 Carnival takes place in Venice during the twelve days before the Ash Wednesday with many events all over the city: from improvised street shows to performances put on by the organizers. The Municipality choose every year a central idea taken from various cultural or show-biz themes. Carnival is one of the oldest traditional feasts of Venice. Several events take place throughout the city. from 18th century noblewomen to the most inventive and creative modern costumes!  . today the Carnival of Venice is considered by its inhabitants and tourists as an event not to be missed. thanks to its mix of transgression. and fun... rooted in the history and the culture of the most unique city in the world. art. It's possible to see every kind of costume. Re-launched two decades ago. from Carnival feasts and masked balls in private palaces to people in masks who happily invade streets and squares in search of fun.

The culminating moments of Venice Carnival include the flight of angel.The heart of Carnival is Saint Mark's Square. and the final grand ball on Shrove Tuesday in Saint Mark’s square. the protagonists of another life. with the traditional fireworks show in front of the Duke's palace. but also the city's other main squares act as perfect stages for masks who wish to become. with its huge stage for concerts and shows. with decorated boats and masked rowers. the water procession. at least for a few hours a year. which marks the beginning of Carnival celebrations. .

a purification and exorcism rite. mardi gras. when the Duke Vitale Faliero mentioned it for the first time in some official documents. celebrated in February. was declared a holiday by the Senate of Venice. it seems that Carnival was already celebrated in the tenth century in Venice. the last month of the Roman calendar. from the 26th December to Shrove Tuesday when the end of Carnival announced the beginning of the Lent. But Carnival has its roots in many traditions. the earliest information regarding the Venice Carnival is to be found in private papers which mention it by referring to a Christian interpretation of the Latin “carrus navalis”. In 1296 Shrove Tuesday. During the Serenissima Republic the celebrations lasted six weeks.  In fact. although permission of wearing masks and disguises was often given from October 1 and it was not unusual to attend parties and banquets during Lent. The festivities reached their peak on Carnival Thursday and ended the day before Ash Wednesday.  . from the Latin feast of Saturnalia to the Greek feast of Dionysian cults celebrating the start of spring. when masks were used as symbolic representations.

entertainments. During Carnival everything was permitted and everyone used to wear a mask behind which any social difference was temporarily abolished. But Carnival was also a mean of rigid control over human pulsions to water down social tensions and maintain consensus. masks. it was helpful to give the most humble classes the illusion of becoming similar to the more powerful. the Ridotto at S. organizing every sort of entertainment! Carnival feasts involved the whole city by breaking all the rules of society. During the XVIII century Carnival parties. In fact in the strictly hierarchical Venetian society. and Venice began to welcome thousands of visitors eager to experience its extremely unusual and effervescent atmosphere!  . became tourist attractions for the whole Europe. Saint Mark Square and all the other squares of the town became vast stages where people used to dance and play. Moisé. theatres and its public gambling house. even if it was only a gracious concession for a prescribed period of time.

concerts and performances in theatres are organized. During this period Carnival lasted several months. and many dances. the image of Carnival is burnt in St. Besides the traditional masks you can see all kind of disguise.   . parties. and this has certainly contributed to the creation of the myth of Venice as a city of pleasure and enjoyment. then. out of respect for tradition. Carnival celebrations were re-established only when the city was submitted to Austria. The Serenissima Republic fell to the French in 1797 Carnival was abolished by Napoleon. On the last day. Nowadays masks coming from all over the world use to crowd Venetian squares and Saint Mark square and its cafés. Mark Square with a firework show on the water in front of it.


who had to ascend from the dock to the belfry of Saint Mark’s bell-tower and then had to go down to the balcony of Palazzo Ducale to offer a bunch of flowers to the Doge who. which consisted in the acrobatics of a Turkish man whose waist was tied with ropes. from there. was watching the show. street entertainers and fireworks.  . theatre performances. During Carnival Venice population attended official festivities in the public squares. with dances. puppeteers. music. The Thursday before Shrove Tuesday took place the most theatrical and impressive performance of Venetian Carnival: the flight of the Turkish man. live entertainment with acrobats. tightrope walkers.

with a large wooden dove used to spill out flowers and confetti on the crowds as it descended. Moisé. became one of the focal points of the Venetian Carnival. with all sorts of variations of the greatest effect. In fact. As well as these public festivities there were numerous private parties in the patrician houses and palaces. the gambling at the Ridotto at S. that the event was repeated for centuries.  . and it opens the Carnival celebrations. Today the flight it’s performed by a girl dressed as an angel. where magnificent and sumptious balls took place and gambling very often had its part. A Dove's Flight took the place of the Turkish acrobat flight. The crowd got so excited. in the climate of pleasure of the XVIII century Serenissima Republic. the public gaming house run by the State.

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