Masquerade in Italy: Venice Carnival rules

Carnival of Venice CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Nemodus photos

Walking around inside the Venice Carnevale is an unmissable experience. Italy’s top carnival or mardi gras celebration was on the beginning of February, but the  Carnevale season lasts several weeks. Costumed characters and food stalls all around, fun and many music event culmintaing with incredible ball. This is a trip to be planned ahead and to book well in advance. Venice is glamourous during Carnevale season.
Carnevale in Venice made the city mad and packed. Awesome public entertainment all over through early evening till late.

Masks everwhere are hanging out giving you a kiss, an hug, a bow! If you were there, just going for a stroll out of your hotel and walking around through the bridges and the calle is mesmerising. For the best Carnevale experience, you need absolutely to rent and wear a costume or a mask.

Where to find the main events?

You need to hang around Piazza San Marco, but many others events are there to be discovered in every single “Sestiere” (Venetian quarters) so let’s have a walk and an icecream going around to visit other areas of the town. You will end it up among the fireworks show again in Piazza San Marco. Venice is a fish, a famous book on Venice states, and during Carnevale it is a dressed-up fish!!!
You need to experience also a masked ball in Venice where you can ren out  a beautiful costume and join for about 500-600 euro. Is it tto much? Not at all for a night like that in amazing Venice! More masquerade balls will be held also inside.
Staying in Venice from the Wednesday through the Saturday prior to Carnevale is advisable, too. Loads of activities are planned in Venice before the actual Carnevale date and there will be also costumed characters.
Carnevale dates moved to and forth the calendar every year, corresponding with Shrove Tuesday, meaning forty days before Easter.
Carnevale weather may be cold or rainy, but hopefully you can be lucky enough and get sun even if with chilly air.

The meaning of this masked extraordinary madness has due to be consumed in 12 days, celebrating the coming of spring for your refined, intelligent senses.

Carnevale in the history

Venetians started from the 15th century to give birth to this tradition. The masked balls started from this period and you could find cruelty sport such as bull-baiting and firing living dogs from cannons! In the 18th century Venice was decadent and  the licentious  Carnevale lasted …two months!!!

But when Napoleon in 1797 conquered the town, carnevale was reshaped and reduced. Mussolini gave the last blow: fascists banned the wearing of masks, the basic of Carnevale. The revival came in 1979, becoming again the world’s Carnevale festivals.

“A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale” (everything is allowed on carnival season)

The celebration begin always on the Friday afternoon with La Festa delle Marie: it is a long procession which get through the city. The official opening hits on Saturday around 4pm, when a masked procession goes from Piazza San Marco through the streets.

The next day? A magnificent jousts and many tournaments are planned to shake the calle. The following Friday evening you will join the Gran Ballo delle Maschere (Grand Masked Ball), or Doge’s Ball, which takes place in different locations each year , a suitably grand palace. Anyone dressing a costume and mask would be able to dance the quadrilles and other traditional dances.

Saturday and Sunday are hosting musical and theatrical performances in Piazza San Marco and other locations. Do not miss out a match at Calcio storico (a medieval football in costume) in Piazza San Marco!!! Here you can see the fab parade of the best and most ornate costumes, which will be repeated on Tuesday, too. On the Sunday, a procession of decorated boats and gondolas carrying masked passengers will make your day looking down the Grand Canal.


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