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A Guide to the 2017 Venice Carnival, the Most Exquisite Carnival in the World

Dates for the 2017 Venice Carnival

Oscar Wilde once said: “Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.” Many weird and wonderful things have been revealed and hidden over the centuries by the masks at the Venice Carnival. Perhaps that’s why the city of a thousand canals has an air of mystery about it that sets it apart from the rest.

Venice Carnival is a lively, colourful display that thrills the senses. Every year, there’s a different theme. In 2017 it will pay tribute to Italian cuisine with the slogan “The most exquisite festival in the world”.

The 2017 Venice Carnival will run from 11 to 28 February, so if you want to enjoy the party firsthand, jot down the dates in your diary or, better still, get looking for an apartment to stay in before they fill up.

Venice Carnival 2017

2017 Venice Carnival Programme

The 2017 Venice Carnival Programme includes lots of activities, including:

11 and 12 February: Festa Veneziana sull’Acqua. A show on water, with gondolas, music and shows held in the Canal de Cannaregio to get the festivities under way.

18 February: Feste delle Marie. The Parades of the Marys, wearing traditional Venetian costumes.

18 to 26 February: Carnival Mask Contest. The traditional parades of fancy dress and carnival masks takes place every year in the Piazza San Marco, from 18 February to the final on 26 February 2017. On 27 February there will be two parades for children.

19 February: Il volo dell’Angelo. The flight of the angel is always one of the most eagerly awaited events at the Venice Carnival. It involves the winning Mary from the previous year descending from the cathedral bell tower to the Piazza San Marco, over the heads of the watching crowds.

28 February: Svolo del Leon. The festivities end with the standard of San Marco flying over the square as the city’s anthem plays and this year’s winning Mary is chosen.

Carnival in Venice 2017

Parties and dances at the Venice Carnival

If you’re still wondering what to do at the Venice Carnival, you can rest assured that there’s far more going on than what we’ve set out here. In different parts of the city there are shows, parades, people dressed up… And after sunset, music envelops the city at concerts, masked balls in palaces, parties at discos and shows at theatres.

Under the heading “The Gallery of Wonders”, the official ball of the Venice Carnival will be held every night from 18 to 22 February at the Palazzo Ca’ Vendramin Calergi. Far more than a masked ball, it also includes dinner, entertainment and entrance to the casino if you want to try your luck. You can book here.
If you’d like to go to this or any other ball and get into the festival spirit, you’ll need a mask and fancy dress (you won't get in otherwise) and a deep wallet, because they aren’t exactly cheap. You’ll find more information on balls and prices here.

Fancy experiencing the 2017 Venice Carnival firsthand?

- Marketing Team

What to do in Venice Carnival 2017


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