It’s Carnival time! One of the Lagoon’s most deeply-rooted traditions, and an opportunity to admire the skills of Venetian artisans. A month packed with festive events, fashion shows, travelling plays and masked balls. The entire city is alive with activities and, as you will notice, hundreds of Venetians and visitors wander around wearing masks.
Carnival: the Soul of Venice
There are times when a city reveals its real soul. These comprise events involving months of preparation, which the locals consider a part of their identity. Ultimately they manage to transform these into occasions of such importance that they attract visitors from all over the world. Like the Palio in Siena or the Jubilee in Rome, Carnival in Venice is the highlight of the year. Among the most celebrated carnivals in the world, it offers delighted tourists dozens of events, concerts, balls, performances and parades. In fact, the city is packed to overflowing and prices soar sky high, but the beauty and poetry of Carnival are definitely worth it. Prepare your masks and enjoy the party!
Daytime Carnival Events
Carnival extravaganza is mostly associated with its countless events held for almost 18 days throughout the most significant locations in the vibrant city centre. Starting from the preparation days before the official kick-in of Carnival celebrations, a true triumph of traditional craftsmanship, to parades, contests to vote the most beautiful masks or even stunning regattas, adults and the youngest ones alike currently get struck by the unique Venetian atmosphere. A not to be missed event? The Flight of the Angel, one of the purest examples of entertainment and marking the beginning of Carnival celebrations. On this occasion a girl, the winner of the previous year’s edition of Mary’s Carnival contest flies over Saint Mark’s square suspended on an iron cable, blessing the crowd and surrounded by music and hand-made decorations.
Grand Carnival balls
After a full day outside, enjoying the fun of the Carnival-related celebrations, it’s time to plunge into one of the best expressions of Venetian-style parties, combining fashion, tradition, music, dance and spectacular architectures: a Carnival Ball. For many, the ‘Grand Carnival Ball’ is a dream come true, and thus deserves a separate mention. Midway between a historic re-enactment and a dinner show, a traditional date and an exclusive party, the ‘grand ball’ is an opulent means of celebration for Venetians and an almost irresistible attraction for tourists. Please bear in mind two key notions: carnival balls can be quite expensive, with average prices starting at around €500 per person and limited availability and, most of all, you need to wear a costume to enter the venues. So get ready to reserve your costume and mask quite in advance to get the utmost of amusement from your night!