February 12 – March 1, 2022: for 18 days, Venice will have a full schedule of events for adults and children alike. What days are not to be missed to have the best Venetian Carnival experience?
Main events of the Venice Carnival
As per tradition, the most important days are Shrove Thursday and Shrove Tuesday; there are also numerous initiatives during all the weekends of the carnival period.
For those who would like to plan their trip to Venice during Carnival, it is definitely useful to know the schedule (still to be confirmed) of the most important events and appointments of the Venice carnival.
February 13, 2022: “Festa Veneziana sull’Acqua” (Venetian Festival on the Water) (Rio di Cannaregio)
February 19, 2022: Procession and “Festa delle Marie” (Festival of the Marys) (Via Garibaldi)
February 20, 2022: THE FLIGHT OF THE ANGEL (Piazza San Marco)
February 27, 2022: The Flight of the Eagle (Piazza San Marco)
February 27, 2022: Finals of the Most Beautiful Mask competition (Piazza San Marco)
February 28, 2022: The Best Masked Costume Competition – children’s version (Piazza San Marco)
March 1, 2022: Award ceremony of the Carnival Mary (Piazza San Marco)
March 1, 2022: “Svolo del Leon” (Flying of the Lion) (Piazza San Marco)
History and traditions
Some of the initiatives mentioned refer to names and images that are unfamiliar to those who don’t live in Venice: the “Marie” or Marys, the flight of the angel or the flight of the Eagle are certainly those that pique the most curiosity in visitors. But what exactly is the flight of the angel? It is the launch of the “Maria” of the Carnival of the previous year from the San Marco bell tower or Campanile to the Doge’s Palace. And another question immediately arises: what is the festival of the “Marie” in Venice?
The festival of the “Marie” is the re-enactment of a medieval festival and today involves young women parading in traditional costume, and ends with a beauty contest. But even more interesting and complex is the original festival, suppressed in 1379, which involved young brides-to-be, religious ceremonies, sumptuous garments and kidnappings by pirates.
And so, between one question and another, it turns out that the Venice Carnival is rooted in very ancient traditions that have been maintained, lost, then recovered over time, but all of which recount a piece of the history of the city of Venice and its traditions → Learn more
But what does everyone do during the Venice Carnival?
Many visitors come to Venice to show off their home-made or rented costumes, wandering around between San Marco and Rialto. The most affluent go to private costume parties in renowned palaces such as Palazzo Pisani Moretta. But tourists can simply put on the masks they buy in the city shops or enjoy taking pictures of the carnival’s best moments.
Venetian children dress up and go to parties hosted by their local parish churches. Or they go for a walk on the Riva degli Schiavoni as far as San Marco to see the spectacular costumes or to be photographed.
Young people go out to drink mulled wine, especially on Saturday, the highlight of the Carnival, which next year will be February 26, wandering around Campi and the bars depending on the events organised in the various neighbourhoods or “Sestieri”.
The Carnival events most frequented by Venetians are the water festival or Festa sull’acqua in Rio di Cannaregio, with the parade on water of the Rowing Associations and the food and wine tours with Venetian specialties, and the Procession and “Festa delle Marie” (Via Garibaldi). Both are popular areas a little off the main tourist beats.
What are the Venetian Carnival masks like?
The masks can be made of papier-mâché, glass, leather, plain or colourful and decorated with gold leaf, but almost all of them completely cover the face in memory of the times when the carnival was a chance to go out and about without being recognised, and take part in parties and dances in the streets and private homes.
What are the typical foods of the Venice Carnival?
The typical sweets of the Venice Carnival are Venetian fritters with raisins and pine nuts called “fritole”, “galani” (also called “chiacchiere”) and “crema fritta” or fried cream. You can taste them in all of the city’s bars and pastry shops.
The Foresteria Valdese di Venezia, one of the eight Case Valdesi, is strategically located at just a 10-minute walk from Piazza San Marco, so that you can enjoy all the Carnival events and visit the city on festive days.
For reservations www.foresteriavenezia.it. We look forward to welcoming you!