Did you ever wonder about the origins of one of the most famous carnivals in the world and about how long it lasted in early times? One week, two months, …? Let’s have a look together at the history of carnival in Venice:

The early beginnings of Carnival can be traced back to the year 1094 (the reign of doge Vitale Falier) when the citizens organized different festivities before the fasting period. About 200 years later (in 1296) the carnival became an official event when the Senate declared the last day before the Lent, thus mardi gras, a public festivity.

Carnevale 2014: Teatro San Marco
Carnevale 2014: Teatro San Marco

Contrary to the carnival today that lasts about 3 weeks, the Venetians once started the carnival festivities on the first Sunday of October to culminate on mardi gras (February/March). This meant nearly half a year of constant partying!

Thus, carnival lasted longer than in other cities and so it’s no wonder that Venetians during carnival season were more interested in partying than in working: Stages were built up alongside the Riva degli Schiavoni, in the campi and on St Mark’s Square, where jugglers, funambulists and acrobats showed their skills. Music filled the streets and hawkers sold fruit, frìtole and other sweets in the calli. A public ball that lasted three days and three nights was organized in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (once a storehouse, then a post office and today transformed into a commercial center by Benetton): Venetians dressed up as Pantalone, Brighella, Arlecchino or disguised with a simple black coat tabarro and the traditional mask bauta – used this opportunity to enjoy themselves. Furthermore, spectacles like the Volo dell’Angelo „Angel’s Flight“ and the Forze d’Ercole „Labors of Hercules“, where dozens of muscled and well trained men built living towers, took place.

Venezia: Doge & Dogaressa Carnevale 2014
Venezia: Doge & Dogaressa Carnevale 2014

With the fall of the Serenissima at the end of the 18th century the carnival tradition disappeared for nearly 200 years (as the French and Austrian occupation wasn’t really fond of these festivities) and was only resurrected in 1979 to represent today one of the most important events of the year (transmitted in the whole world and sponsored by multinational companies).

  •   Vielen Dank für den wunderbaren Nachmittag-wunderbare versteckte Ecken in San Marco gesehen und reichlich Tipps für die nächsten Male bekommen wie Museen,Bars usw.

    thumb Jens
    November 8, 2022
  •   We had a total blast at Beatrices tour. She showed us a lot of hidden corners in Venice and we moved off the beaten track. She was super knowledgable, provided... read more

    thumb Tabea
    October 30, 2022
  •   Beatrice hat uns Venedig auf wundervolle Weise ein Stück näher gebracht. Auch mein Sohn war sehr interessiert dabei. Absolut empfehlenswert!!

    thumb Helena
    October 24, 2022
  •   sehr empfehlenswert !!!

    thumb Joachim
    October 24, 2022
  •   Toll!

    thumb Rebecca
    June 13, 2022
  •   Ich kann Beatrice herzlich empfehlen. Sie liebt Venedig, hat viel Wissen darüber und kann es bestens vermitteln, darüber hinaus in Ecken ohne Touristen.

    thumb Ivana
    June 8, 2022
  •   Es war eine sehr schöne Tour und Beatrix konnte wirklich auf jede Frage eine Antwort geben.

    thumb Annette
    May 28, 2022
  •   This tour is a "Hidden Gem" for the "Hidden Corners" of Venice. Beatrice is a passionate and learned tour guide that shared so many intriguing stories about life in Venice... read more

    thumb Ralph
    May 28, 2022
  •   Beatrice hat nicht nur eine sehr schöne Führung (prima Balance aus Sightseeing und Wissensvermittlung) gemacht sondern vorher und nachher viele weitere und sehr hilfreiche Tipps für den Venedigurlaub geliefert (und... read more

    thumb Jan
    May 15, 2022
  •   Beatrice hat uns sehr charmant , kenntnisreich und mit viel Liebe abseits der Touristenströme durch ihr Venedig geführt. Es war sehr interessant, kurzweilig und ausgewogen. Hervorragend waren die vielen kleinen... read more

    thumb Katrin
    May 15, 2022
error: Attention: This content is protected and subject to copyright!