Venice is home to one of the world’s best-loved carnivals.
Venice, the Italian queen of carnival cities, will host 18 days of Carnevale this year, with events taking place along the city’s canals and across its bridges and squares from 27 January until 13 February 2024.
Artisans in the lagoon city are busy preparing masks and floats for the annual Carnevale di Venezia whose theme this year is Ad Oriente and is dedicated to explorer Marco Polo on the 700th anniversary of his death.
Costumed visitors can look forward to water parades, allegorical floats, masked balls and night parades, with a spectacular procession along the Grand Canal opening this year’s festival officially on 28 January.
Another traditional event, the Festa delle Marie pageant, will be held on 3 February with a sumptuous parade from Piero di Castello that will reach St Mark’s Square where the most beautiful of the 12 “Marias” will be crowned on 13 February.
“We are staging an amazing journey’ – said the artistic director Massimo Checchetto – “We will face the journey of a young Marco Polo who, before leaving, dreams, sees, has the fears of a young boy and interprets this journey with the imagination of a man from the Middle Ages”.
Dal 27 gennaio al 13 febbraio eventi diffusi in campi, piazze, calli e strade della città con l’Arsenale ancora protagonista di un grande scenografico spettacolo sull’acqua e il ritorno delle parate dei carri mascherati in Terraferma e nelle Isole.
Grazie a Massimo Checchetto,… pic.twitter.com/6N3wiTZ3uV
— Luigi Brugnaro (@LuigiBrugnaro) January 10, 2024
In a post on social media on Wednesday, Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro paid tribute to all those involved in the organisation of the Carnevale di Venezia, an event “awaited throughout the world”.
The Carnevale di Venezia dates back to the 14th century, maybe earlier, and over the centuries the event was frequently forbidden under various rulers.
The modern version of the Venice Carnival, as we know it today, has taken place for the past 100 years.
Carnival ends each year the day before Ash Wednesday which signifies the beginning of Lent, traditionally a period of fasting and abstinence leading up to Easter.
For 2024 programme details see Carnevale di Venezia official website. Photo credit: Kefca / Shutterstock.com.