The countdown has already begun. With the evocative title "To the East... The Amazing Journey of Marco Polo", the Venice Carnival 2024 celebrates one of its greatest travelers. On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of his death on January 8, 1324, Marco Polo returns to the lagoon as the protagonist of the Venetian carnival tradition. The theme of the journey, discovery, and encounter with worlds once only imagined, but also the journey as a path of self-discovery, to find oneself different from when one started, will be at the center of the 2024 edition of the Venice Carnival. A fantastic journey into imagination that will turn its gaze "to the East" in the footsteps of the path the young Marco undertook to discover new wonders. It is also a journey of formation through borders and cultures, unthinkable at the time, that changed the destiny of Marco, the young ambassador of Venice and the then-known world.
From January 27 to February 13, the city of Venice becomes the map of this extraordinary fantasy journey that will lead guests through alleys and fields, streets and squares animated by shows, music, and art, for a Carnival spread throughout the city's territory, from the islands to the mainland. Together, they will retrace that exceptional adventure, exploring the creativity of the Venice Carnival, made up of imaginary worlds, fantasies, and desires that each of us dreams during our inner journey.
"Venice celebrates one of its most significant representatives and among the greatest ambassadors of its international vocation, a man who undertook one of the most captivating journeys in history, between Europe and the East, destined to leave an indelible mark on relations between peoples," says the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro. "The municipal administration has decided to dedicate a year of celebrations that confirm Marco Polo's role in the history of Venice and diplomatic and commercial relations with the East. Celebrations that allow us to reaffirm the central cultural and social, commercial, and diplomatic role that the city of Venice has always had over the centuries. The Carnival will be an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the story of the young Venetian Marco, unfolding between reality and fantasy to merge and give life to a narrative of great charm that continues to captivate and make us dream even today."
The Carnival Street Show will feature the best artists from the international music, circus-theater, and clowning scene. Traditional events like the Most Beautiful Mask and the selection of the 12 Maries will not be missing, while Ca’ Vendramin Calergi will host the official Carnival Dinner Show, titled "At the Court of the Great Khan," once again curated by the designer Antonia Sautter. The 2024 Carnival edition will also see the presence of masked allegorical floats throughout the city's territory, from the islands of the lagoon to the mainland.
The Arsenal confirms its role as the protagonist of an extraordinary and exciting water show. "Terra Incognita" will be the show that fills the waters of the Darsena Grande with magic, following in the footsteps of Marco Polo.
Art and theater will also return to celebrate the Carnival with a schedule of performances in the city's cultural spaces, with the well-established experience of the Carnival of Culture in collaboration with the Biennale and the many local entities.
The 2024 Venice Carnival edition is curated by the Artistic Director and set designer of Teatro La Fenice, Massimo Checchetto, transforming the city into a fantastic land where the civilizations and cultures encountered by Marco Polo will take shape in the Carnival's creativity.
"Marco Polo - declares Artistic Director Massimo Checchetto - is a hero of his time who had the extraordinary fortune to see incredible peoples and civilizations, as few did at the time. He set out overland to unknown lands and returned to Venice by sea, gathering an enormous amount of information, facing dangers and misadventures. To the East precisely recalls this exploration of everything beyond, east of Venice and those lands of which there was awareness at the time."
Partners of the Venice Carnival 2024 include: Chamber of Commerce Venice Rovigo, Consortium for the Protection of the Prosecco DOC, American Express. Institutional partners of the Venice Carnival 2024 are: Venezia Unica, Avm Holding, MUVE, Casinò di Venezia, Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, M9.