The Venice Carnival is one of the world’s most famous and colourful events, attracting millions of tourists every year. If you want to experience the unique atmosphere of this celebration, plan your trip for January/February 2024, when the next edition will take place.
Venice Carnival 2024 – what’s worth knowing?
Carnival in Venice has its roots in the Middle Ages when the city’s inhabitants began to organise games and masquerades to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Over time, the carnival became an opportunity to blur social differences and express one’s personality and fantasy with costumes and masks. In the 18th century, the Venetian Carnival reached the height of its popularity and fame but was later banned by the Austrian and French authorities, who took control of Venice. It was not until 1979 that the carnival was revived and regained its former glory.
This year’s edition of the Venice Carnival will run from 27 January to 13 February—Tutti in mascara (Life is theatre. Everyone in masks). The carnival will be full of performances, concerts, shows, workshops and competitions that will take place in various locations around the city. There will also be traditional events such as:
- Angel Flight – is the grand opening of the carnival, during which the winner of the previous year’s beauty pageant descends on a rope from the bell tower in St Mark’s Square, where crowds of costumed guests greet her.
- Feast of Mary – is a procession of twelve girls dressed in historical costumes representing the different districts of Venice. The procession sets off from the church of San Pietro di Castello and heads to St Mark’s Square, where the most beautiful Maria of the year is chosen.
- Flight of the Eagle – a spectacular acrobatic show in which a well-known person descends on a tightrope from the bell tower in St Mark’s Square, where the city’s mayor awaits them
- Parade of Masks – is a daily competition for the best costume and mask, which takes place on stage in St Mark’s Square. The jury judges the creativity, originality and execution of the costumes, and the winners receive prizes.
- Grand Finale – the end of the carnival, during which there is a farewell ceremony to the Maria of the Year, a fireworks display over the lagoon, and the symbolic burning of the carnival god puppet.
What is there to see in Venice during Carnival?
In addition to attending the official Carnival events, we have some suggestions for you to have an exciting time in Venice.
- Walk around St Mark’s Square and see St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the bell tower and the astronomical clock. This is where the heart of Carnival beats and where you will find the most beautiful costumes and masks.
- Take a gondola or water tram down the Canal Grande and see the magnificent palaces and bridges that give Venice its unique character. Remember the Rialto Bridge, the city’s oldest and most famous bridge.
- Visit the lagoon islands, such as Murano, which is famous for its glass production; Burano, known for its colourful houses and lace; and Torcello, home to the oldest Venetian churches.
- See an opera or concert at Teatro La Fenice, one of the world’s most beautiful and prestigious opera houses, which was rebuilt after a fire in 1996.
- Try typical carnival food and drinks such as frittelle (fried cookies with sultanas or cream), galani (crispy pancakes with icing sugar), cicchetti (snacks of fish, meat, cheese and vegetables), spritz (a drink of wine, sparkling water and liqueur) or bellini (a cocktail of prosecco and peach puree).
Venice Carnival 2024 – how do you get there?
Carnival in Venice is an unforgettable experience worth getting to at least once in a lifetime. It is also an excellent opportunity to see Venice in all its glory and have fun in the company of people worldwide. If you want to go to the Venice Carnival, but a tiring car journey or expensive flights seem like they could be more beneficial, consider the option of getting there by coach. It’s a comfortable and inexpensive way to travel. Take your time, check out and book the best coach connections today.