Carnival of Venice: what you should not miss!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Carnival of Venice is one of the oldest Carnivals in the world and also one of the most important and famous ones. Last year I wrote a post about the Venetian Masks History and this year I decided to list all the main events you should not miss.
Diaries of an explorer

Venice is for sure one of top travel destinations in Italy and the Carnival is one of the things to do in Venice. The Carnival starts the 14th of February ( next Saturday) and ends the 4th of March: its main theme will be the "Wonderful Nature" and all the campi (fields) will choose one of the animals from the "Carnival Wood": the Campo of the Capercaillie, the Campo of the Donkey, the Campo of Wolf, and Campo of the Fox.


Let's have a look at the main events of the Carnival Venice 2014:

1) Cannaregio's Venetian Feast

The Carnival will start with the historical feast of Cannaregio, the most appreciated by the Venetians. You can enjoy an aquatic show along the Rio of Cannaregio.

The day after at 10.30am, the aqutic procession of the "Associazioni Remiere" will leave San Marco and will sail along the Canal Grande to reach the sestriere (district) of Cannaregio, where you can taste delicious frittelle and the Venetian cicheti for free!
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.daringtodo.com

2) Festa delle Marie

The ancient Festa delle Marie (Marias' feast) is a great chance to see the historical Venetian masks and costumes. It reminds the gift granted by the Venetian Doge (Duke) to 12 beautiful girls, once kidnapped and then rescued and brought back to Venice.

Their procession takes place the next Saturday after the Cannareggio's Venetian feast at 2.30 pm, goes from Via Garibalsi and San Pietro di Castello and reaches San Marco's square.
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.elenatagliadipietra.it

3) Il Volo dell'Angelo o della Colombina (the Angel's Flight or the Dove)

This the most traditional "Flight": the so-called Volo della Colombina o dell'Angelo. In 1500 a young Turkish acrobat was able to reach the top of the San Marco's tower bell on a rope: since that day, every year the Venetian people had started to repeat that performance until its substitution with the Volo della Colombina, less dangerous as they made a huge wooden dove come down from the 98,6 meters of the San Marco's tower bell along a rope, sending flowers and corianders to the people.

Actually, the acrobat is intepreted by a VIP, a model or  the winning Maria from the previous Carnival competition, that goes down from the tower bell to the Grand Theatre in San Marco following that rope, but not as dangerous as in the past.

You can see it the day after the Festa delle Marie, at 12 ( noon).
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.luxuo.it

4) The Grand Masquerades

There are two main masquerades in Venice: the Cavalchina Masquerade, il Gran Ballo della Cavalchina, located at the Theatre La Fenice, a Venetian tradition since the 18th Century, and the Ballo del Doge, the Duke's Masquerade, one of the most important events or maybe the most desired event, located in the dreamy Palazzo Pisani Moretta. The masquerade starts with a dinner and the invited people are entertained by several artists, acrobats and musician performances. At midnight, everyone stars dancing!

Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.sithean.photoshelter.com

5) The itinerant theatre: Venice's secrets

Besides the parties, the processions, the costumes, the jokes, the masquerades, the Carnival is also a great chance to discover the secrets of Venice, organised by the Association Pantakin from Venice.

An actor of this theatral company will guide you throught the mysterious places of the city, telling you the legends, the stories and the daily life during the Most Serene Republic period. The tour languages are: Italian, French and English. 
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.venice.cityexperience.it

6) The Youth International Carnival:

During the 2 weeks, the Biennale of Venezia is the partner of the Youth International Carnival, opened to the students and schools from Veneto and also from other countries. During these days, there are dance, music and theatre performances, the school competition Silver Lion for the Creativity, the activities of the countries that join the Biennale, special visits to the Arsenale and the Grand Atelier in Ca' Giustinian, where students and artesans cooperate together to create the customs for the public.
Diaries of an explorer

7) Carnevalanga

This event has been created for children with music, theatre, street art and animation in the Venetian campi.This is a great opportunity for Italian and non-Italian artitst to become famous or at least being spotted. The last years it has become an event also for young people and you can find new emerging bands or artists. You can find the program here
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.comune.venezia.it

8) The most beautiful mask competition

Every day there's a mask parade on the stage of the Grand Theathre in Piazza San Marco to win the most desired title: the most beautiful mask. All the people attending the Grand Theatre parterre are the judges and every day there are the selections. The 2nd of March, the last day, the most beautiful mask is chosen: of course, a Venetian mask! :-)
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.partecipiamo.it

9) The Maria award ceremony

The last day, one of the 12 Marias is awarded as the Maria of the Carnival by the Doge (Duke) at 4.30pm in Piazza San Marco.
Diaries of an explorer
Source:www.carnevale.venezia.it

10) Svolo del Leon ( The Lion Flight)

If the Colombina ( or Dove) comes down from the tower bell of San Marco and it represents the opening of the Carnival days, the opposite flight is performed by the winged lion of San Marco, called as Svolo del Leon at 5 pm. You can see a huge lion flag that reaches the top of the tower bell. This is the official closure of the Carnival of Venice
Diaries of an explorer
Source: www.carnevale.venezia.it
Are you ready to party??? Enjoy one of the most famous Italian traditions and enjoy the Taste of Italy!

If you need more info about these events, please check the Carnival official site here.

Do not miss the Venetian Masks History to discover the beautiful Venetian masks.

Do you want also to visit the city? Well here you find a 1-day itinerary and tips on where to sleep, stay and eat.

Diaries of an explorer will guide you to the Volo della Colombina (Dove or Angel's Flight): stay tuned! :-)

4 commenti:

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Wonderful post, Marco - it really highlights the creativity and excitement of Carnivale! Having only been to Venezia once - this past October - I now dream of returning for Carnivale! ~ David

Marco Zannin said...

Thanks a lot for your comment David and nice to meet you! The Carnival is really a great experience: get ready when you will come, as during these events, it's really crowded! :-)

Susan Nelson said...

Love your colorful photos, Marco! Wish I could be there....thanks!

Marco Zannin said...

Thanks a lot Susan! :-) This sort of guide can be useful also for the next years! :-) Next Sunday I will go to Venice to see the "Volo della Colombina", hoping that the weather will be fine...need to cross fingers! :-)

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