The tradition of Carnival in Venice has ancient origins dating back to the 1290s. In the past, this giant public party allowed everyone to don masks and costumes, ensuring anonymity and allowing for a sort of leveling of social divisions. This year, the Carnival takes place from January 23th until February 9, featuring a calendar full of festive events:

The opening began with the Venetian Festival on the water, where the Cannaregio Canal turned into a stage of water, a spectacle that attracts thousands of visitors each year.

 

 Photo Credit: Ispirando

 

The King Banquet– This daily dinner is an ongoing event that you can buy tickets to. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the past through a sensational evening of entertainment and traditional Venetian cuisine.

The Marie’s Feast– This feast is a tribute to the ancient Doge of Venice, who each year would find twelve beautiful and humble Venetian girls and gift them precious jewels for their weddings. A moment that can’t be missed is the parade of elaborate Venetian costumes, including twelve young women who contend to win the title of Carnival’s Marie.

 

Photo Credit:partecipiamo 
 

The Angel’s Flight – Once the lucky girl is chosen as the winner of Carnival’s Marie, she gets to take flight from the bell tower of San Marco to the center of the square. Thousands of spectators hold their breath and turn their eyes toward the sky for this electrifying performance.

 

Photo Credit: best-bookings
 

5 things to enjoy during the Venice Carnival:

1)    The creation of bespoke handcrafted masks;

2)    Makeup artists around the city and in San Marco Square painting faces for 10-15 euros; 

3)    Costumes and accessories in traditional 1700’s Venetian style available for rent;

4)    Dimly lit and mysterious private parties, where wearing a mask is required;

5)    Competitions with free participation for the title of best mask

 

 Photo Credit: Euroguide

 

Local tips about the Venice Carnival:

 

Where to stay:

The Charming House, a modern and minimalist hotel in the center of Venice.

A romantic bed and breakfast called Residenza Conte Antica is just a two minute walk from San Marco Square.

 

Local spots:

I Tre Mercanti offers the best homemade pastries in the city, and you can watch the chef prepare the sweets inside.

Typical Venetian bar Bacareto da Lele offers fresh sandwiches and good red wine.

 

Where to eat: 

Try a walking tour from Venice Bites Food Tours, a tasty journey to learn about the culture of traditional Venetian food.

 

What to do:

Do some shopping at the Rialto Market, which happens every morning from Monday to Saturday, and is located in the real heart of the city.

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