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How to Experience Venice Carnival

How to Experience Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival is one of Italy's most spectacular annual events—a riot of color, elaborate historical costumes, glamorous masquerade balls, and a week of live concerts, street parties, and entertainment. Here's everything you need to know before you go.

When to Go

Traditionally held around Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, at the start of Lent (40 days before Easter), Venice Carnival (Carnevale del Veneto) celebrations can last up to two weeks. There's a busy schedule of both free and ticketed events during the main week, but the biggest events, including the official parades and masked balls, are held over the final weekend.

How to Go

Get into the Carnival spirit by buying or renting a traditional costume or classic Venetian mask, joining one of the parades or street parties, and sampling traditional Carnival foods such asfrittelle (fritole), a traditional sweet pastry made only during the festivities. Carnival is also the ideal time to experience Venetian culture and traditions, so take part in a mask-making workshop, tour Venice'scicchetti bars for a bite to eat, cruise along the Grand Canal on a romantic Venice gondola ride, or attend an evening Carnival concert or dinner theater performance.

Things to Know

  • St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) is the main hub of Carnival celebrations with daily parades, pageants, and other activities.

  • Most Carnival events, except for the masquerade balls and gala dinners, are free to attend.

  • Carnival falls during winter in Venice, so prepare for chilly weather and possible rain, with an average high of 46°F (8°C) in February.

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8 Tours and Activities | All Venice Tours

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Small Group or Private Venice Food Tour: Cicchetti and Wine

Small Group or Private Venice Food Tour: Cicchetti and Wine

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Taste your way through the backstreet bars of Venice on this delicious food and wine tour. Follow your local guide to different ‘enotecas’ (wine bars) to discover where local Venetians go to drink and mingle. At each stop, sample regional wines and Prosecco served alongside plates of the popular Venetian appetizers called ‘cicchetti.’ Group size is limited to 12 to ensure a personalized experience.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.28
Price varies by group size
From
$121.28
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Venice Must-Sees: St Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Fast Track Tour

Venice Must-Sees: St Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Fast Track Tour

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See two of Venice's top sights in one tour of St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Enjoy skip-the-line access to avoid the long lines that typically form outside these important attractions. Marvel at the golden mosaics that adorn the interior of St. Mark's Basilica, one of the finest masterpiece of Byzantine art. Walk through the ornately-decorated halls of the Doge's Palace and imagine life during the Venetian golden age. Immerse yourself in the history of Venice through two of its most important buildings.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$96.15
From
$96.15
Taking safety measures

Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade with Dinner

Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade with Dinner

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Feel the romance of a classic Venetian experience with a serenaded gondola ride through Venice’s famed canals, capped off by dinner or lunch at a renowned local eatery. Settle into a traditional gondola boat for a ride through the Grand Canal and some of the city’s smaller waterways, while onboard musicians provide a passionate soundtrack of Italian ballads. Savor an authentic Venetian meal at the top-rated Hostaria Ai Coristi Restaurant to conclude your enchanted evening or afternoon tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$113.46
From
$113.46
Taking safety measures

Venice Private Mask Workshop

Venice Private Mask Workshop

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For this private mask-decorating workshop in Venice, arrive at a traditional atelier, and get a blank sand-colored mask that’s ready for your artist eye. Use feathers, sequins, and other materials to make a masterpiece. Your guide will share facts about the history of mask making and can also show you some great techniques to use. Afterward, you’ll get to bring home your decorated mask.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$91.28
From
$91.28

Interpreti Veneziani Concert in Venice Including Music Museum

Interpreti Veneziani Concert in Venice Including Music Museum

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Take a musical adventure in Venice with a concert by Interpreti Veneziani and a visit to the city's music museum. Learn about the legacy of Vivaldi, a Venetian composer who left a distinct mark on the canal city, and see string instruments from the 17th-19th centuries in the Music Museum housed inside the San Maurizio Church. Listen later that evening as the Interpreti Veneziani ensemble performs works by such famous composers as Handel, Bach and Mozart.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$43.82
From
$43.82
Taking safety measures

Venice Private Mask-Painting Workshop

Venice Private Mask-Painting Workshop

Designed to delight children and adults alike, this private 2-hour mask-painting workshop offers insight into an important Venetian craft. Under the guidance of a resident artist, you’ll choose a mask from more than 50 different styles and decorate it according to different techniques. While you work, your guide tells stories of traditional masks and their function in society. A minimum of four people are required for this activity.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$608.55
Price varies by group size
From
$608.55
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Photo Shoot & walking tour

Private Photo Shoot & walking tour

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Step into the shoes of an Italian fashion model with a private, 2-hour photo shoot in Venice. Walk with a professional photographer to some of the city’s most photogenic viewpoints, including St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and the Basilica della Salute, plus romantic canals and hidden alleyways. Capture your personality with accessories and have fun with Carnival masks to create a polished collection of professional portraits that memorialize your time in one of the world’s most romantic cities. 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$425.99
From
$425.99
Taking safety measures

Venice Craftsmen and Traditional Artisans Private Guided Tour

Venice Craftsmen and Traditional Artisans Private Guided Tour

Designed with the savvy shopper in mind, this private tour takes you to the most unusual workshops and artisan galleries in Venice. Bypass the tourist trades and discover authentic Venetian goods like handmade carnival masks, delicate glass, quality leather goods, and fine textiles. Learn about the city’s rich craft heritage while visiting tucked-away gems where you can pick up unique treasures to take home.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$462.50
per group
From
$462.50
per group
Taking safety measures