Held Saturday February 8 – Tuesday, February 25, 2020, The Venice Carnival 2020 promises to be one of the best experiences in Italy! Think art, music, lots of family fun activities… and more than one person leaping from a bell tower. Here are some of the best things to do at the Venice Carnival 2020.
15 February, 14:30PM
Traditions run strong in Venice. The Festa delle Marie is an annual parade of 12 young Venetian maidens, bejewelled in riches from the Doge (duke). The most beautiful of all gets the honour of a title, and will be crowned Maria. This year the sparkly fun kicks off in front of the Church of San Pietro di Castello, passing through via Garibaldi and Riva degli Schiavoni. Each performer has been pre-selected by a jury – it’s a big event so expect big crowds!
16 February, 11:00AM – 12:00PM
This bizarre tradition goes back to the Serenissima period, when an unknown guest of Venice would fly in on a rope as a homage to the Doge. It’s just as impressive today. Watch last year’s winner, Linda Pani, descending in style from St. Mark’s bell tower. By “in style” we mean dangling from a harness, dressed in a fancy costume, to the cheers of the audience watching from the square. How could you miss it? Expect parades, music and entertainment after the “flight” from 12 noon.
23 February, 12 noon – 15:00PM
Much like the above ‘Flight of the Angel’, here’s another excuse to strap someone to a rope and dangle them over Venice. The “Flight of the Eagle” will be taken by a surprise guest in 2020 (perhaps people keep chickening out?!) If you’re having a hard time imagining what this flight looks like, check out the video of former Venetian eagle Melissa Satta taking on this daring task. Also on 23 Feb, stay in St Mark’s Square for the Venice Carnival mask competition award ceremony.
Masks and crafts
All day, every day
Start a chat with a costumed actor about Venice in the 18th century, or stop and buy a mask from one of the craftsmen/women. Carnival is one of the best times to visit the famous St Mark’s Square – the mood is light, the food is great and the souvenirs are aplenty. Also in St Mark’s Square, don’t miss the best-mask competition. This is when some of the crazier designs are masqueraded on-stage, much to the public’s adoration. Want in? Bring your mask-making A-game and you could be the toast of Venice.
08 February – 25 February, 9:00PM
Cinderella, you will go to the ball! What’s more, you’ll devour five delectable dishes in the rooms where Wagner lived and composed his greatest works. The Ca’ Vendramin Calergi Palace’s lavish Renaissance interiors boast Grand Canal views from floor-to-ceiling windows (dah-ling). Prepare to be dazzled by dancing, and tickled by burlesque feathers. Think acrobats, live musicians and lots of sexy places for photos – selfie in the gambling room, anyone? If you’re coupled up, let the masked waiters, flickering candlelight and sequins create your dream romantic ending to the Venice Carnival.