The Venice Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in the world. And one of the most entertaining! It is time to say goodbye to winter and get your mask out of the closet. Because the Venice Carnival is close to bursting into life! When? It begins on January 31st and it ends on February 17th. That’s right! Almost 3 weeks of fun, costumes, beauty, art and wild party-goers.
Carnival? – this word comes the Latin phrase ‘carnem levare’. This means ‘remove the meat’ because it made reference to the banquet that preceded the Ash Wednesday. This was the last day before the big Lenten period when meat is not allowed.
Where to see the carnival?
What is the best spot to see the carnival? St Mark’s Square is the main attraction point during the Venice carnival. Here you will find the most amazing costumes (some aspire to the title of best mask/costume in the most exciting competition of the carnival) that will delight and intrigue you. St Mark’s Square tends to become too overcrowded reason for which organisers tend to lure the people towards the Arsenale.
Important Facts to Know about the Venice Carnival
. Around the 1500s in St. Mark’s Square an acrobat walked from the bell tower of San Marco on a rope down to an anchored boat in Piazzetta. He reached the balcony of the Palazzo Ducale and gave gifts to the Doge. This event brought excitment and interest among the crowds that named it the Svolo del Turco. In time, the ritual changed a bit and the acrobat started wearing wings in order to protect himself from unfortunate events. This is how the name Volo Dell’Angelo came into existence. However, due to a terrible incident happening during a performance, for a short period the ritual changed and the acrobat was replaced with a wooden dove that released confetti and flowers above the crowd. Starting with 2001 the acrobat entered back into the game. This event is scheduled at noon on the first Sunday of the celebrations.
. You can wear whatever costume you want during this carnival. And if you didn’t come prepared you can always purchase some amazing costumes or masks from the specialized stores: Tragicomica (Calle dei Nomboli 2800, San Polo, 0039 041 721 102), Papier Maché (Calle lunga Santa Maria Formosa 5174B, Castello, 0039 041 522 9995) or Atelier Pietro Longhi (Ramo secondo Saoner 2671, San Polo, 0039 041 714 478).
. Pub crawl – it might seem like an activity for the youngest but you will surely enjoy it no matter what age you have. Pub crawling is in fact a tradition of the place and it dates back hundreds of years ago. It involves you dressing in your best Carnival outfit and join other people who go from bar to bar enjoying themselves. You can drink typical wines and try out the Venetian Spritz. Book your place in advance and you won’t be sorry!
. Finding accommodation in Venice at this time is hard, but not impossible. The important thing is to hurry up and get the best deals. You can also check the official site of this year’s Venetian carnival!
If you are around Venice during this period, don’t miss this amazing carnival!