The carnival has old origins, dating back at the beginning of the 14th century. After a few years, it started to attract more and more visitors, including princes from all Europe. As everyone was wearing masks, a difference between nobility and common people could not be made, creating the illusion that everyone can change its social status, by simply wearing a mask.
The importance of the carnival declined in the 1930s, when Mussolini banned it, but in 1979 a group of Venetians decided to revive this lovely tradition. It only took a few years until the masks became a worldwide icon of Venice. Since then, the festival was held every year.
It takes place in the beginning of February, celebrating the passage from winter to spring. The streets suddenly become full of people wearing masks and street artists are performing at each corner to entertain their guests. The most popular costumes are the 'masked couples', when a man and a woman dress as allegorical characters.
Attending the carnival, wearing a mask and a fancy dress, is undoubtedly a unique experience, that of recreating the atmosphere of the 18th century Venice.
The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:
This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at View full credits
This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at View full credits