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Authored by Nick Michieletto

Have you ever been to Venice in Italy? Attend the Venetian Carnival.

If you have, I bet you understand what I mean when I say that it’s one of the most romantic places on our beloved planet.

No streets, no cars (if you want a taxi you book a water taxi), everything moves at a slower pace, and the city has an atmosphere which can only be defined as magic.

Amazing pieces of art and architecture populate the city and make it the perfect environment for those who love street photography. Everything is so out-of-the-ordinary that it’s almost as if the city if not real.

For those who live here, sometimes Venice can seem too quiet and even maybe melancholic. But for one week, every year, this city transforms itself. It leaves behind the calm atmosphere it is known for and transforms into an explosion of colours and emotions. Photos from the Venetian Carnival.

I’m talking about the Venetian Carnival.

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This recurring holiday is famous all over the world, but to participate can be a little bit tricky. Venice is a labyrinth of small streets and it’s easy to lose your sense of direction if you don’t know what you are doing.

But follow these tips for attending the Venetian Carnival and you’ll be fine. You’re in for an incredibly memorable time! Venice Carnival Photos.

Be On Time!

Many events and celebrations take place over the course of the Venetian Carnival, and so it is important to plan which events you will attend in advance, and also to arrive on time! There are many celebrations too choose from, though there are some events you should definitely not miss!

The celebrations in 2016 started Saturday 30th January and will continue every day until February 9. Travel tips for the Venetian Carnival.

You should definitely check a place called Arsenale, the old fortress of Venice. Here you will find music and art exhibitions for every taste. And for those who seek nightlife, once the sun sets this is the perfect place for you! Every student in Venice parties here when the hour is late! Venice facts.

Another noteworthy moment of the Carnival is the “Flight of the Angel”; a traditional occasion when a lady, dressed in an angel costume, flies from the top of the bell tower in San Marco square into the crowd. This is a magical event, and one in which you don’t want to miss.

Get a Mask

It would be a shame to go to the Venetian Carnival without a mask! Masks have always been an important feature of the Venetian carnival, and it is tradition to wear masquerade masks and walk the streets in full costume.

Costumes are elegant, regal and in bold colours, similar to those which the inhabitants of the city wore when Venice was one of the most powerful cities in the world (I’m talking about the XIV century!!)

I have to tell you though, this dress takes days to be hand crafted, and only the master mask-crafters are able to create the wonderful costumes you see in photographs. The downside is that they are really expensive.

But! I have a secret to tell you… Facts about the Carnival in Venice.

If you want to really take part to the Venetian Carnival and make it a memorable experience you can absolutely find a mask without having to throw away thousands of euros on a costume. Look for artisan mask-crafter shops and ask if they borrow costumes. Many shops will lend you a costume for a reasonable price. Facts about the Venetian Carnival.

What’s really special about the Venetian Carnival is that it’s tradition to wear the typical masks and walk in the streets dressed in costumes.

Don’t Miss Other Venetian Experiences

You are in Venice, so you can’t miss out on a boat tour of the waterways and canals. Where to buy a Carnival Mask in Venice.

I know, I know…you’re thinking of a Gondola right? The traditional, flat-bottomed black Venetian rowing boat, which has become symbolic of Venice?

Of course and there is nothing more romantic than being rowed through Venice on an iconic black Gondola, though there is a downside: Gondola rides have become quite touristy and can be extremely expensive!

If you can’t afford it, instead take the “Vaporetto”; the public transport in Venice. It’s just a ferry boat, but it will give you the idea of what it’s like to go around the canals in Venice without paying too much!

Take Your Camera With You

Venice on a regular day is a photographer’s dream, though the Carnival is in a league of it’s own. If you harbor a love of photography like me, don’t forget to bring your camera! Buy a masquerade mask in Venice.

Venice is the perfect theatre to shoot wonderful street photography, and with the carnival going you can capture incredibly unique images.

And not just that… take a look at this article about landscape photography in Venice, it’s really inspiring. Go to the Venetian Carnival.

The Venetian Carnival is one of the most inspiring and magic events you could ever attend. I hope I will see you there, or not see you, who knows who stands beneath the masks! I want to go to the Carnival in Venice.

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Nick Michieletto is the Director of Editorial and Co-Founder of DreamsDiary. He has been a passionate photographer since he was a child. He is a restless traveller, loves to meet new cultures, and believes that exploring our green and blue world makes your richer inside.

Nick teaches photography, and founded DreamsDiary to offer people the possibility to describe what they love in a way far richer than they have ever done before. He recognizes that there is something more than words, and it is his mission to merge photos and thoughts.

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Photo credits: Featured and Pinterest images by DreamsDiary. Gallery of Blue & Gold Checkerboard & Red Costumed Character by Massimiliano Ferrari. Man rowing Gondola by Piervincenzo Madeo. The city of Venice by DreamsDiary. Things to know about the Venetian Carnival. What you need to know about the Carnival in Venice.

    20 Comments

  1. This looks and sounds like a great event. I think I caught a glimpse of it on the 3rd series of An Idiot Abroad. As per usual Karl Pilkington wasn’t too keen but then again he is only happy when he is moaning.

    I’ve yet to visit Venice but I did enjoy some time in Tuscany last week :-)

    • Yeah I saw a couple of scenes of that episodes and they wear masks, it was funny, but I have to say that the real atmosphere is completely different!

      Thing is: if you visit Venice during the Carnival almost everybody wears costumes and it’s a triumph of colors, excitement and tradition. And it lasts for more than a week!

      Well Tuscany was a great choice as well! It’s wonderful and the food is fantastic!

  2. Great photos! Definitely want to be visit Venice at the time of the carnival. One other thing to add is you are able to see some of these costumes after the carnival as there is sort of a roadshow. We saw some of the carnival costumes at a Venetian Carnival event in Belgium. I have also read they’ve passed through Annecy, Aix-les-Bains, and Yvoire in France.

    • Thanks for the tip about the roadshow Andrew! That’s an awesome point. And awesome to know that there are Venetian Carnival events throughout Europe too, I had no idea that they passed through other countries too!

  3. Planning events in advance can really save so much time and hassle during the trip. And the tip for taking the Vaporetto in lieu of the more expensive Gondola rides is a great tip.

    • We’ve always had a saying in my family that “prior planning prevents piss poor performance” lol my dad calls it the “6 P’s”. So yes, totally agree with you that planning out your events in advance saves so much time and effort once you’re actually there.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. We were there two years ago on the day it began. The water parade along the main canal is one of the opening ceremonies and it is truly magical to watch. Soft music, beautiful costumes and a romantic atmosphere. Next time we’ll get masks! :-)

    • How fantastic Omo! I would personally love to get there and witness the water parade one year. Maybe we’ll bump into you on your return trip!

  5. Great photos, this looks like a magical event. I don’t think I would be brave enough to don one of the costumes.
    The gondolas are a great experience.

    • The costumes are the fun part :D Getting all dressed up and ready to go out to a ball! Glad you enjoyed the photography and the post Rhonda :)

  6. I LOVE Venice. I’ve been twice, but not for Carnival. Although after seeing photos this past week and reading this I think I need to swing for it next time. I love the masks (I have three- lol) and I can only imagine how magical it would be to see everyone all dressed up in full costume. The Flight of the Angel sounds pretty amazing too!

    • Isn’t it the most magical place on earth!! I hope you do manage a trip back for the Carnival next year. I’m going to attempt to plan a trip for then too, so maybe we’ll bump into each other there!

  7. Those costumes are intense! I’ve only been to Karneval festivals in Germany. There people dress in costume as well, but the costumes are silly rather than regal and bold.

    • Aren’t they just! I would love to attend this event and get all dressed up and suited out in an amazing Venetian Carnival costume! Venice definitely sets the bar quite high!

  8. Wow! The vibrancy of the outfits makes for such great contrast against the historical buildings. I also didn’t know that there were public boats that were cheaper than hiring a gondola. Thanks for sharing!

    • Glad you enjoyed the article Mary! And definitely re taking the Vaporetto in lieu of a Gondola ride; an awesome way for budget travelers to enjoy views of the city from the waterways and canals too :)

  9. I just love Venice and would love to visit during Carnival! We spent some of our honeymoon there. It really is so romantic! One thing I would add about using the vaporettos is to find out how to get from the stop you get off at to the place you are trying to reach. It’s easy to lose your way walking along the canals.

    • Fabulous location for a honeymoon Jackie! And very good tip on using the vaporettos – very aware of how Venice is like a maze!! I got lost all the time lol.

    • Hope you do have the chance! Aren’t the costumes lavish! This would be the ultimate event for anyone who’s ever dreamed of attending a masquerade ball!

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