Carnival of Venice: the program and the events

Carnevale di venezia


Who knows Venice knows also its Carnival: the Carnival of Venice is the most important city celebration today but even more important centuries ago during the golden era of Serenissima republic when Carnival lasted months, from October to Lent.

Today the Carnival of Venice lasts less (celebration usually last 10-15 days) but in this period a lot of events take place, they attract in the city a lot of people from all over the world. In the pure spirit of the festival the events entertain the public in an atmosphere of happiness, fun and even mystery, they have deep roots in traditions, habits and past legends.

This year the Carnival in Venice takes place from 23rd January to 9th February 2016, that means that if you are going to stay in Venice during these days you will meet many masks and you could dress in mask yourself, taste the typical venetian food of the period (frittelle and galani) and take part to the thick program of events.

The program of the events of the Carnival of Venice

There are many events during the Carnival of Venice, I am not going to list them all but I will mention the most famous and interesting, the entire list can be found at the official website of Carnival of Venice.

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Carnival opening – The Venice festival on the water

carnevale di venezia


23rd-24th January

This celebration often pass by unnoticed because it is very popular among Venetians but not among tourists, but the Carnival opening is something that can’t be missed: a parade of decorated boats slip along Canale di Cannaregio, the theme changes every year, in 2016 the fil rouge will be CREATUM, arts and traditions in the lagoon city.

This water parade is divided into two parts: the first parade takes place at 6 pm on Saturday 23rd January, the second one at 10 am on Sunday 24th January. Both deserve to be seen to enjoy the show wth day and night light.

The windows and balconies of Palazzina Veneziana overlook the canal so our guests can enjoy a unique view over the show.

At the end of the parade the party continues with food stalls and Venetian street food.

La festa delle Marie

marie carnevale di venezia


30th January

Marie are 12 Venetian girls who parade along the canals and calles of the city during the Carnival of Venice. Among them the most beautiful is elected Maria of the year.

This event has its roots in the “Festa delle Marie” that was celebrated in Venice during the period of Serenissima Republic when 12 poor girls were assigned to rich families that dressed them with dresses and jewels giving them a dowry so that they could get married. The girls parade in the city and banquets and celebrations took place all around the city.

The celebration today is made of a procession leaving from San Piero di Castello at 2.30 pm with the 12 girls parading in historical dresses. They arrive in Piazza San Marco at 4 pm and they are presented to the public waiting them in the main square.

The king banquet

30th-31st January, 4th-5th-6th February

By the Venice Arsenal on many nights during the Carnival of Venice takes place a gala banquet that recalls the ancient splendors of the Republic of Venice in its golden era.

The dinner (to pay and on reservation) takes place among acrobats and paramours, the dress code is with mask and for those who don’t have it one will be given at the entry of the party. Music, shows and lights will make it a party to remember, able to carry you back in time.

Il volo dell’angelo

Volo dell'angelo


31st January

“Volo dell’angelo” is a special Carnival events with a sponsor climbing down from Venice tower bell to land on St. Mark’s square. This year the sponsor will be the girl winner of the past edition of “Festa delle Marie” .

This show reminds the challenge of a Turkish tightrope walker who in XIV Century walked on a rope stretched among St. Mark’s tower bell and a boat anchored at the dock.

Volo dell’angelo takes place at 12 pm.

Il volo dell’aquila

7th February

It is the reproposal of Volo dell’angelo one week after. It takes place at 12 pm and the identity of the person that will climb down the tower bell will be unveiled only few minutes before the event itself.

Svolo del leon e Marie award ceremony

9th February

To set forth the end of the Carnival of Venice St. Mark’s winged lion – the symbol of the city – painted on a big cloth will be climbed down the tower bell at 5 pm.

Just a little bit before, at 4.30 pm will take place the award ceremony to prize the most beautiful Maria: the winner will arrive in St. Mark’s square through a water parade leaving from San Giacomo dell’Orio.

Challenge of the most beautiful mask

1st-2nd-3rd February

Everyone can take part to the challenge that prizes the most beautiful mask of Venice Carnival: tanking part is free, all you need to do is fill the form and send it by email. The public decides each day winners through a voting system: on 7th February the finals

Monday 8 February special parades dedicated to children to choose the most beautiful children mask.

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