Sunday, 26 February 2012

Carnevale di Venezia - See and Be Seen!

It's that time of the year again.  I'm reminded of it by friends who still live in Veneto and are updating their Facebook pages to include references to it.  Carnevale.  Seventeen days of festivities beginning on February 4th this year and ending with the grand finale on February 21st (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras).

In 2010 and 2011, we were living in Treviso at this time of year, just a twenty minute train ride from Venice, so, naturally, we visited the carnival several times.  Before going there for the first time, I didn't really know what to expect.  The word 'carnival' conjured up images of English summer days, of sideshows, parades and, perhaps, the crowning of a 'carnival queen'.  Well, some of these aspects do exist in Venice's carnival season.  There are parades and there are balls for the glitterati, but for most of the time nothing really happens except that people get dressed up in exquisite costumes and masks and promenade through the city all day long posing for photos at every opportunity. 

It's quite disconcerting the first time you go to Venice during Carnevale.  You are likely to encounter people in costume around every corner - standing on bridges, chatting with friends, staring wistfully into canals, sitting at tables in pavement cafés.  You will probably feel decidedly underdressed and will contemplate buying, at the very least, a mask from one of the thousands on display everywhere, in the vain hope that it will help you to fit in a little, to become a part of this great celebration.  Better, though, to grab your camera, wander through the vicolos and piazzas, marvel at the spectacle and simply soak up the atmosphere of what truly is one of the greatest shows on earth!!!

See more of my photos of Carnevale, the opening day parade, and my best in show.


  1. You have a really nice review here. The atmosphere during the Carnival surely is special.

  2. Thanks! I really missed being there this year!!