Venice Carnival

A place where for 12 days you can dress up and party at all manner of events...

The history of the carnival dates back to the 15th century (some argue from further back than that) from where on it continued in various forms until Mussolini banned the wearing of the famous carnival masks. In 1979 the carnival's traditions were revived and the event has once again become the highlight of Venice's social calendar! It was traditionally a time when people could savor the pleasures of life before the onset of Lent.

Beginning two Fridays before Ash Wednesday, the carnival is centred around traditional processions, although alongside this there are now many street performances, mock military duels and tournaments. There is a masked costume contest with an award ceremony, but the highlight remains the Grand Masked Ball (Gran Ballo delle Maschere) which takes place in different locations each year, but is always on a suitably noble scale!

Getting here by train

Venice's principal railway station, Santa Lucia, is located north-west of the centre, approximately 1km away from the Piazza San Marco, where most of the carnival events are centered. If you're able to, the walk from the station is lovely, taking you through narrow, cobbled streets and along the canal network; if you can't cope with the walk though, then a Vaporetto Water Bus or a Water Taxi are your best options.

Location map

Map showing the location of Venice Carnival

Visitor information table

AddressPiazza San Marco (focal point), Venice
Telephoneno number listed
Dates February

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