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Mon 17 Feb 2014 12:24 PM

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Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta

Rowers in Venetian fancy dress have taken part in the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Venice Carnival. As well as the centuries-old costumes and familiar, glamorous masques, revelers dressed as characters such as Batman, pirates, and Mexican bandits.

Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Rowers dressed in costumes take part in the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Rowers lift their oars in sign of salute ahead of the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Tourists take pictures at the passage of the traditional regatta which officially opens the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Rowers dressed in costumes take part in the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Tourists take pictures from Rialto Bridge at the passage of the traditional regatta which officially opens the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Rowers dressed with costumes take part in the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
Rowers dressed with costumes sail under the Accademia Bridge at the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opens the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)
Venice Carnival launches with traditional regatta
The 'Pantegana' (Big Rat) sails on the Canaregio Canal for the traditional regatta which officially opens the Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy. The 2014 Carnival of Venice will run from February 15 to March 4 and includes a program of gala dinners, parades, dances, masked balls and music events. (Getty Images)