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Every year, the Venice Carnival turns the city into a spectacular riot of pageantry, colour, musical performances, fireworks displays and glamorous Venetian balls. If you want to experience the exotic atmosphere of Venice at its best, carnival is the time to go.
This year, the Carnival of Venice takes place between 11th and 28th of February, so book tickets now to ensure that you can enjoy the show.
Everything kicks off with a blaze of flags, boats, music and sheer energy with the Grand Opening. Known as the Festa Veneziana, the opening takes place on the banks of the Cannaregio canal and will be a feast of gorgeously decorated boats, dance and music shows topped off with dazzling fireworks.
After that, the Venice Carnival's schedule is packed with events such as the Festa delle Marie on 18th February. This event sees the "Twelve Marias" parade from San Pietro di Castello to San Marco Square and is a great chance to see traditional Venetian costumes.
On the same day, visitors could attend the Gallery of Wonders at the Ca' Vendramin Calergi Palace, where fine art, comedic performances and delicious food combine with wild costumes and dancing long into the night. The palace then hosts a number of similar events, so nobody need to miss out.
Throughout the Carnival of Venice, visitors can also attend masked costume contests in the Piazza San Marco. Contestants are graded on the authenticity of their outfits before the Grand Finale on 26th February.
Then we come to the finale of the festival itself, when the huge "Leone di San Marco" - the lion flag that symbolises Venice - is raised to its place at the top of the bell tower of San Marco to be saluted by the Twelve Marias. Earlier in the day, you could also watch the charming Carnival of Youth of Zelarino, which sees children parade in their colourful carts to Venice's main square.
Spend a fantastic holiday and enjoy the Venice Carnival atmosphere. A leap in the past that will inspire you to be the actors in a moving mise en scene and will push you in the heart of the life of the Serenissima Republic and its Carnival. Discover the city secrets! You will learn about Casanova and the Levantine, about the gondolier that become a priest and about the elephant that found shelter in a church. You will discover why an angel was put as a palace guardian and why the bridge between two convents was called "The Devil's Bridge", but also the secret language of fans and the legends of a number of ghosts that is said still live in Venice.
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