The Venice Carnival

At the beginning of every year Venice overcomes the winter gloom by putting on its festive hat. The floating streets of Venice are adorned with people in pompous costumes and masks to celebrate the Carnival in full glory. There is a galore of Venetian costume balls, dinners and parties thrown all over the city but be ready to lighten your pocket to attend those private parties. However, you won’t have to shell a dime if you are in San Marco square attending the public events including the Best Masked Costume Contest of the year during the Carnival.

San Marco Square where the best costume contest takes place

What is the Carnival?

The Carnival is a Christian festival, a celebration marked by parades, costumes, masks and fanfare which ends on Fat Tuesday (also Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras) before the beginning of Lent. Without getting too religious, some cities in the western world know how to celebrate their Carnival in style. Who hasn’t heard of the Brazilian Carnival? New Orleans’s Mardi Gras is an unforgettable experience of its own. So when we found out that the Carnival in Venice will be taking place while we would be in Italy, we knew we had to go for it.

Learn basic Italian words and phrases before you go to Venice

Did we plan our Italy trip specifically to attend the Carnival? 

No, but we did move our plans around to attend it. TIP: Research about local events and festivals going around in the places you are about to visit prior to finalizing your trip. It was much easier for us to flip the original plan of starting our vacation in Venice to ending it there since we researched about the Carnival before booking our international flights.

Be prepared for more than usual crowds in Venice during the carnival

Top 10 tips on traveling through Italy we put together from our experiences

Cutting to the chase, below is a photo essay of striking masked faces from the Carnival  in Venice…. which by the way was nothing short of attending a medieval Halloween party. Fun Fun! You better have your Venetian mask handy to blend in the crowd 😉

Click on an image for the gallery to begin.


Now who’s in for celebrating the next carnival in Venice? 

Masks sold at every corner in Venice, San Marco Piazza pictured here

Happy Carnival!!



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