The Flight of the Angel (Volo dell’Angelo) will take place on Sunday, February 16, 2020, between 11.00 am and 12.00 pm, in Venice.
During the Flight of the Angel, one of the highlights of the Carnival of Venice 2020, the girl who was chosen the previous year as the Maria of the Carnival will fly along a cable from the Saint Mark’s Campanile to the center of the Saint Mark’s Square.
This tradition originated around the middle of the 16th century, when a Turkish acrobat descended from the belfry of St. Mark’s Basilica, to a balcony of the Doge’s Palace, paying homage to the Doge. After the success of his performance, it was decided that the moment would be repeated every year, under the name of the Flight of the Turk (Volo del Turco).
In the first years, the acrobatics were performed only by professional tightrope walkers. Later, after a man with angel wings descended from the bell tower, the event changed its name to the Flight of the Angel.
In 1759, when an acrobat fell to the ground in front of the crowd, the performance was banned and the acrobat was replaced by a large wooden dove. The dove, on its way down, would release flowers and confetti. The name of the event was changed again in the Flight of the Dove (Volo della Colombina).
After the fall of the Republic of Venice, the event was interrupted for about two centuries, until 2001, when the Flight of the Angel was revived. Starting with 2001, the flight was performed again by a person, from the St. Mark’s Campanile to the Piazzetta of Saint Mark, the small 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 made from the bell tower towards the Correr Museum, reaching the St. Mark’s Square. Since 2011, the role of the angel was given to the Maria of the Carnival chosen in the previous year during the Festa delle Marie.