About the Venice Carnival
Much like Venice itself, the “Carnevale di Venezia” has been one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world. Even as early as the 18th century, Europe’s eclectic crowds would flock in the mysterious island city, drawn by the decadent atmosphere.
The Venice Carnival lasts for two weeks, from February 16 to March 6. Although the whole town is abuzz during these days, weekend before the end of the celebrations is full of parties and fun events. Even if you are not a fan of masquerade balls and crowds, this is one of the best seasons to visit Venice.
A little bit of history
The Venice Carnival has been around since the times of the Most Serene Empire of Venice in the 13th century, until it was banned altogether in 1799. 200 years later, it was reinstated, giving millions of tourists yet another reason to visit Venice! Every year, more than 3 million people attend the Venice Carnival to witness events such as the contest for the most beautiful mask and the Water Parade.
Where is it?
Hundreds of events will be held throughout the Veneto region for the duration of the Carnival festivities. As you would expect, most of the action is going to take place in the Old City.
Take a look here for a full map of the events and locations.
What to do in Venice during the Carnival
The good news is, you don’t need a budget to enjoy the Carnevale. However, there are a few events and a few things that you can do, that will make your trip unforgettable.
- See the Water Parade. Every year, in the first Sunday of the Carnival, a fleet of colourfully decorated boats will parade along the Rio di Cannaregio in the morning. Come for the show, stay for the food stalls that will open shortly thereafter.
- Wear a costume and enter a contest. This one requires a bit of preparation, but it’s the best way to enjoy the Carnevale the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Plus, wearing a mask is immensely fun (and creepy). If you don’t want to pack an elaborate costume with you, you can always rent one in Venice.
- Go to the “Festa delle Marie”. This event takes place on the second Saturday of the Carnevale, with 12 of Venice’s fairest ladies being presented to the Doge. Think of it like a beauty pageant/parade that will start at via Garibaldi and will end at Piazza San Marco.
- See “Volo dell’Angelo”. This is one of the most popular events of the whole carnival, so make sure to be at Piazza San Marco in the morning. As soon as the clock strikes 12, an angel (an acrobat) will fly through the air (rappel with a rope) from the San Marco Bell Tower right in the middle of San Marco square to greet the doge (an actor). This impressive descent never fails to make the crowds go wild, so don’t miss it if you’re around on February 24!
- L’Arsenale has a full program of events, ranging from circus to disco. Be sure to visit!
You can find more details about this and other events associated with the festivities in the official website of the Carnevale di Venezia.
Tips for enjoying the Venice Carnival
- The Carnevale has no set dates, as it is always arranged for two weeks prior to Shrove Tuesday. The last weekend is the best time to go, although this is not exactly a secret.
- Speaking of secrets, you should know that during the Carnevale, Venice is going to be even more packed than it usually is and the dates are considered
highseason. Your best bet is to arrange your schedule accordingly.
- Save yourself the frustration and anger. Mark the events you want to attend and go there early to avoid getting trampled by a masked reveller.
- Renting a costume and attending a ball is an amazing experience, that is also amazingly expensive. Prices go for about €500 for both, so if you’re not planning on making the most out of it, buy a mask and weird people out
- The Carnevale is a place of celebration, festivity and fun, but just because you wear a mask, it doesn’t mean you have to act like a weirdo.
- Plan how to get to Piazza San Marco. A
vaporettomight be your best option, instead of taking the long way around, although you won’t be able to see as much. You can find out more information here.
- Sadly, during the Carnevale pickpockets are everywhere. It’s the days with the highest number of thefts so make sure you leave all your belonging somewhere safe. Def don’t use a backpack if you are around. If you need luggage storage in Venice, be sure to check us out!
Where can find luggage storage in Venice?
Venice is packed during Carnival season. There are so many people that it’s impossible to even walk properly, let alone drag a bag. Not to mention pickpockets are everywhere! Stasher offers affordable luggage storage in Venice, in local shops and hotels, starting from €6 for the whole day. Be smart and Stash your stuff!
Here are some of our most popular luggage storage providers in Venice:
- Luggage Storage Piazzale Roma
- Deposito Bagagli Santa Lucia
- Cristiano Brussa Trasporti
- ANGOLO DELLA CARTA – Tabaccheria N°59
Click here for the full list of luggage storage locations in Venice.