• 21 October 2016

The Carnival of Venice is an annual Italian spectacle that commences about two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on the Shrove Tuesday, just in time for the first day of Lenten season. What started out in the 11th century as a lead-up to Lent which lasted over two months, fell out of favour in the 18th century, and was again revived in 1979.

The Venice Carnival was and still is as an all-encompassing excuse for locals and visitors alike to don fabulous masks, take to the streets to parade their costumes and enjoy the many splendours of this al fresco festival. These days the Carnival of Venice is expertly planned and executed by a host of official planning committees and overseen by an increased police force to ensure that everybody is on their best behaviour despite the excitement of masked anonymity.

When will the next carnival be? You can find all the details in English on the official website of the Carnevale Venezia.

Travel tip: If you’re heading to Venice to partake in the Carnival, or to simply enjoy the city’s stunning sights throughout the rest of the year, you may want to consider investing in the Venezia Unica City Pass for visitors. This handy, all-in-one pass allows you to plan your stay in the city of masks digitally, and store tickets for public transportation, admission to tourist attractions and cultural events in all in one place.

If you plan to travel through Venice during the Carnival next year, here’s a taste of what you can look forward to:

A variety of street parades and theatrical events

Colourful participants of one of the parades of the Venice Carnival.
Masked characters, street performers and more parades.

Decadent street parties & sumptuous masked balls

Carnival-goers in Venetian costumes.
Authentic Venetian masks have always been an essential part of the Venice Carnival.


Women painting Venice carnival mask – you can get yours hand made and painted in Venice.
Tourist taking photo of Venetian masked model

Extravagant shows on the city’s famous waterways

Regatta race performed at the Carnival.
Regatta race performed at the Carnival.

Discover Venice with Expat Explore
Many of our Expat Explore European coach tours include forays to Venice. Take a look at our Eastern Europe – Venice to London, Italy at Leisure and Ultimate Europe tours for some inspiration. We’ll make sure you experience Venice in style!

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