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Highlights to watch out for at the 2013 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 carnival masks and celebrate in style. In 2013, the Venice Carnival dates are January 26th to February 12th, although it’s officially launched on February 3rd. This year’s theme is ‘Vivi I Colori – Live in Colour’.

    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, we look at nine of the highlights from this year’s Carnival in Venice...



    1. 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.
    Dates: Sunday, January 27th from 11am.



    2. The Ice Skating Village

    Another of Venice’s major squares, Campo San Polo will host an oval skating rink, surrounded by a Christkindlmarkt-like village with wines, crafts and hot foods.

    Location: Campo San Polo.
    Dates: December 1st, 2012, to February 17th, 2013.



    3. 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 2nd from 4pm.



    4. 'Secrets in Venice' Walking Theatre Show

    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 the ‘Secrets in Venice’ walking theatre show by the Compagnia Teatrale Pantakin. Part walking tour, part street performance, you can learn about the city more eccentric history while being entertained, too.

    Location: Starting at Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd, Friday 8th, Saturday 9th , Sunday 10th, Tuesday 12th February, at 11:00am, 2:30pm and at 4:30pm.



    5. Flight of the Angel

    Based on a traditional event, the Flight of the Angel (‘Volo dell'Angelo’) 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 3rd from 12noon.



    7. 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, February 10th from 12noon.



    8. Cotillon dance lessons

    Want to learn the minuet, cotillion and other period dances that are so closely tied to Venice Carnival? Hotel Danieli is serving hot chocolate and pastries in their ballroom and giving punters the chance to learn and practice their steps in preparation for the evening masquerade balls. < p>

    Location: Hotel Danieli, Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Friday 1st from 5pm to 7pm and Sunday 3rd, Monday 4th, Wednesday 6th and Monday 11th from 4pm to 6pm. .



    9. Carnival 2013 Closing Concert

    A fitting end to one of the world’s most popular festivals, the Carnival 2013 Closing Concert looks set to be an impressive affair and will no doubt attract droves of people to Piazza San Marco. International artists will bring the colourful theme of this year's Carnival to life as they bid it farewell for another year.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Tuesday, February 12th from 8:30pm-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 carnival masks and celebrate in style. In 2013, the Venice Carnival dates are January 26th to February 12th, although it’s officially launched on February 3rd. This year’s theme is ‘Vivi I Colori – Live in Colour’.

    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, we look at nine of the highlights from this year’s Carnival in Venice...



    1. 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.
    Dates: Sunday, January 27th from 11am.



    2. The Ice Skating Village

    Another of Venice’s major squares, Campo San Polo will host an oval skating rink, surrounded by a Christkindlmarkt-like village with wines, crafts and hot foods.

    Location: Campo San Polo.
    Dates: December 1st, 2012, to February 17th, 2013.



    3. 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 2nd from 4pm.



    4. 'Secrets in Venice' Walking Theatre Show

    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 the ‘Secrets in Venice’ walking theatre show by the Compagnia Teatrale Pantakin. Part walking tour, part street performance, you can learn about the city more eccentric history while being entertained, too.

    Location: Starting at Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd, Friday 8th, Saturday 9th , Sunday 10th, Tuesday 12th February, at 11:00am, 2:30pm and at 4:30pm.



    5. Flight of the Angel

    Based on a traditional event, the Flight of the Angel (‘Volo dell'Angelo’) 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 3rd from 12noon.



    7. 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, February 10th from 12noon.



    8. Cotillon dance lessons

    Want to learn the minuet, cotillion and other period dances that are so closely tied to Venice Carnival? Hotel Danieli is serving hot chocolate and pastries in their ballroom and giving punters the chance to learn and practice their steps in preparation for the evening masquerade balls. < p>

    Location: Hotel Danieli, Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Friday 1st from 5pm to 7pm and Sunday 3rd, Monday 4th, Wednesday 6th and Monday 11th from 4pm to 6pm. .



    9. Carnival 2013 Closing Concert

    A fitting end to one of the world’s most popular festivals, the Carnival 2013 Closing Concert looks set to be an impressive affair and will no doubt attract droves of people to Piazza San Marco. International artists will bring the colourful theme of this year's Carnival to life as they bid it farewell for another year.

    Location: Piazza San Marco.
    Dates: Tuesday, February 12th from 8:30pm-11pm.



    Book hostels in Venice | Venice free pocket guide


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