Venice stages two weeks of carnival fun in 2024.

Venice 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.

The theme of the annual Carnevale di Venezia is ‘Ad Oriente’ and is devoted to the Venetian merchant and explorer Marco Polo on the 700th anniversary of his death.

Organisers say the 2024 edition will explore “themes of travel, discovery and encounters with worlds previously only imagined”, with a particular nod to Polo who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road in the 13th century.

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 annual favourite on the calendar, the Festa delle Marie pageant, takes place 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.

History of Venice Carnival

Carnevale di Venezia dates back to the 14th century, perhaps earlier, and over the centuries the event was frequently forbidden under various rulers.

The modern-day version of the Venice Carnival has taken place for the past 100 years.

Carnival ends each year the day before Ash Wednesday which signifies the start of Lent, traditionally a period of fasting and abstinence leading up to Easter.

For 2024 Venice Carnival programme see the Carnevale di Venezia official website.

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