The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, and is also one of the oldest.
The origin of this celebraton of fashination, elegance, colours, madness and mistery goes back to the year 1296, when the Serenissima Republic declared the Shrove Tuesday (mardi gras) a city holiday.
At that time, the celebrations lasted for six weeks, from the Boxing Day to Mardi Gras, when the end of the Carnival announced the beginning of the Lent.
The celebrations reached their peak on Carnival Thursday and ended the day before Ash Wednesday, even if the permission of wearing masks and disguises was often given from the beginning of October and it was not unusual to attend parties and banquets during Lent.
It was probably thanks to this period of bonanza that the idea of Venice as a city of pleasure and enjoyment was born.
During the Carnival everything was permitted and everyone used to wear a mask behind which any social difference was temporarily abolished.
Carnival feasts involved the whole city by breaking all the rules of society.
This represented a period of gaiety and amusement, but it was for sure also a way for the Serenissima Republic to give the poorest classes the illusion of becoming similar to the more powerful even if just for a very short period.
The celebrations for the Carnival were abolished after nearly 500 years by Napoleon in 1797 and were reinstated only when the city was submitted to Austria.
Nowadays the Carnival still represents the main attractions of the city of Venice, with masks coming from all over the world and the city center crowded by many thousands of people a day.
The celebrations last for a couple of weeks, and it's always a period of real fun, together with a little bit of myth and magical athmosphere.
On respect for tradition, the end of the celebrations is still represented by the image of Carnival burnt in St. Mark Square, with a firework show on the water at midnight.
During the years 1970s-1980s the Carnival celebrations experienced a period of decline: in Venice no more parties were organized, and the almost 900 years tradition was left at the mercy of disappearance.
The Carnival of Burano
It was only thanks to Burano that the festival survived.
For this reason soon the Burano Carnival ("El Carneval de Buran") became an unmissable event for Buranelli, Venetians, people coming from all over the Veneto and of course tourists.
Nowadays Burano still represents a focal point of the annual official program made by the Venice Carnival Organization.
Burano Carnival Program 2023
In the island of Burano, the Carnival is a highly anticipated and cherished event.
In the afternoon, parties are organized especially for children.
In the evening, the traditional Allegorical Float parades are organized, accompanied by music and celebration in the square.
Here the Carnival is much more "island-like", but the fun is guaranteed!
We highly recommend participating in the Square Parties planned for 8:30 PM on Saturday, February 18th and Fat Tuesday, February 21st, 2023.
The ACTV connections from Burano to Venice, Murano and Treporti are guaranteed throughout the evening and night.
Masked balls and private Carnival parties
If the masked balls and the private Venice Carrnival parties intrigue you, check out our section dedicated to costume parties for the Carnival 2019, organized in the various hotels and palaces of the city.
Enjoy a little taste of the timeless atmosphere that you breathe in these places through a convenient and economic boat trip to the islands of the Venice Lagoon.
Departing from Venice, can be complicated for a tourist reaching Murano, Burano and Torcello by public transport, so we thought about comfortable tours of the islands which depart from the Santa Lucia train station in Venice, from Piazza San Marco and, in summer, also from Punta Sabbioni, the end of the Cavallino-Treporti coastline.
In our catalog there are various boat tours options: starting from the classic excursion to Burano, Murano and Torcello, up to the excursion to Murano and Burano with a fish-based lunch in a typical restaurant in Burano.
A novelty are also the tour of Burano, Murano and Venice starting from Punta Sabbioni and the daily excursion to Venice and its islands starting from Jesolo Lido.
In short, if you want to visit Murano and Burano, as well as Torcello and Venice, without sacrificing comfort, seating, explanation on board .... book online the boat trip that's right for you.
Choose the visit to the islands that you prefer, by pressing the button below to have access to our online catalog.
If you are a "DIY tourist", who prefer to move freely without the comfort of our tours, you can get to Burano with the public vaporetto (Line 12). You can skip the line at the ticket offices buying the water bus tickets online.
Plan your weekend in Venice: take a ride in our section dedicated to museums, events, tours, attractions and hotels in Venice and lagoon islands.
Compose online your holiday package in Venice, adding to cart individual services and booking them all at once!