The Venice Carnival is one of the city’s biggest and most popular festivals. Lasting two and a half weeks, the roots of this colourful event go back to 1162 when Venetians gathered in St Mark’s Square to celebrate a key military victory. These days, the city welcomes around 3 million revellers - be prepared for an amazing festival of colour, sound and beautiful costumes. An important symbol of the carnival is the mask - wearing beautifully ornate masks is a real Venetian tradition. The festival is launched with the amazing Festa Veneziana, a parade of illuminated boats along the waters of the Cannaregio, and features mask competitions and local traditions such as the Flight of the Angel.
The Venice Carnival, or Carnevale di Venezia, takes place over 18 days from 11th to 28th February. Although the various events takes place all over the city centre, the majority of the festival is centred around St Mark’s Square, known as the piazza de San Marco. A must-see event is the opening party - a wonderful parade of creatively decorated gondolas which starts at 6pm on the Rio di Cannaregio. The nearest airports to the carnival are Marco Polo Airport and Carnova Aiport in Treviso. Once you arrive in this city of canals, you’ll find that the water bus service is a handy way to get around - plan your journey here.
If you’re planning to attend the carnival, make sure you bring a mask with you, or buy one there, so that you can join in the festivities. The Venetian mask is a key part of the carnival and you’ll witness all types of elaborate facial coverings - from the famous beaked medico della peste to the heavily gilded bauta. Head to St Mark’s Square to watch the Masked Costume competitions where you’ll be able to see the competitors parade on stage in their costumes, vying for a place in the final on Sunday 26th February. The kids’ competition, which takes place on 27th February is also worth watching.
Make the most of your trip to Venice for the carnival by staying in the very best rental accommodation for you. If you book with Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in luxury apartments, penthouses, bed and breakfasts, studios, houses or boats…all close to the carnival festivities via public transport or on foot. Check out our accommodation in Venice.
If you’re travelling to Venice for the carnival, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, such as: Canal Grande, Doges' Palace and Basilica di San Marco.
To find out more information about the carnival, please check out the city’s official website where you’ll be able to download the complete carnival programme and find out more about the costumes, masks, songs and history of the Carnival of Venice .
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