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Top Ten Highlights from the 2011 Venice Carnival

  • Steeped in history, the world-renowned Venice Carnival is a favourite with travellers from all over the world who come here to don the famous Venice Carnival masks and celebrate in style. In 2011, the Venice Carnival dates are February 19th-20th and February 26th-March 8th.

    This historic festival is traditionally Venice’s last big party before Lent, a Christian event, but it also has its roots in a number of pagan festivals. Throughout the Venice Carnival, revellers can enjoy parades, masquerade balls, parties, street theatre and more.

    Here, Hostelworld.com’s Rebecca Keenan looks at 10 of the highlights from this year’s Carnival in Venice...

  • 1. Grand Toast at the Wine Fountain

    Starting this year’s Venice Carnival with a bang, the ‘Gran brindisi a Venezia’ or ‘Grand Toast in Venice’ will see locals and visitors crowd into Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), which is the festival’s focal point. Here, revellers will enjoy live music and dancing, and be able marvel at the stunning 19th century costumes and Venetian masks being worn by many Carnival goers. On top of that, a fountain that will literally be pouring wine is set to feature during this animated opening ceremony.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Saturday, February 19th from 6pm.

  • 2. Festa Veneziana

    Taking place throughout the day along Venice’s Grand Canal and in the city’s Cannaregio district, the Festa Veneziana will feature a host of different stalls selling traditional carnival foods. Among these stalls, you’ll find a tempting array of delicious pastries including favourites like ‘galani’ and ‘frittelle’. As you eat, you’ll be serenaded by the sweet sounds of a floating choir set to perform as they sail along the canals.

    Location: Canal Grande & Sestiere di Cannaregio.
    Dates: Sunday, February 20th from 11am.

  • 3. Disco on Ice

    Another of Venice’s major squares, Campo San Polo will host a nightly Disco on Ice. Adults can head along and skate away, with tunes provided by a selection of different DJs throughout the Carnival.

    Location: Campo San Polo.
    Dates: February 25th-28th & March 1st-8th from 8pm.

  • 4. Festa delle Marie

    Way back when, the Venetian Doge honoured 12 ‘beautiful but humble’ girls at the Carnival by giving them jewels to use as a wedding dowry. A version of this traditional event will take place during this year’s Venice Carnival, with 12 women in stunning costumes set to be honoured as part of the Carnival celebrations. Before the ceremony, these women will join a parade starting at 2pm from San Pietro di Castello and will be escorted by various historical groups in costume towards Piazza San Marco where the prizes will be awarded.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Saturday, February 26th from 4pm.

  • 5. Pinockiorock

    Street theatre is an important part of the Venice Carnival celebrations and this year will be no exception with performances taking place throughout Venice over the course of the festival. One event to check out is Pinockiorock, an outlandish and wonderfully bizarre version of Pinocchio being put on by Teatro Carillon.

    Location: Piazza Erminio Ferretto.
    Dates: Saturday, February 26th from 4pm.

  • 6. Carnival 2011 Opening Concert

    The opening concert of the Venice Carnival will take place on February 26th. Set to be a spectacular musical affair, it’ll feature plenty of live music acts along with a special guest to officially open the festival. This will also be a great opportunity to check out the wonderful array of intricately decorated Venetian masks and colourful costumes being shown off by lots of those in attendance.

    Location: Piazza San Marco
    Dates: Saturday, February 26th from 9pm.

  • 7. Flight of the Angel

    Based on a traditional event, the Flight of the Angel is a favourite with locals and visitors at the Venice Carnival. A special guest, usually an international star of some description, will fly along a rope from the San Marco bell tower all the way down into the middle of the square. Large numbers of people, many decked out in their very finest Carnival costumes and Venetian masks, tend to attend this event.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Sunday, February 27th from 12noon.

  • 8. Carnival in Piazza Ferretto

    A huge variety of different entertainment will be provided throughout the day during the Carnival in Piazza Ferretto. This includes everything from traditional choral performances to more alternative street theatre. So, if you’re looking from a change of scenery from the goings on in Piazza San Marco, why not see what’s happening in Piazza Ferretto instead.

    Location: Piazza Ferretto.
    Dates: Sunday, March 6th throughout the day.

  • 9. The Flight of the Donkey

    A parody of the aforementioned Flight of the Angel, the Flight of the Donkey will take place in Mestre, which is the part of Venice on the mainland. Although real donkeys will be present in the square, the actual flight itself is undertaken by a performer who will then stay to entertain the crowds.

    Location: Piazza Ferretto.
    Dates: Sunday, March 6th from 12noon.

  • 10. Carnival 2011 Closing Concert

    A fitting end to one of the world’s most popular festivals, the Carnival 2011 Closing Concert looks set to be an impressive affair and will no doubt attract droves of people to St. Mark’s Square. Held on March 8th which is International Women’s Day, this year’s closing concert will exclusively feature female musicians.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Tuesday, March 8th from 9pm-11pm.

  • Book hostels in Venice | Venice free pocket guide

  • Steeped in history, the world-renowned Venice Carnival is a favourite with travellers from all over the world who come here to don the famous Venice Carnival masks and celebrate in style. In 2011, the Venice Carnival dates are February 19th-20th and February 26th-March 8th.

    This historic festival is traditionally Venice’s last big party before Lent, a Christian event, but it also has its roots in a number of pagan festivals. Throughout the Venice Carnival, revellers can enjoy parades, masquerade balls, parties, street theatre and more.

    Here, Hostelworld.com’s Rebecca Keenan looks at 10 of the highlights from this year’s Carnival in Venice...

  • 1. Grand Toast at the Wine Fountain

    Starting this year’s Venice Carnival with a bang, the ‘Gran brindisi a Venezia’ or ‘Grand Toast in Venice’ will see locals and visitors crowd into Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), which is the festival’s focal point. Here, revellers will enjoy live music and dancing, and be able marvel at the stunning 19th century costumes and Venetian masks being worn by many Carnival goers. On top of that, a fountain that will literally be pouring wine is set to feature during this animated opening ceremony.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Saturday, February 19th from 6pm.

  • 2. Festa Veneziana

    Taking place throughout the day along Venice’s Grand Canal and in the city’s Cannaregio district, the Festa Veneziana will feature a host of different stalls selling traditional carnival foods. Among these stalls, you’ll find a tempting array of delicious pastries including favourites like ‘galani’ and ‘frittelle’. As you eat, you’ll be serenaded by the sweet sounds of a floating choir set to perform as they sail along the canals.

    Location: Canal Grande & Sestiere di Cannaregio.
    Dates: Sunday, February 20th from 11am.

  • 3. Disco on Ice

    Another of Venice’s major squares, Campo San Polo will host a nightly Disco on Ice. Adults can head along and skate away, with tunes provided by a selection of different DJs throughout the Carnival.

    Location: Campo San Polo.
    Dates: February 25th-28th & March 1st-8th from 8pm.

  • 4. Festa delle Marie

    Way back when, the Venetian Doge honoured 12 ‘beautiful but humble’ girls at the Carnival by giving them jewels to use as a wedding dowry. A version of this traditional event will take place during this year’s Venice Carnival, with 12 women in stunning costumes set to be honoured as part of the Carnival celebrations. Before the ceremony, these women will join a parade starting at 2pm from San Pietro di Castello and will be escorted by various historical groups in costume towards Piazza San Marco where the prizes will be awarded.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Saturday, February 26th from 4pm.

  • 5. Pinockiorock

    Street theatre is an important part of the Venice Carnival celebrations and this year will be no exception with performances taking place throughout Venice over the course of the festival. One event to check out is Pinockiorock, an outlandish and wonderfully bizarre version of Pinocchio being put on by Teatro Carillon.

    Location: Piazza Erminio Ferretto.
    Dates: Saturday, February 26th from 4pm.

  • 6. Carnival 2011 Opening Concert

    The opening concert of the Venice Carnival will take place on February 26th. Set to be a spectacular musical affair, it’ll feature plenty of live music acts along with a special guest to officially open the festival. This will also be a great opportunity to check out the wonderful array of intricately decorated Venetian masks and colourful costumes being shown off by lots of those in attendance.

    Location: Piazza San Marco
    Dates: Saturday, February 26th from 9pm.

  • 7. Flight of the Angel

    Based on a traditional event, the Flight of the Angel is a favourite with locals and visitors at the Venice Carnival. A special guest, usually an international star of some description, will fly along a rope from the San Marco bell tower all the way down into the middle of the square. Large numbers of people, many decked out in their very finest Carnival costumes and Venetian masks, tend to attend this event.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Sunday, February 27th from 12noon.

  • 8. Carnival in Piazza Ferretto

    A huge variety of different entertainment will be provided throughout the day during the Carnival in Piazza Ferretto. This includes everything from traditional choral performances to more alternative street theatre. So, if you’re looking from a change of scenery from the goings on in Piazza San Marco, why not see what’s happening in Piazza Ferretto instead.

    Location: Piazza Ferretto.
    Dates: Sunday, March 6th throughout the day.

  • 9. The Flight of the Donkey

    A parody of the aforementioned Flight of the Angel, the Flight of the Donkey will take place in Mestre, which is the part of Venice on the mainland. Although real donkeys will be present in the square, the actual flight itself is undertaken by a performer who will then stay to entertain the crowds.

    Location: Piazza Ferretto.
    Dates: Sunday, March 6th from 12noon.

  • 10. Carnival 2011 Closing Concert

    A fitting end to one of the world’s most popular festivals, the Carnival 2011 Closing Concert looks set to be an impressive affair and will no doubt attract droves of people to St. Mark’s Square. Held on March 8th which is International Women’s Day, this year’s closing concert will exclusively feature female musicians.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Tuesday, March 8th from 9pm-11pm.

  • Book hostels in Venice | Venice free pocket guide


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