Monday, 31 January 2011

Carnevale di Venezia 2011

Carnevale di Venezia 2011
19/20 February │26 February - 8 March

I am paying more attention to the Carnavale of Venice this year as we have a beautiful wedding planned in Venice during carnevale! With additional events including masked balls and treasure hunts, this is one wedding that guests are not likely to forget in a hurry! Let me share with you the Carnevale di Venezia 2011!
The most famous part of Venice’s carnival is the masked balls that take place every year. These events recreate Venice at its zenith as a mercantile power, when masked balls were attended by aristocracy and courtesans alike. Attendance has always been expensive making these exclusive events. But for many tourists this is a lifetime opportunity for which they are happy to pay. The most expensive masked balls were around Euro 1,200 last year, and most cost several hundred Euro, depending on whether dinner is included or you turn up after dinner.

Where are the Venice Carnival Masked Balls?
The balls take place either in the old palaces or in some of Venice’s top class hotels. This changes from year to year, so look out for details when they become available. I have listed below some of the balls that have been made public, others for example Il Ballo del Doge 2011are now sold out.

Attending a Venice Carnival Masked Ball
Tickets are best bought in advance to avoid disappointment as leaving it until you arrive in Venice may be too late, and buying in advance also allows you to budget for this expensive part of your visit to Venice. The Venice Tourist Office advises you to book through travel agents, though also stresses some of the balls are private, and so not available for the general public. Our advice is that you should not book these tickets via the Internet unless you are very sure of the credentials of the site. If you are paying, make sure you use a credit card or Paypal, as these methods will give you some protection.
Among offers on the Web or at your hotel are: a carnival pub crawl (Euro 30) can be fun if you want to join other revellers, and there are a host of other activities on offer from tea at the Danielli hotel (Euro 50) to Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons. As always, the prices reflect the fact that is high season, but Euro 50 for tea in the hotel where the film the Tourist was shot, in very stylish surroundings, is not unreasonable.

Factor in your mask and costume
To attend a masked ball in Venice you will have to look the part and that means getting your hands on a costume and mask. Both of these can be hired in Venice but rates are not cheap. Those wishing to save money do this locally before they leave, otherwise the official Carnival site (link here) is a good place to start for advice on where to go.

This is a Provisional Program. Events, days and times can change. For updates, please visit
Saturday February 19th, 7pm-8pm
Piazzetta San Marco
“Grand toast in Venice” will be the opening event, an elegant and joyful “cheers” for tourists and local people to officially welcome the Carnival. The main attraction will be a big fountain pouring wine while inaugurating the Carnival in a stimulating atmosphere for all.

From now on, the dances begin in Piazzetta San Marco on notes of the most famous“Brindiam!” of the Italian Opera tradition, in a kaleidoscope of colors, tuxedo dresses and walking sticks according to the fashion of the nineteenth century.


Sunday February 20th, from 10am
Canal Grande and Cannaregio

This is the typical feast for venetians and for all the guests interested in local traditions. The water parade organized by the “Coordinamento Associazioni Remiere” of Venice, will leave San Marco and sail along the Canal Grande to the folkloristic district of Cannaregio where it will be acclaimed by the crowd facing the banks of the Rio de Cannaregio. They will be waiting for the already famous “Svolo della Pantegana”, organized by the same “Coordinamento delle Remiere”. As soon as the row boats arrive, the eno-gastronomic stalls, with the traditional carnival delicacies, will open: venetian fritole and galani, the appreciated local appetizers “cicheti” will be offered by A.E.P.E. A fountain, placed on the banks just for the occasion, will pour wine instead of water while surprising the guests that will be attended by the landladies in their traditional costumes, according to the local theatrical mise-en- scène.

Saturday February 26th, from 2pm (from San Pietro di Castello), arrival in Piazza San Marco for the Prize Giving, 4pm ca. Tuesday March 8th, from 3.30pm (departure of the water parade from S. Giacomo dellʼOrio, arrival in Piazza San Marco at 5pm for the Prize Giving). Sestiere of Castello and San Marco. The traditional “Festa delle Marie” evokes the homage that the Venetian Doge offered every year to twelve beautiful but humble venetian girls, offering them magnificent jewels as a bridal dowry. The “Festa delle Marie” is articulated in different days and it is the occasion to admire the traditional venetian period costumes. The event will be inaugurated Saturday, February 26th, with the parade of the twelve girls selected in the previous weeks. The walking parade, escorted by the historical groups of the “Comitato Europeo
Rievocazioni Storiche” and the Venice Carnival groups, will leave San Pietro di Castello at 2pm walking along the Riva degli Schiavoni to reach Piazza San Marco where the twelve “Marias” will be introduced to the crowd waiting for them. But only Mardi Gras, March 8th, the most charming “Maria” will be awarded and crowned after the conclusion of the water parade which will be sailing from San Giacomo dellʼOrio to San Marco. There, at 5pm, the most graceful maid will be crowned by the Doge in the name of Womanʼs Day celebration.

Sunday February 27th, 12pm
Piazza San Marco
The “Flight of the Angel” is a traditional event that goes back to the Serenissima period where an unknown guest of Venice, flying along a rope from San Marco bell tower to the middle of the square, will offer an homage to the Doge, and will be greeted by the crowded parterre of the period costumes parades of the Historical Re-enactments. As a conclusion, the embrace of the Angel and the Doge will smooth the atmosphere of a square galvanized by scenographical effects always appreciated by the Italian and international networks. The angel, chosen among the stars of glamour or those of international sport, will be dressed up with a fabulous carnival costume.

The Angel in 2010


Saturday, February 26th, from 2pm
Sunday, February 27th, from 12pm
Sunday, March 6th, from 2pm
Piazza San Marco
The historical re-enactments, promoted by C.E.R.S. (Consorzio Europeo Rievocazioni Storiche) are a good chance for everybody to enjoy the carnival atmosphere through the recreation of historical venetian situations and traditional feasts, where the living history and the period costumes parades will mingle together: squads, welcoming committees, guards of honor, flag wavers, old style street theater shows, like the well-known Bagordo.
To celebrate the Carnival, special edition 2011, nineteenth century style re-enactments will be performed during the “Corteo delle Marie”, on February 26th, the coronation of the “Maria” winner of the event, on March 6th, and the “Flight of the Angel”, on February 27th. As a conclusion, the period costume groups and the beautiful masks of the “Associazione Amici del Carnevale di Venezia” and of the “Associazione Internazionale del Carnevale di Venezia”, after the parade will meet the people to be admired, and will perform together the traditional balls, the quadrille and the romantic waltzes.
Thursday, March 3rd, 12pm-2pm and 4pm-5pm
Friday, March 4th, 12pm-2pm and 4pm-5pm
Saturday, March 5th, 12pm-2pm and 4pm-5pm
Sunday, March 6th, from 3pm
Piazza San Marco

One of the most desired events of the Carnival tradition! On Sunday, March 6th, on the stage set in Piazza San Marco, famous guests and artists will host the selection of the best masks of the Carnival. An international jury will select not only the best costumes, but also their colors, originality, beauty, savoir faire and bearing. This year two different prizes will be given: one, as usual, for the best mask of the Carnival, and the second one for the best nineteenth century style mask. The selection of the masks will take place in Piazza San Marco from Thursday, March 3rd, to Saturday, March 5th, in a exciting and stimulating atmosphere among the most original costumes. Please enroll in the competition since the beginning of February, on
From Saturday, February 26th until Tuesday, March 8th. 2pm till late night.
Piazza San Marco

The Grand Foyer of San Marco will be the main theatrical structure equipped in the middle of the square to host the most important Carnival shows, the traditional ones as well as the most innovative: from the “Volo dellʼAngelo”, the “Festa delle Marie” and the “Maschera più bella” to the comedy of art plays. The choreographic companies shows, the international circus-theater performances, the parades and the comediansʼ entertainment, the numerous live concerts organized by the DJs of the national media partners, are surely not to be missed. And more: the balls – the waltzes and the tango first – will excite the parterre of the Grand Foyer every evening from 8pm; the cocktail time entertainment where the Dj sets will offer the stimulating happy hours of the Carnival 2011; and the Gran finale, on March 8th, both Womenʼs Day and Mardi Gras.

From Saturday, February 26th to Tuesday, March 8th, from 8pm
Palazzo Cà Vendramin Calergi

The Venice Casinò, which is located in Cà Vendramin Calergi, one of the most elegant palaces of the aristocratic renaissance architecture overlooking the Grand Canal, will be pleased to host, during Carnival time, its “Theme” Dinners. The sumptuous main rooms will be equipped with stages where both artistic performances and parodies of the burlesque will entertain the guests of Casinò unique dinners. The most talented national and international artists will perform this typical nineteenth century show.

February 26th – March 8th
During the Carnival time, from February 26th to March 8th, the city of Venice will be a flowering of concerts, theatre pieces, cultural events for both tourists and locals. Comedy of art shows and Historical Re-enactments will be performed in the most popular Campi, while the street artists entertainments and the circus-theater shows will be planned in every district in order to create a rich and surprising program every day.
The Casa del Cinema will offer a film review dedicated to the best movies on the subject: the Carnival, Venice, and the Nineteenth Century will be protagonists of the silent movie accompanied by the live piano. Special itineraries, invented by theatre actors, will let the most curious and creative visitors discover the hidden corners of the city and the secrets of Carnival, concealed in the curiously named venetian “Calli”.

The local churches will be open in the evenings too, in order to offer a repertoire of classical and contemporary music, and allowing the people to experience these unique worship places during the night time. The main cultural circles in town, museums and art galleries, will join the Carnival atmosphere by extending their opening days and times, allowing everybody to enjoy the culture all day till late night.


March 3rd – 8th from 3pm
Campo San Polo
February 26th – March 4th from 3pm
Chirignago, Favaro Veneto, Marghera, Mestre, Zelarino

This year the Carnival for children will be particularly rich and various. In Campo San Polo, actors and entertainers will perform their afternoon shows and, together with the children, will have fun with the classical stories and masks of the Venetian Carnival. Children of all ages will enjoy themselves ice skating in the patinoire set up for the occasion.

In the Mainland, the typical double-decker London-style bus will visit the schools during its tour while presenting the acrobats, clowns, jugglers and puppetsʼ shows. The Garden of Flying Countries – Second edition of the Kidsʼ Carnival by LBiennale di Venezia

Giardini della Biennale February 26th – March 8th, 2011. Opening hours: 10am – 6pm, Thursday, March 3rd , open until 9pm.
Following the success of the first Kidsʼ Carnival by La Biennale di Venezia, a second edition will be organized for the 2011 Venice Carnival. Through a program of creative initiatives dedicated to a public of adults and students, as well as children of all ages, it will transform the Giardini della Biennale into “The Garden of Flying Countries”. The Garden of Flying Countries will include a program of exhibitions, educational activities for schools of all types and levels, artistic workshops for families and animated guided tours for the public, treasure hunts, meetings, shows, concerts and live performances. The activities will take place along an itinerary running through the Central pavilion to continue outdoors towards the other pavilions. The Central pavilion will take on a fantastic dimension for the occasion, with scenarios in between reality and imagination, a fairy-tale world where children of all ages and all the public can wander in an enchanted forest, in the dunes of a colored desert, in a meadow of sounds, in the incredible city of visions, and in the abysses of the fluorescent creatures. In the central Eventsʼ Piazza will take place all the live performances. All the areas in the Central pavilion will be equipped with heating.

For more info: La Biennale di Venezia

Ufficio Promozione Educational:
ph.: +39 041 5218 828 fax.: +39 041 5218 732

Sunday, March 6th, 12pm
Piazza Ferretto, Mestre
This is the parody of the “Flight of the Angel” and it takes place the last Sunday of Carnival in Mestre. Piazza Ferretto will host locals and tourists for the happening dedicated to families and the ingenuous tricks. Protagonist of the flight will be a self ironic musician that, after his descent from the Tower of Mestre, in a kind of parody of the famous Flight of the Angel from San Marco bell tower, will entertain people with his music in a square where live donkeys will be the main attraction for all.


Tuesday, March 8th, Midnight
The “Silent Regatta” will be the Grand Final Show and will draw the curtain over the Carnival “Ottocento”. A long parade of gondolas and row boats will proceed along the Canal Grande, from Rialto to the basin of San Marco on notes of a trumpet placed on the top of the first boat of the water parade. The Canal Grande will be illuminated with thousands of candles in a perfect nineteenth century atmosphere, while, at the arrival in the basin of San Marco, thousands of balloons made of paper with a small light inside, will be released in the sky as a symbol of the end of the Carnival and the symbolic entrance in the Lenten period.

Meet the Carnival in Venice, 19/20 February, 26 February – 8 March 2011
For information
+39 0412412988
This is a Provisional Program. Events, days and times can change. For updates, please visit



1 comment:

  1. The Venice Carnival is a breathtaking event! So colorful stuff! Such a great atmosphere! Thank you for the photos!


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