Tourists and Venetians alike, the spectators looked on as 19-year-old student Elisa Constantini leapt from the famous St Mark's Campanile bell tower, attached to a wire 80 metres (265 feet) above the ground.
The "angel" threw confetti at the crowd below, in a highlight of one of the world's most celebrated carnivals.
- 12 authentic spots to eat and drink on a budget in Venice
- Eight spectacular Italian carnivals to explore apart from Venice
- Where to go in Italy in 2018: Travel ideas off the beaten path
"It's like we're going back in time," enthused Susie, from Verona in northern Italy, who had come to watch the spectacle.
But modern-day concerns were evident in the high security put on for the event.
"It's normal, these measures," said Chinese tourist Xu Hong. "You have to have them. That doesn't take away from the beauty, the magic of this event".
The carnival, which will end on February 13th, is thought to have started in 1162 after a military victory. Abandoned for decades, it was revived in 1980.
All photos: Tiziana Fabi/AFP