The Venice Carnival is an iconic tradition dating back to the 11th century. Every year, thousands of locals and international visitors flood the “calli” of the city and the streets of the neighbouring Mestre. They wear traditional masks and dresses to participate in the most elegant event of the Italian cultural heritage. The Carnival is in fact the symbol of Venetian art. It reflects especially in its vast theatrical “Commedia del’Arte” with characters like Harlequin, Columbine, the Plague Doctor and the courtesans.
Mestre’s Carnival Street Show
The 2019 Carnival opened on the 16th February to close on the 5th March. While the parade moved from piazza Donatori di Sangue to piazza Ferretto in Mestre, bands were playing festive music across the city. At the same time, the “Pantegana” regatta involved 120 boats and 700 rowers on the Canal Grande.
Furthermore, a water show in Rio di Cannaregio entertained adults and children. Lights, music and special effects on the lagoon transported the spectators to a dream-like location. Lastly, on the 17th February, a parade of masks and traditional outfits moved from Punta della Dogana to Cannaregio.
The Eagle and the Olympic bid
The most anticipated event of the Venice Carnival was on the 3rd March. Like every year, an eagle flew from the St. Mark’s tower bell to bid farewell to the festival. This year, the event promoted the Milan-Cortina 2026 bid. Italian flag bearer and athlete Arianna Fontana was the testimonial of the event. 12 beautiful “Marie of the Carnival” were on her side to present the event.
Follow Officine Italia for upcoming Venetian events, travel packages and experiences.