Venice Carnival Costumes in Photos

Carnival Costumes Photos Venice

Just back from Venice Carnival 2014. Although I did spend plenty of time in the kitchen making Carnival treats and on cicchetti crawls with my friend Monica of Cook in Venice, I spent the rest of the time wandering the city soaking up the festive atmosphere. During Carnival the entire city of Venice becomes a stage and all the players are ready to pose for the camera. Even when I was in mask and costume myself, I couldn’t stop taking photos of the variety of costumes.

There are three categories of costumes that make up Carnival of Venice: extravagant and elite, fun and silly, and then the adorable children. Many costumes spill over into two and even all three categories.
The elite group that posture and pose on the stage that is Venice are those who usually work for the costume ateliers or have spent hundreds of euros on their costumes at these same ateliers or, even more impressive, hundreds of hours making them. They are both the BIG costumes with full masks, veils and huge headpieces and the period costumes – wigs, corsets, bustles, and big hoop skirts included. The lush fabric, amount of material, layers, detail and, at times, eccentricity; all of it mesmerizes me. It is impossible not to take their photos. I especially love, or should I say find most amusing, the mask-less and handsome men in period pieces who love to pose with adoring women. Another outfit that always catches my eye are those women who purposely make their hips wider than two doors that open onto a grand Venetian ballroom! Would we women purposely do this at any other time?

The group that gets big creativity points are those that dress just for the fun of it, especially the groups dressed thematically. From teenagers to grandparents, they symbolize the spirit of Carnival and are definitely the most fun to watch. I saw “Despicable Me” minions, Rubik’s cubes, Sponge Bob, Darth Vader and the Sith, a new doge in Venice, the Cowardly Lion, Maleficent and so much more.

Follow the trail of confetti and silly string and you are sure find the children. The costumed children bring out the coos and, “Ahhhh, how cuuuuute,” comments from all onlookers, but beware. They are always armed with bags of confetti or cans of silly string and they know how to use them, no matter how cute or little they are.

I put together a slideshow below of my photos of costume favorites from Venice’s Carnival 2014.

Next year’s Carnival in Venice is from January 31 to February 17, 2015. Monica and I had so much fun together that we are already planning our own thematic costumes for 2015.


Which costume(s) did you like best? If you were to go to Carnival, which type of costume would you choose?




  1. Ciaochowlinda
    March 13th

    Kathy – Fabulous photos of Carnevale fun. I love the costumes that mimic 18th century dress, but those two faces that look like Archimboldo paintings were so great too! I’ve been to Venice twice for Carnevale but would love to go back next year with you guiding a cicchetti crawl or fritelle party!

  2. Kathy
    March 17th

    Linda – Thanks so much; I loved taking them and also love looking at the photos again & again. The thought and creativity that go into all the costume creations is amazing. Would be so much fun to meet up with you at Carnevale next year!

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