The waterways of Venice truly come alive during the magnificent Carnival of Venice, with a vast array of displays and events that provide a visual feast for the eyes. The Carnival of Venice is a celebration of the City of Water which dates back to 1162. It brings to life the most famous aspect of Venice’s culture and past: the masked balls and elaborate parties.
The brightly coloured garments and the mysterious face coverings create a sense of occasion and bring out the party spirit. Venice returns to its former self for these carnival days. A visit during what the locals call ‘Carnevale’ is different to any other Venice experience you may have had before.
Originally hosted as a victory party after the city defeated the Patriarch of Aquileia, the festival commemorates the rise of Venice as a great global nation. After years of prohibition which halted the annual celebration, it recommenced in 1979 and has taken place every year since then. This great occasion makes the Carnival of Venice the best time to visit Venice.
Carnival of Venice. Beautiful masks and extravagant costumes
The festival takes place in the two weeks prior to the start of Lent, usually during the later weeks of February, and is a time of great celebration and extravagance before the solemn fasting begins. The residents of Venice take to the streets in fine outfits and exquisite hand-painted masks, paying a loving homage to the city’s ancient traditions. Flotillas sail along the Grand Canal, which is filled with street performers and partygoers with an array of colours and sounds. Visitors can enjoy the sights, colours and sounds from the centre of the action.
Events take place throughout the two weeks, but the final weekend is truly the time to see the celebrations. This is when the main parades, balls and shows take place.
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