The Carnival of Venice is THE event of the year in Venice.. Originally a celebration of victory, it is now a celebration of life, fashion, art and Venice. Every year, during February, Venice comes alive with parades, street performers, and costumed locals wearing masks.

Costumes and Masks of Carnival

Carnival masks are serious business in Venice. Local mask designers line the streets of Venice hand-painting beautiful masks of all shapes and sizes. The most popular Carnival mask is the bauta, the smooth white masks seen everywhere. But there are amazing designs that include feathers, gold leaf, and extravagant head pieces with jewels, ribbon, metals and fabric. You can even watch the mask designers create their artwork in front of you. These masks are very expensive in Venice because they are hand-crafted. Due to the international success of the Venice Carnival, the city is now filled with all kinds of masks all year round. Most of them are mass produced in China and the Philippines.

Costumes are usually floor-length heavy dresses and robes, because of the winter weather. The costumes are reminders of royal masquerade balls from hundreds of years ago. Everyone, regardless of class, gets to be a royal at Carnival. You can dress up and attend fabulous parties at the magnificent palaces in Venice, all while mysteriously never revealing your true identity behind the mask.

Carnevale di Venezia is centred around St. Mark’s Square, but there are several venues throughout the city for the event.