'Flight of the angel' launches Carnival of Venice
A costumed reveller poses on St Mark's square during the carnival on February 23, 2014 in Venice - by Gabriel Bouys
On the twelfth chime of midday from St Mark's Campanile, fearless 22-year-old student Julia Nasi leapt from the famous bell tower, 80 metres above the huge crowd that had gathered for one of the world's most celebrated carnivals.
In a dress made by theatre costume designer Stefano Nicolao -- and with a little help from a crane and some steel wires -- Nasi declared she "was not afraid at all".
The carnival, which lasts until March 4, is thought to have started in 1162 after a military victory. Abandoned for decades, it was resurrected in 1980.