The Flight of the Angel (Volo dell’Angelo) is an event included in the Carnival of Venice, in which the beautiful girl who was chosen the previous year as Maria of the Carnival will fly along a cable from the St. Mark’s Campanile to the middle of the St. Mark’s Square.
The tradition originated in the 16th century, when a Turkish acrobat descended from the belfry of St. Mark’s Campanile, to the balcony of the Doge’s Palace, paying homage to the Doge. After the success of this performance, it was decided that the moment would be repeated yearly, under the name of Svolo del Turco (The Flight of the Turk).
At first, the flight was performed only by professional tightrope walkers. Later, after a man with angel wings descended from the bell tower, the event changed its name in Flight of the Angel.
In 1759, when an acrobat fell to the ground among the crowd, the performance was forbidden and the acrobat was replaced by a large wooden dove. The dove, on its way down, would throw flowers and confetti. The name of the event was changed again in the Flight of the Dove.
After the collapse of the Republic of Venice, the event was interrupted for hundreds of years, until 2001, when the Flight of the Angel was revived. Starting with 2001, the flight has been performed again by a person, from the St. Mark’s Campanile to the little square in front of the Doge’s Palace.
In 2009, the artistic director of the carnival, Marco Balich, changed the direction of the flight, which was done from the bell tower towards the Correr Museum, in the St. Mark’s Square. Since 2011, the role of the angel was given to Maria of the Carnival chosen in the previous year during the Festa delle Marie.
FLIGHT OF THE ANGEL 2019 will take place on Sunday, February 24, starting at 11.00 am, when Erika Chia, the winner Maria from 2018, will descend from the top of the St. Mark’s Bell Tower.