Walking around Venice at the height of carnival is a little surreal. Passing my local café I spot the Mad Hatter having a coffee with Beetlejuice. A Renaissance gentleman queues with his groceries in the supermarket. A cat and a lion sit, chatting on the vaporetto waterbus. A tiny café bar near St Marks is full of Vikings. And the streets are thronging with visitors laden down by masks, cameras and cream-filled fritelle (doughnuts)! Meanwhile, St Marks Square itself is brimming with more silk, sequins and living sculptures than I’ve seen in all my life, except possibly at Gay Pride! So, after the fantasy of the opening night and then the Grand Canal water parade, here are just a few of the works of art circulating the city at the moment.
Carnevale 2015 in Venice runs from Saturday 31st January to Tuesday 17th February 2015. (Dates will differ from year to year depending on when Lent and Easter fall so check calendars before you plan travel.)
The official website is: http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/en/events-list/
!!!Carnevale 2016 in Venice runs from Saturday 23rd January to 9th February 2016!!!
Venice Carnival 2015: Program of the main events
Saturday 31st January – 6pm Opening of the Carnival with the first showing of “The Magic Banquet – A Gourmet’s fairytale in Venice” water show along the Rio of Cannaregio with an encore at 8pm
Sunday 1st February – 11am Boat procession along the Grand Canal from Punta della Dogana to the Rio di Cannaregio. Organised by the Associazioni Remiere di Voga alla Veneta in partnership with Associazione Esercenti Pubblici Esercizi (AEPE) and Coordinamento Associazioni Remiere di Voga alla Veneta.
Sunday 1st February – Piano concert at Punta della Dogana. This guys often performs outside from concert halls in the street for free. For this concert, though, his piano is suspended above water!
Saturday 7th February – Carnival Parade of Marie, inauguration of the Gran Theatre of St Mark’s Square, inauguration of the parties at the Arsenale
Sunday 8th February – Flight of the Angel
Tuesday 17th February – Flight of the Lion, proclamation of the Mary of Carnival 2015.
In addition, the carnival program includes the “Most beautiful mask competition” and touring shows in St Mark’s Square during the day and musical events at the Arsenale every night from Saturday 7th to Tuesday 17th February.