Think gondolas with lively music, think piazzas burgeoning with people, and think elaborate Venetian masks. From the mid of February, everyone is in a party state of mind in Venice, most of all the Venetians, thanks to the start of the yearly extravaganza—the Venezia Carnevale!
As the legend goes, the carnival was celebrated since 13th century in the days leading up to the holy season of Lent, in which one would fast and pray. In order to get rid of the excessive food, drinks and il carne (meat) that would rot during Lent, the people of Venice would celebrate. The tradition, although suspended in the middle, picked up again in 1979 and there’s been no looking back since.
A time of intense celebration, colour and festivities, the carnival in 2019 is taking place from February 16-March 5, with the last few days being the most crowded of them all. Wondering whether to visit and how to (literally) navigate the waters? We have you covered.
Fancy dress for everyone:
If there’s one thing Venice likes to do during the festival, it is getting decked up. Decadent regalia, over-the-top faux coats, glamorous capes, opulent robes and of course, the famous Venetian masks—there’s nothing you can’t expect at the carnival. People dress up for the streets, the regatta balls and you too can join in! Costumes are often for rent from local shops and boutiques, while masks have to be purchased.
The parade of Festa della Marie is a lively affair that makes for beautiful photographs--you should also keep in mind how popular The Flight of The Angel is, an event that takes place in St. Marks' Square, and get there in advance to catch sight of the 'angel' (an acrobat) taking flight from the belltower at noon. There will also be many regattas and balls to attend--although several will be sold out many weeks in advance! Keep a watch out.
Weather in Italy:
Don’t let the festivities fool you—it’s February and it is really cold in Italy at this time, so don't forget to carry your coats and boots!
You’re already in Italy, so you might as well go and explore some nearby towns on duller days of the carnival. Treviso, Padua, Vicenza, and Verona are all about 1-2 hours from Venice and can be visited in a single day.
Find more information on the carnival here.
Getting there: Direct flights ply from India to Rome, and from there, trains ply to Venice