Venice Carnival

Famous for its elaborate masks and eccentric costumes, the Venice Carnival takes place every year and ends forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday.

The joyous Venice Carnival

The great one-time city state on the lagoon, Venice, is never knowingly under-burdened by visitors. It’s the price the place pays for being so preternaturally beautiful.

But whereas everyone knows Venice can be clogged with trippers in the summer, February is also a huge draw for people flocking to the city, for the joyous Venice Carnival.

Venice Carnival runs for more than two weeks, and is a glorious amalgam of all manner of entertainment, fusing the traditional and the modern through dance, music and fashion.

Think of Venice Carnival and the colour and spectacle of its masked balls immediately springs to mind; at these glamorous goings-on, attendees glam up in elaborate historical costumes, replete with huge powder puffs wigs and those mysterious masks for a tradition which is pure Venice.

Street parades and regattas

Visitors to Venice at carnival time with also be wowed by numerous exiting street parades and regattas on the city’s famous canals.

And one of the many highlights of Venice Carnival is called the Flight of the Angel, a truly awe-inspiring sight where the winner of the previous year’s carnival parade is cast on high across the vastness of the city’s famous St Mark’s Square, suspended only by a cable.

Some holidays to Venice, such as Saga’s Italian waterways trip to Venice and Lake Garda, include the option of an excursion to a Venetian mask manufacturer to reveal – literally – the men and women behind the masks.