The Carnival of Venice 2023 (Carnevale di Venezia 2023) will take place between Saturday, February 4, and Tuesday, February 21, 2023, in Venice.
After two years in which the Carnival was held online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that the 2023 edition of the festival will return to its pre-pandemic glory, and we will be able to admire once again on the streets of Venice the wonderful masks and costumes worn by thousands of people coming from all over the world.
The first information about the Venetian Carnival dates back to 1094, when the word carnevale was mentioned for the first time in a document signed by the Doge Vitale Faliero. Then, the carnival was an event dedicated in particular to people from the lower classes, who, through the anonymity guaranteed by masks, could relate with the nobility of the time.
The first official document declaring the Venice Carnival a public holiday dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Venetian Republic set it before Lent. Starting with 1296, for the next few centuries, the Carnival lasted six weeks, usually between December 26 and Ash Wednesday.
During the 18th century, the Carnival of Venice reached its maximum splendor and international recognition, becoming famous throughout Europe, and Venice a destination that attracted thousands of visitors.
Starting with 1797, when Napoleon invaded northern Italy, and later, during the subsequent Austrian occupation, the tradition was interrupted for fear of rebellion. Only on the islands of the Venice Lagoon, in particular Murano and Burano, the Carnival was held, though in a more subtle manner.
Only in 1979, the centuries-old tradition of the Venetian Carnival was officially reborn, thanks to the initiative of some citizen associations and the economic contribution of the Municipality of Venice.
Traditionally, the most important days of the Venetian Carnival are Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent), and Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent), but the greatest influx of tourists is certainly recorded during the weekends of the festival. In 2023, Fat Thursday falls on February 16, and Shrove Tuesday on February 21.
The individual annual editions of the modern Carnival have often been dedicated to a basic theme. Some editions were characterized by pairings with other Italian and European cities, thus providing a further involvement of the event at an international level.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Starting with the first edition of the current Carnival, in 1979, a program of events and a detailed calendar was established. Unlike the Carnival of the past, which had an official duration of six weeks, the modern one takes place for only 18 days in a row, but is full of individual events.
In addition to the official events, various private parties and masked balls are organized in the beautiful Venetian palaces. In these venues, due to the almost unchanged furnishings and atmosphere, it is possible to relive the ancient splendors of the Carnival of the past.
In 2023, the highlights of the Venice Carnival are:
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