Subject: Vibrant Venice

This Sunday just gone, I left Venice having been to the Carnival.

Having never been to Venice Carnival before, I didn't quite know what to expect - especially being quite used to Swiss- style Fasnacht celebrations.

We took the train down from Zuerich and stayed at the Golden Tulip Tritone Hotel in Mestre. We selected the hotel for it's superb convienance factor - being just over the road from Mestre Station, which was useful as the Zuerich train stops there and we're only one stop from Venice Santa Lucia station.

The weather was just superb. Clear blue skies. Crisp, but not cold, temperatures.

We wandered the streets en route to Piazza S Marco - a hive of activity during Carnival. Wandering through the immense crowds (Venice wasn't built to handle this many people!) we were impressed with the turnout and even more impressed with the fantastic costumes people had donned for the Festival.

This years festival had the theme of "Film and Theatre." While many donned traditional Carnival costume, we had the good fortune to encounter the Ghostbusters - a real novelty for someone who enjoyed seeing them in film (but only the first time round!)

Upon arrival in Piazza San Marco, we were inundated with some of the most fantastic, elaborate, sensational costumes I have seen for many years. Painted masks, dress of the French Aristocracy, pomposity of the participants inspired admiration and awe.

In the Piazzata San Marco, a costume football match was played - watched by the King and Queen, of course!

Costumed participants were enthusiastic about having their picture taken - some actively encouraged it - with both children and adults acting like children. Some positivily relished having their picture taken.

We didn't get the chance to goto one of the Gala Dinners that were being held but we have agreed that should go again we will do so.

IMO, if you have the chance to goto the Venice Carnival, I can heartily recomend it.

Mark Sukhija, in London