A celebration that began in Roman times and reached
its peak in the 18th century,
giving us costumes and masks of refined mystery.
Fun, dance, history and handicraft: Venice Carnival is all this.
An event that every year attracts tourists from all over the world, thanks also to the unique atmosphere of the lagoon city.
Like many other carnivals, the one in Venice has ancient origins: it dates back to Roman times, when one week a year was allowed free from the rules and constraints of everyday life, according to the motto ‘Semel in anno licet insanire’.
Once a year it is allowed to have an unrestrained behavior.
However, the freedom experienced in this exceptional week could have had negative consequences once you returned to your daily routine.
Hence the custom of using masks to conceal one’s identity and ensure that peace and social order were maintained after the celebrations.
The word Carnival originated in Venice: it was a Doge of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, Vitale Falier, who introduced the term in 1094, referring to public entertainment.
Over the centuries, Carnival went from being a street event to private parties, masked balls and then theatres, becoming a popular event for the aristocracy.
When the nobility took possession of Carnival, it opened the way to the research of costumes and masks, involving the most skilled artisans of the time.
Soon the Venice Carnival became an institution that attracted many tourists and, together with the Commedia dell’Arte and the Casino, earned the city the name of ‘Magnet of Europe’.
Even today, classic costumes are based on that period, the most glittering of all.
In the 19th century, under Napoleon, the Carnival was suspended; it was only in 1967 that it was relaunched. But the strength of tradition, the unquestionable charm of the city and the beauty of the costumes have given the Venice Carnival the defining title of European Carnival par excellence.
This year, from 12 February to 1 March, the city will host the 2022 edition of the Carnival: among the many events on the programme, there will also be the gondolas passing along the Cannaregio, the large canal overlooked by the historical residence of Ca’ Bonfadini.
Discover the programme and book your stay at Ca’ Bonfadini, where you can breathe the atmosphere full of charm and history of the Venetian Carnival.