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's Carnival 2017 Events Calendar
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 2016, organized in the various hotels and palaces of the city.
This fascinating boat trip in Venice islands offers you a Murano, Burano and Torcello half-day sightseeing tour without taking too much time away from visiting Venice: this Venice lagoon trip has, in fact, a total duration of four hours and includes short stops on all three islands.
A pleasant and economical way to make a trip to Burano, Murano and Torcello, departing from the central San Marco Square. For your Burano tour's reservation, please click on the button below.
This boat trip in the lagoon will allow you to concentrate the 4 hours at your disposal to visit Murano and Burano, the two most famous islands of Venice.
The stops on the islands will be about an hour in Murano, where you can admire the glass working in a glass factory and an hour and a half in Burano, where you can visit a typical lace shop.
The guided tours to these places will still optional and you can choose how to manage your visit to the islands.
Also this tour departs from Piazza San Marco.
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.
In our section about the gondola tours in Venice, you can book the gondola ride you like directly online, starting from 31,00 €. If you are looking for a romantic evening in Venice and unforgettable, we recommend you the Venice Redentore in private gondola, the Historical Regatta in private gondola, or the gondola serenade.
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!
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