UPDATE: Since publishing this blog, it’s been announced that The Venice Carnival 2021 will be taking place online from February 6 -7 and February 11-16.
A series of virtual rooms will soon let you become a protagonist in the Venice Carnival 2021, participating from home. The virtual rooms are dedicated to children (workshops, performances, interactive stories and competitions), teenagers (carnival costumes, tutorials, contests, meet & greet with influencers) and a digital version of the Best Mask Contest. Keep an eye on this page for details of how to register online.
ORIGINAL POST: The Venice Carnival 2021 was arranged to take place from January 30th to February 16th, but of course, it depends on the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. If it goes ahead, like previous years it 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 we hope to be able to do at the Venice Carnival 2021. If not, maybe we’ll be able to enjoy them next year instead!
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!
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 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”.
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 2021 (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.
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.
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.