Venice Carnival 2023: an insider's guide

Home In Italy Magazine

Jan 272023Venice Carnival 2023: an insider's guide As the city of picture-perfect canals and waterside palazzi ramps up for a brand-new edition of the carnival parade, discover Home in Italy’s top tips on how to celebrate and the festive events that you cannot miss. Discover the program of unique activities planned for this year and start dreaming with the most decorative party by definition.
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Water party show
 On Saturday 4th February, along Venice Grand Canal the party and the enthusiastic atmosphere start to liven up with some iconic activities marking the start of the real celebration. The canal, which cuts through the entire Cannaregio district to the Jewish quarter, becomes a huge floating stage. This is a show of music and images that officially inaugurates the Carnival in Venice in a scenic and fun way. The boats gather first at Dogana da Mar next to the Salute Church around ten in the morning, starting their regatta with the Explosion of ‘’Pantegana’’ in a triumph of coloured balloons to end with the arrival at Venetian Festival in Rialto.

Water parade

Carnival Costumes Parade
 The parade takes over the streets bursting with colours, traditional masks and decorated costumes. Every piece of refined dresses and gold-detailed masks carry with them a unique pattern and lightness, representing a stunning homage to Venice’s culture, history and traditions. It is an ancient history, over 900 years old, that has led this event to be one of the best-known, most colourful and appreciated in the world. With its masks – original to say the least – Venice awaits you with the magic of its Carnival made of culture, entertainment, and fantasy, both in the lagoon and on the mainland starting from Piazza San Marco.

Costume Parade in Piazza San Marco

Carnival Ball dinner show
 Celebrate Venice Carnival at a gala dinner in an exclusive location and take part in a historic tradition full of lavish costumes with a lively atmosphere accompanied by a charming musical cabaret show, dancers and singers. Get a welcome drink in the foyer of an exclusive theatre on arrival, and marvel at the Venetian costumes, the opulent interiors, and the magical atmosphere. Then, feast from the refined menus of the gala dinner as you watch the grand show performances, suitable for all ages, inside the sumptuous theatre.

Carnival Ball and Gala Dinner

Dinner cruise on a galleon
 Embark on a candlelit dinner cruise through the Venetian Lagoon while tasting the on-board chef's food delicacies. Discover the serenity of the enchanting city of Venice with a dinner cruise aboard a Venetian Gondola. Watch the city's lights reflecting on the water as you savor a gourmet meal while sipping on fine wine and a classic Italian Aperitif. Feel swept away by the old-fashioned charm of a boat as you immerse yourself in in the magic of the Venetian Lagoon. At dusk, the Galleon will slowly leave shore and head into the northern lagoon. Take in views of the minor islands such as Sant’Erasmo and San Francesco del Deserto, to circumnavigate the picturesque and colourful houses in Burano to finally disembark at Museo Navale.

Dinner on a gallon through Venetian canals

The most antique and fashionable Café
 For a much-needed recharge of caffeine among the numerous activities, we cannot avoid mentioning one of the most iconic coffee houses in Venice, where the coffee tradition originally began. The most famous and the oldest one is definitely Caffé Florian, still the symbol of the city. Founded in 1720 under the name “Alla Venezia Trionfante" (Venice the Triumphant), this antique café quickly became famous for its exclusive products and acquaintances: it was the favoured meeting point of prestigious politicians and intellectuals, such as Carlo Goldoni, Casanova and Gabriele d’Annunzio. Today, the Caffé Florian still maintains the charm of the times it lived. With its nouvelle architecture as a result of a top-to-toe restoration, and the richly decorated interiors, the caffè is an important cultural centre as well as the perfect place to enjoy an espresso a few steps from the Grand Canal.

Gran Caffé Florian

Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco
 For refined tourists at the discovery of artistic and historic Venetian heritage, Palazzo Ducale is a must-visit museum to know more about the city’s prestigious past. This masterpiece is characterized by the gothic Venetian style and it’s one of the buildings representing the greatness of the city. Founded in the IX century, its former name was Palazzo Dogale, because it was the place of the Doge, the head of the state of the Venetian republic. Here you can find sumptuous rooms that triumphantly follow one another, decorated with the most famous works of the great artists of the period, from Tintoretto to Veronese.

Museum Palazzo Ducale

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