Venice Carnival

The Venetian Carnival, that was first released in 1296, is an unique mixture of tradition, entertainment, history and transgression in only one city – Venice. The carnival has always drawn very many visitors each year because it is the most important event celebrated here. Going back to its origins, we find out that the Carnival of Venice marks the transition from the cold winter to fresh spring, and due to this fact, everything looks like an illusion, making the poor people look powerful while wearing the specific masks and costumes. Last year’s carnival, that is in 2009, the celebration lasted for 9 days, from February 13 to 24 and it was called “Sensation, 6 senses for 6 districts” and it consisted of discovering the charming city together with its atmosphere, an invitation to immerse yourself fully into the emotional experience that only the Venice Carnival can give.

Carnival of Venice Costumes
Carnival of Venice Costumes
However, in the past, the carnival was much bigger that it is now and it included even fights and bear-baiting, bull-fights and secret assignations in gondolas. In its best period, the Carnival lasted from Christmas until Shrove Tuesday and it used to begin only when a government official granted the permission that all social status people may wear masks. Masks were worn by almost everybody: from beggars to nobleman. The program of the Venice Carnival is full of opportunities and fun for all ages, from the Contest for the best mask for children in St. Mark’s Square, to the musical programs provided by ALL MUSIC in Santa Margherita and the Medieval and seventh-century music Concerts in Campo San Barnaba, to the reenactment of historical parades at St. Mark. The richer you were dressed, the better for you.


The crowds in St. Mark’s Square routinely comprised Cossacks and Barbary pirates, Chinese mandarins and characters from the commedia dell’arte. Every winter local businesses do a brisk business hiring out colorful costumes and masks. The Carnival of Venice will last this year from from February 6 to February 16 2010 and the costumes and masks will be in honor of such figures as Mozart and Casanova and Saint Valentine. Despite the fact that this year’s edition is not as opulent as in the past, the Carnival still remains an emblem of Venice. The city’s population often doubles during this period, and the authorities have been known to close the causeway to the mainland when the city becomes too crowded.

The senses the Carnival in 2009 was about included smell, touch, sight etc. In the Santa Croce district you could attend performances at the street theater, dedicated to experiments with the sense of smell. San Paolo district hosted the “sight”. For the young people the evening atmosphere was enlivened with music in the Campo bella Vienna, a few steps from the Rialto Bridge. “Taste” was tried during the food events in the Cannaregio district and “touch” will bring you verym many surprises.

Carnival of Venice Masks
Carnival of Venice Masks

Carnival of Venice
Carnival of Venice

Venice Carnival
Venice Carnival

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Category: Food, Travel Destinations  Tags: ,
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