The Venice Carnival is one of the most famous celebrations, not only in Italy but worldwide. This pagan festival dates back to the fifteenth century, but the tradition began to be held in the early fourteenth. During these early years of the carnival the Venetian masks could be used only at night, but over time the carnival attracted many people from across Europe, including people of the royalty, who came to the city of canals and spent large fortunes.
The Venetian Carnival has nothing to do with other carnival celebrations, such as the carnivals of Brazil, Cadiz or the Canary Islands. This is an elegant and distinguished party where people dress up with beautiful masks and costumes and stroll throughout the streets in impromptu parades. Everything seems as if it were out of a Canaletto painting, where the canals, the gondolas, and the handsome strollers give the city a fairytale aspect.
The Venice Carnival is not only noted for its elegance but for its distinction, too. Throughout the whole city many parties, dances and private events are held – some of the entrance fees cost around € 500.
This year the carnival will be held from the 6th to the 16th February and is entitled “Sensation: 6 sense for 6 sestieri” which will focus on the senses. On the streets there is a festive and special atmosphere, and the tourists and the locals can enjoy the carnival groups, known as “Compagnie della Calza”. People can also enjoy other festivals such as the Feast of Mary, the historical parades or the Drag Queen show in the iconic Piazza San Marco.
The most magical night of the carnival is held at the Pisani Moretta Palace under by candlelight overlooking the Grand Canal. This palace is an Italian gem located in the heart of the city whose interior is covered with beautiful frescos from the eighteenth century. There the prestigious masquerade ball, the “Mascheranda” is held. Everything is set in the seventeenth century. At first, a gala dinner is served, lit by hundreds of candles, with live instrumental music, dancers, and the best actors of the Commedia dell’Arte and Casanova foundations, among others. The night is full of surprises and the party continues until the early morning.
Other important events are the children’s mask contest in San Marco, the medieval music concerts of the seventeenth century in the Campo San Barnaba, or the traditional bathing on the beach of the Ibernisti on the Island of Lido.
Are you going to miss it? The Venice Carnival is one of those parties to which you should assist at least once in a lifetime. To find affordable and comfortable accommodation, rent Venice apartments and become the king or queen of the masquerade ball.