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Everything You Must Know About The Carnival of Venice

By , February 10th, 2014

A festival rich with color, ravishing jeweled costumes, and fantastic masquerades, The Carnival of Venice is world famous for numerous reasons. It is a timeless festival celebrating the power of fantasy through ethereal mysteries, esoteric tales and stupendous art.

The celebration signifies an end with the Christian tradition of Lent, which is a period of fasting before Easter. In fact, some historians believe that the Carnival of Venice was inspired by the victory of the “Serenissima Repubblica” against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico in the year of 1162. In the honor of this victory, the people started to celebrate in San Marco Square.

The Venetian Festival on the water

Grand Opening of Venice Festival-Photo credits @Venice_Carnival

Each mask symbolizes the balance between the union of space and time, thus having resonance throughout history.

Venice Masquerades

Captivating Masks-Photo credits @Venice_Carnival

People throughout history have perceived myth through the expression of a painting, dance, and narration. The Venice Carnival epitomizes artistic wonders. The first documented sources mentioning the use of masks traces as far back as the 13th century. Some scholars theorize that Masks were used due to strict hierarchical class structure in Venice.

Masked couple against wall

Masked Couple

Program Schedule:

February 15th, starting at 18:00, the Carnival of Venice officially begins. The Venetian Festival on the Water – Part One- Grand Canal and the Cannaregio offers visitors an extravagant aquatic show of music, colors and “fantastic creatures.”

February 18th, the Carnival 2014 Movie Festival, Casa del Cinema, presents the movie “Il Pianeta Azzurro” known in English as “the Blue Planet” by Franco Piavoli, 1982.

February 22nd features delicacies like sweet chocolate and fruit Campo at the San Giacomo dell’Orio.

February 22nd 11:00-13:00 A Masked Costume Contest will be held in St. Mark’s Square. This is the most anticipated event of the Carnival held at the Gran Teatro di Piazza San Marco where competitors parade on stage with costumes, masks and wigs.

March 4th 14:30 The Parade of Masks-will meet in the church yard of Marghera, then conclude at the Teatro S.Ilario where bystanders can see “The harlequinades” a puppet show organized by Association “Bambambin Theatre Company”

March 4th 16:30 Award of Maria Carnival 2014- taking place in St. Mark’s Square, this award ceremony will give a proper announcement by crowning the “Mary” winner where she will reach the Piazza at the end of the water procession from St. James dell’Orio.

Carnevale di Venezia

Crowning of Maria winner. photo credits @Venice_Carnival

*This is a Provisional Program. Events, days and times may change.

Helpful Tip: An immediate way to explore Venice including: Museums & Churches, Public Transport, Transfer Marco Polo Airport, Services and Wi-fi– is to use the Venezia Unica Composer, an easy-to-use cart composing tool that reserves your transport tickets in advance.

Venice History

One of the most romantic cities on Earth, Venice has attracted visitors to its shimmery waterways and mystic character for centuries. Though considered a lagoon, Venice sits afloat in the Adriatic Sea. The Republic of Venice began to develop significantly beginning in 827 when the existing Byzantine Patriarchal Seat moved to Rialto. Over the next 970 years Venice prospered greatly due to rich trading while accumulating vast wealth under the rule of a Roman-style Senate headed by a Doge (chief of state.) In 1797, the city was conquered by Napoleon and it lost its independence. Since then the city has experienced a variety of political, social and cultural changes. Hence, Venice still reminds us today of its rich Renaissance past and its historical heritage.

Venice Waterways shot

Venice at Dusk

Things To Do in Venice

1. Piazza San Marco – Venice’s largest piazza, Saint Mark’s Square, is the city’s central meeting place. Lined by cafes, shops, and a number of museums, the place presents Venice’s most gorgeous architecture along the sea.

2. Doge’s Palace – Throughout the 1,000-year rule of the Republic of Venice, the palace headquarters reigned many Doges, or leaders. Explore the grand rooms which were once occupied by Venice’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  If you find dark history interesting,   go on the Secret Itineraries Tour, which includes a view inside the ominous torture chambers, prisons, and the Bridge of Sighs.

3. Basilica San Marco – It is the epitome of Byzantine architecture contributing to Venice’s patron. Treasures inside Saint Mark’s Basilica include a collection of fantastic Byzantine iconography, mosaics, and paintings by world famous Venetian artists.

4. Rialto Bridge – Along the Grand Canal is Venice’s most famous bridge making it a “must see” attraction. Walk along the Rialto Bridge and enjoy the array of shops and markets.

Hotel Offers:

1. Hotel Pausania

Hotel Pausania offers an excellent position in the center of Venice, adjacent to the San Barnaba canal and the sestiere Dorsoduro, which is the most exclusive cultural and artistic epicenter of Venice. See more details here

Saloon

Salon Room at Hotel Pausania

Guests will be immersed in a 14th century noble palace in Gothic style, including a private garden. It is the ideal place for the ultimate romantic getaway in Venice.

Breakfast room

Morning Breakfast at Hotel Pausania

2. Best Western Hotel Bisanzio

Located in a very quiet zone, just a stone’s throw away from Saint Mark’s Square, the Best Western Hotel Bisanzio is an elegant 3-star superior that in the past was the home and workshop of the famous sculptor Alessandro Vittoria.

The building conserves an 18th century venetian style. The Murano glass lamps are reason enough to make you enter this carnival filled atmosphere.

The look from Hotel Bisanzio

The look from Best Western Hotel Bisanzio

3.  Locanda Art Deco

Located just five minutes walking from Saint Mark’s Square, the cozy 3-star Locanda Art Deco is uniquely decorated and features modern amenities including free Wi-Fi.  The friendly staff can assist you in making tour and gondola trip arrangements.

To book other hotel rooms in Venice, please click here.