Photographer: Luke MacGregor
Photographer: Luke MacGregor

Opulence on Display at the Historic Venice Carnival

Revellers don elaborate period costumes and masks for the Venice Carnival in festivities dating back to the 13th century. Today, while the carnival may lack the illicit activities of its historical beginnings, visitors can enjoy countless parades and exclusive masquerade balls. The Ballo del Doge, showcasing quintessential Venetian splendor at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, comes at a price, with VIP tickets costing upwards of 3,000 euros ($3,350). Photographs by Luke MacGregor for Bloomberg

Costumed revellers wear the traditional "volto" masks as they pose by the water in St. Mark's Square.

A splash of color onboard the waterbus as it makes its way to the lido.

A tailor carefully steams a costume in the workshop of the Atelier Nicolao.

A stroll down an alleyway provides a perfect opportunity to flaunt a spectacular outfit.

Hidden beneath - A customer pulls on her sneakers at Atelier Nicolao after a fitting.

Finishing touches are applied by hand to a feline-inspired mask inside the Ca'Macana workshop.

A spotlight illuminates the feathered plume of a guest as she attends "The Secret Garden of Dreams," a themed evening at the 23rd edition of Antonia Sautter's "Il Ballo del Doge" masked ball.

Daring acrobatic performances excite the crowd during the "Il Ballo del Doge."

The "Il Ballo del Doge" masquerade ball by organizer Antonia Sautter commands ticket prices of 800-3,500 Euros ($900-$3,900)

A reveler wearing a volto mask strikes a pose in the afternoon sun.

"Zanni" masks adorn the faces of a tourist group, as they are guided around the festivities.

The distinctive ornate masks are a historic tradition at the Venice Carnival.

Dressed in full costume, a carnival goer browses inside a glassware store.

Spilling into the piazzas and side alleyways, revellers enjoy the atmosphere.