Travelling to Venice is a joy to millions yearly. And the best part about coming to Venice? The fact that there is something for everyone. It is a dream destination suiting everyone’s tastes- from ancient history and iconic beauty, to significant landmarks and narrow map-essential alleyways that have us making discoveries with every step in the wrong direction. Enticing cuisine that caters to our Italian palate, and incredible shopping of Murano glass and intricate lace. All this temptation for another passport stamp had me heading to the land of canals. But that is not all. There is a special yearly event unlike anywhere else. And here’s why you need to head here to embrace Carnevale of Venice History and culture at least once in your life.

About Carnevale of Venice History & Culture

Carnevale is an annual masquerade festival, hosted yearly in Venice. It typically starts two weeks before Ash Wednesday, ending before Pancake Tuesday. As the celebration takes place during lent, no meat is consumed throughout the event and this sacrifice is observed across Italy.

This colourful celebration dating back to the 11th century, originally spanned two months in length; however, in the 18th century, it was honed down to two weeks of public revelry.

Although history suggests the celebration was more of a religious observance with splashes of colour and festivities, nowadays many flock to the event to dawn a mask and dazzle in elegant costumes while dancing through the narrow alleyways to live music, modelling their elegant and elaborate gowns, and snapping selfies in front of beautifully placed photographic backdrops.

Carnevale of Venice history
Carnevale Attendee – Carnevale of Venice History

 

Carnevale of Venice history
Carnevale Masks – Carnevale of Venice History

Carnevale has come a long way since the 18th century. The first festival featured a variety of masquerade balls in Piazza San Marco! You would see gorgeously costumed participants dancing through the cobble-stoned alleys engaging in mime sketches coupled with original dance routines. It is a magical extravaganza tantalizing the five senses with every blink of the camouflaged eye.

Carnevale of Venice history
Carnevale in costume – Carnevale of Venice History

 

Carnevale of Venice history
Attendees wearing Carnevale masks

Book a Tour: Venice: Doge’s Palace Priority Admission Ticket

So What is with the Carnevale Masks?

The delicately designed Carnevale masks are the most recognized symbol of the entire festival. Carnevale of Venice History reveals that the traditional Carnevale masks were worn by attendees during the festival to launch the season at midnight on Pancake Tuesday. In the earlier centuries, revelers would wear the masks through to Christmas as a partial disguise to denote their position in current society.

Carnevale Masks have been designed by artists and fashion gurus for centuries and have been created with a variety of fabrics and colours. When you attend Carnevale, you can find a variety of Carnevale masks to suit every taste and costume: leathers, lace and velvet, to ceramics, plaster of Paris, and porcelain. The first masks ever designed were given much simpler looks with few embellishments. Nowadays, attendees go to endless lengths to design the most unique piece using a variety of media including gold leaf, feathers, and even hand-painted notions. Heck, there is even an annual contest judged by internationally-renowned fashion designers and models for the best Carenvale masks worn at the festival!

Should you wish to purchase a mask while in Venice, the cost ranges depending on the quality of the product. Vendors and artists sell these beautifully designed guises at a range of 3 euros to upward 60-75 euros.

Carnevale of Venice history
Masks for sale in Venice – Carnevale of Venice History

As much as this iconic event has brought tourism to an exciting height for this beautiful Italian destination, it is undoubtedly one of the most incredible atmospheric events anyone can experience. Walking through the alleyways and piazzas of this incredible spot and seeing costumed figures roaming in their ornate frocks makes this a treat for every set of eyes and every memory book.

Venice’s hotels and retail establishments get in on the celebratory fortnight with staff adorning masquerade gowns and individually decorated headpieces. Some with face-paint and made up eyes, and others in their own mask demonstrating their artistic side.

Book a Tour: Boat Trip: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands

Do keep in mind that the Carnevale festival brings the majority of Venice‘s visitors to the island, making it extremely crowded and busy. Ensure you book accommodations well in advance to avoid disappointment! Speak with your tour operator regarding scheduled events throughout the celebration. The cost varies depending on how elaborate of a costume you decide to wear and the festival is suitable for all ages if mask do not scare your young kids. Enjoy your time at the festival!

Carnevale of Venice history
Our Carnevale Masks

 

Carnevale of Venice history
Carnevale Masks

 

Carnevale of Venice history
Carnevale, Italy

 

 

***

Need help planning your trip abroad this year? Get our incredible Free Getaway Journal on the sidebar here.

Check out our incredible travel essentials for your next trip in our shop!

Travelling outside your home base? Don’t be a ninny and go without insurance! 

***

Disclaimers:

This post contains affiliate links. If readers purchase flights, accommodations, shop items, or insurance from the links within this post, Fill My Passport will receive a small percentage at no additional cost to readers. For more information, please see our privacy policy.