Feb. 04 - Thousands gather at Venice's Saint Mark’s Square to watch “The Flight of the Angel”, the highlight of the city’s 17-day carnival celebration. Elly Park reports.
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The beating of drums in Venice calls masked revelers to Saint Mark's Square.
On top of the Basilica's bell tower the highlight of the city's annual carnival is about to happen.
A woman, hanging from a thin rope, descends from the 99 meter, or 323 feet high tower in an event known as 'The Flight of the Angel".
This year's "Angel" is 20-year-old Venetian Marta Finotto, who won a beauty contest during last year's celebration.
Thousands have gathered to watch her during the 17-day fest which was started centuries ago.
It's meant to be a period of excess before Lent -- the 40 days of fasting before Easter.
Adding to the romance and mystery to the festivities, Venetians hide their faces behind elaborately decorated masks.
SOUNDBITE: Italian Tourist Anna Maria saying (Italian)
"It's beautiful - it's a historic, romantic tradition, full of colour and atmosphere. It's really fantastic."
This year's celebration started on January 26th and will end on February 12th with masked balls and gondola parades throughout the lagoon city.
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