Traditional Venice sweets of Carnival time

dolci tipici del Carnevale di Venezia

After Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Venice the atmosphere changes: it is crazy and funny and extremes are everyday occurrences, even in the kitchen. In this circumstance the beginning of the year in the city coincides with the appearance of the first masks walking along the calles, but also with the first traditional Venice sweets of Carnival time appearing in the windows of the bakeries.

You don’t need to be glutton to let you tempt by the delights tempting people passing by pushing them to have a coffee break (where the coffee is just an excuse to eat a delicious frittella or a galano that has been just taken out of the oven).


Little guide to the traditional Venice sweets of Carnival time

So that your taste buds don’t lose any of these specialties, I have made for you this little guide to the sweets of Venice Carnival.

dolci tipici del Carnevale di Venezia


Venetian frittelle were formerly made in XV Century by the “fritoleri” that  were united in a sort of corporation to pass on the tradition to the descendants.

Frittelle can be of different type but basically they have a dough made of eggs, sugar, flour. The dough is dropped in the boiling oil and frying it generates those delicious sweets that, covered with powdered sugar are one of the delights of Carnival in Venice.

The traditional frittelle are also called “veneziane”, in their dough raisin is added, as an alternative, for those who don’t care about calories, there are frittelle filled with cream, zabaglione, jam, apples, chocolate. For all tastes, really!

dolci tipici del Carnevale di Venezia


Castagnole are a variation of the frittelle: they are smaller and golden, with a more compact dough and usually they are never stuffed.


Galani are puff pastries made of eggs, flour, sugar and butter that are cut in stripes and fried in boiling oil. At the end of the cooking, when they are crispy, you can dry them and cover with powdered sugar.

The recipe of galani is very ancient and dates back to Roman age: that’s the reason why you can find this sweet all over Italy even if with variation and different names (chiacchiere, bugie, frappole, crostoli…). The curious thing is that in Venice the sweets are called galani while in the hinterland, just few km far, thet are called crostoli: the firsts are thin and look like ribbons, while the seconds are thicker and have a rectangular shape.

Where you can eat the traditional Venice sweets of Carnival time

In Venice there are plenty of pastries shops, you will notice that while walking along the calles while your sight will be captured by colored shop windows full of pastries, biscuits and every kind of sweets.

dolci tipici del Carnevale di Venezia

I would like to give you some advice about the Venice bakeries where we like to go for a sweet break and where at Carnival you can find good frittelle, castagnole and galani.

Few steps from the railway station, along Strada Nuova, walking towards our Palazzina Veneziana there is Dal Mas Bakery which produces very good Venetian frittelle or filled with cream and zabaglione. If you are really greedy next door they have opened a chocolate shop.

dolci tipici del Carnevale di Venezia

Similarly along Strada Nuova there is Nobile pastry shop, crowded of Venetians but also of tourists passing by that, spying through the windows find the courage to enter and leave loaded of sweets.

Tonolo is famous for its frittelle among the most beloved by Venetians, but not only them! A real pleasure for your mouth. It is situated in Sestiere Dorsoduro, near the headquarters of Ca’ Foscari University.

These are just a few of them… Get lost along the narrow Venice streets and you’ll find gorgeous things, also many other bakeries to try!

If you are in Venice during the Carnival read the program of the events and if you are looking for a place to stay contact us to book our Special offer Carnival in Venice.