For three decades, Venice hosted the winter quarters of the Greatest Show on Earth.
Photos courtesy Venice Museum and Archives
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey winter quarters at the circus arena near the Venice airport was demolished late last fall after years of attempts to preserve it in some way; the building’s skeleton had remained in place long after the circus left the site behind in the early 1990s. But in its heyday, in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, the arena welcomed thousands of spectators as well as top circus performers, who rehearsed their new shows here. For residents and visitors, the arrival of the circus train was a memorable highlight of each winter season. These photos from the Venice Museum and Archives capture some of that history.