Carnival of Venice: History & Highlights

The Carnival of Venice

This year, the Carnival of Venice will start on the 8th of February and it will last until the 25th of February.

The Carnival dates back to the 11th century when people from Venice used to celebrate a few days before Lent. Then, they started wearing masks and costumes and throughout the years, it developed into a carnival. Nowadays, it is one of the most famous and unique events of this kind.

Take a look at the official website to see all the events taking place during the carnival.

Carnival of Venice

Highlights of the Carnival of Venice

The Volo dell’Angelo (The Flight of the Angel) takes place at the San Marco Square. An “angel” flies on a steel cable above the crowd. This is the official opening of the Carnival. From that point, everyone wanders onto the back alleys and canals.

The Notte de la Taranta (Night of the Tarantula) is the grand finale of the Carnival. There are lots of fireworks and a big party where you have to dance like you’ve been bitten by a spider!

La maschera più bella (the most beautiful mask) is the biggest costume contest. It takes place during the last weekend of the Carnival. The judges are international costume and fashion designers.

There are also lots of theatre shows during the Carnival of Venice. You can find most of them in San Marco’s Square, in the Gran Teatro but also in Teatro Goldoni, Malibran and La Fenice. There are also lots of street performances, daily costume contests and musical performances.

If you travel to Venice during the Carnival you should dress up. There are lots of shops where you can find masks, mostly during the Carnival.

Carnival of Venice

The History of the Carnival of Venice

The Carnival of Venice was first held in the 11th century after the victory of the city against the Patriarch of Aquileia in 1162. The people started gathering in the San Marco Square for reunions and to dance.

In the 18th century, the event became famous. It started with a few balls in the San Marco Square, where people gathered regardless of their social status. They were wearing masks so they could behave freely.

Masks were very important. There are various types, each expressing different roles and feelings, such as the dark, the face, the ghost, the doctor. Their manufacturers had important social statuses.

Carnival of Venice

Tours & Activities in Venice

By taking this tour you skip the waiting line for two of the most important buildings of San Marco’s Square: the Doge’s Palace and the San Marco’s Basilica: Skip The Line: St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace Tours.

Relax in your gondola and check out the beautiful streets and landmarks of Venice as your flotilla navigates. Book the Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade tour to explore the Grand Canal and smaller waterways of Venice.

You can combine a walking tour with a boat tour on the Grand Canal to see the most important highlights of the city: Skip the Line: Venice in One Day Including Boat Tour.

Nearby Venice

On the Murano, Burano and Torcello half-day sightseeing tour you can explore the three famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon on a motorboat. Also, you have the opportunity to visit the glass blowing factory in Murano and the first cathedral of Venice: Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour.

If you are planning to skip the city for a day, you can take this tour and discover the Dolomite Mountains and the area. You will visit two of the finest lakes of the region, Lake Santa Caterina and Lake Misurina: Dolomite Mountains Small Group Day Trip from Venice.
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