Everything you need to know about the Venice Carnival in 2020

Venice is a magical city at any time of year, and while it’s popular all year round, it is particularly special during the Carnevale di Venezia! Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere of the Carnival of Venice, but the dates change from year to year, so make sure you plan your trip carefully before you book flights and accommodation.
The Venice Carnival 2020 runs from February 8th until February 25th. Venice transforms during the Carnival and it’s a must-see event — even if you’ve visited Venice several times before. And, because we like to help our guests make the most of this incredible time of year, we’ve put together this Venice Carnival Guide for you!

Come to Venice between the 8th of February and the 25th of February to ensure you can make the most of the Carnival. Browse our extensive range of Venice Carnival Events for the best shows, decadent balls, and our famous Venice Carnival Party Cruise.

To make sure you’re fully prepared, download our FREE Venice Carnival 2020 Guide and Map and view our Interactive Venice Carnival Calendar!.

Venice is a magical city at any time of year, and while it’s popular all year round, it is particularly special during the Carnevale di Venezia! Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere of the Carnival of Venice, but the dates change from year to year, so make sure you plan your trip carefully before you book flights and accommodation.
The Venice Carnival 2020 runs from February 8th until February 25th. Venice transforms during the Carnival and it’s a must-see event — even if you’ve visited Venice several times before. And, because we like to help our guests make the most of this incredible time of year, we’ve put together this Venice Carnival Guide for you!

Come to Venice between the 8th of February and the 25th of February to ensure you can make the most of the Carnival. Browse our extensive range of Venice Carnival Events for the best shows, decadent balls, and our famous Venice Carnival Party Cruise.

To make sure you’re fully prepared, download our FREE Venice Carnival 2020 Guide and Map and view our Interactive Venice Carnival Calendar!

Key dates and events at the Venice Carnival:

The Grand Opening of the Venice Carnival – Saturday February 8th and Sunday February 9th

The Festa Veneziana kicks off the Carnival in style. It's a decadent celebration marking the start of the Venice Carnival. If you can only stay in Venice for one day during the Carnival, it’s probably best to make it to one of these! Look out for the huge water parade as masked and costumed Venetians sail along the water. It’s an amazing sight! Expect music, Venetian street food, and incredible costumes.

Festa delle Marie Parade — Saturday February 15th

The Festa Veneziana kicks off the Carnival in style. It's a decadent celebration marking the start of the Venice Carnival. If you can only stay in Venice for one day during the Carnival, it’s probably best to make it to one of these! Look out for the huge water parade as masked and costumed Venetians sail along the water. It’s an amazing sight! Expect music, Venetian street food, and incredible costumes.

The Festa Delle Marie is a re-enactment of a traditional Venetian beauty contest where 12 beautiful women were dressed in the finest Venetian clothes and presented to the Doge. The Doge would offer the winner extravagant jewels to use as their bridal dowry.
The Festa delle Marie occurs on several days, throughout the carnival period, but it begins on Saturday the 15th of February.

Official Venice Carnival Dinner, Show and Ball 2020 —15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th of February

The Festa Delle Marie is a re-enactment of a traditional Venetian beauty contest where 12 beautiful women were dressed in the finest Venetian clothes and presented to the Doge. The Doge would offer the winner extravagant jewels to use as their bridal dowry.
The Festa delle Marie occurs on several days, throughout the carnival period, but it begins on Saturday the 15th of February.

This is your opportunity to soak up the best of the Venice Carnival! Held in the beautiful Ca' Vendramin Calergi Palace, which overlooks the Grand Canal, the Official Venice Carnival Dinner has everything you could possibly want: delicious food, exquisite musical performances, and enchanting company. Fans of composer Richard Wagner may also be interested to know that the Ca' Vendramin Calergi Palace was home to the world-famous operettist while he composed his masterpiece, Parsifal.

The Best Mask Contest — Begins February 20th, then occurs daily until February 23rd

This is your opportunity to soak up the best of the Venice Carnival! Held in the beautiful Ca' Vendramin Calergi Palace, which overlooks the Grand Canal, the Official Venice Carnival Dinner has everything you could possibly want: delicious food, exquisite musical performances, and enchanting company. Fans of composer Richard Wagner may also be interested to know that the Ca' Vendramin Calergi Palace was home to the world-famous operettist while he composed his masterpiece, Parsifal.

Do you want to be part of the celebration — parading around St Mark’s Square in a classic Venetian mask? Well, the Best Mask Contest is a chance for you to get out onto the streets of Venice with your most impressive mask! This event starts on the 20th of February from 15:30 to 17:00, but it occurs daily, afterwards. Winners from the daily Best Mask Contests will be entered into the finals! If you’d like to enter the Best Mask Contest, it is absolutely free, but you will need to fill out an application form which will be available from December 2019 onwards!

The Flight of the Angel — Sunday February 16th

Do you want to be part of the celebration — parading around St Mark’s Square in a classic Venetian mask? Well, the Best Mask Contest is a chance for you to get out onto the streets of Venice with your most impressive mask! This event starts on the 20th of February from 15:30 to 17:00, but it occurs daily, afterwards. Winners from the daily Best Mask Contests will be entered into the finals! If you’d like to enter the Best Mask Contest, it is absolutely free, but you will need to fill out an application form which will be available from December 2019 onwards!

This is another tradition that dates back to the Serenissima period. The tradition has always occurred at St Mark’s Basilica’s clock tower and it was created to honour the Doge who resided there. The Flight of the Angel used to consist of a person flying on a rope from the Clock Tower then embracing the Doge.
If you’d like to take a tour before or after the event, why not learn more about the doges of Venice in our Doge’s Palace Tour.

The Flight of the Eagle — Sunday the 23rd February

This is another tradition that dates back to the Serenissima period. The tradition has always occurred at St Mark’s Basilica’s clock tower and it was created to honour the Doge who resided there. The Flight of the Angel used to consist of a person flying on a rope from the Clock Tower then embracing the Doge.
If you’d like to take a tour before or after the event, why not learn more about the doges of Venice in our Doge’s Palace Tour.

This is another zipline extravaganza from the top of St Mark’s Basilica’s clock tower, but the tradition is a relatively new addition to the Venice Carnival. Also occurring between 11:00 and 12:00, the Flight of the Eagle is a fun-filled event with a great atmosphere! The eagle last year was the Short Track champion Arianna Fontana; it’s still undecided who 2020’s eagle will be! You can also take our St Mark’s Basilica Tour.

Mascheranda Grand Ball — Sunday the 23rd of February

This is another zipline extravaganza from the top of St Mark’s Basilica’s clock tower, but the tradition is a relatively new addition to the Venice Carnival. Also occurring between 11:00 and 12:00, the Flight of the Eagle is a fun-filled event with a great atmosphere! The eagle last year was the Short Track champion Arianna Fontana; it’s still undecided who 2020’s eagle will be! You can also take our St Mark’s Basilica Tour.

If you’re looking for an authentic Venetian masquerade, then the Mascheranda Grand Ball on the 23rd of February is most important date on your calendar! This decadent Venetian masquerade is one of the most important events on the Venice Carnival calendar. It takes place on in the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, overlooking the Grand Canal. This evening of wonders begins with aperitif and an impressive performance by costumed performers. Afterwards, you will attend a gala dinner in the Longhi and Tiepolo Saloon. You can expect the finest food Venice has to offer and for entertainment to be provided while you eat. After dinner, our Master of Ceremonies with led the performances, with classical music and traditional artists of the Commedia dell'arte. Then we dance; learn how to dance the minuet and play some traditional Venetian party games.

What to Wear at the Venice Carnival

If you’re looking for an authentic Venetian masquerade, then the Mascheranda Grand Ball on the 23rd of February is most important date on your calendar! This decadent Venetian masquerade is one of the most important events on the Venice Carnival calendar. It takes place on in the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, overlooking the Grand Canal. This evening of wonders begins with aperitif and an impressive performance by costumed performers. Afterwards, you will attend a gala dinner in the Longhi and Tiepolo Saloon. You can expect the finest food Venice has to offer and for entertainment to be provided while you eat. After dinner, our Master of Ceremonies with led the performances, with classical music and traditional artists of the Commedia dell'arte. Then we dance; learn how to dance the minuet and play some traditional Venetian party games.

Now that you’ve decided to attend the Venice Carnival, you’ll need to know what to wear! If you’re going to one of the balls, then you’ll need to follow the dress code for an Italian Masquerade Ball — so black-tie dress code with your most decadent mask. If you like, you can embrace the traditions and purchase traditional Venetian masquerade attire — look out for the trademark high collar and puffy sleeves!

Now that you’ve decided to attend the Venice Carnival, you’ll need to know what to wear! If you’re going to one of the balls, then you’ll need to follow the dress code for an Italian Masquerade Ball — so black-tie dress code with your most decadent mask. If you like, you can embrace the traditions and purchase traditional Venetian masquerade attire — look out for the trademark high collar and puffy sleeves!

If you’re going to enjoy the festivities – particularly on St Mark’s Square, then it’s great fun to immerse yourself in the traditions and don your mask too. You can make your own Venetian mask or buy one pre-made from one of the many shops throughout the city. Whatever you choose, you can always rent your Venice Carnival costume with Venice Events!

If you’d like to find out more about visiting Venice during the Venice Carnival, please visit our Venice Carnival Events page to see our full selection of events on offer during the carnival season! Be sure to book now for something to look forward to in the New Year! We look forward to welcoming you to at the Venice Carnival!

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