Piazza San Marco – complete with a pageant of the very best costumes and a fountain filled with red wine. I’ll never forget the confetti blowing though the air, pigeons swooping from terracotta clad rooftops, and flavors of excitement and pure joy drifting by my face. I hope my photographs of this amazing experience inspire you to fully take in the next cultural event or celebration you take part in.