The incredible magic of Venice Italy reveals its true splendor in February when thousands flock to the canaled streets to celebrate the Venice Carnival. In the 18th century, Venetians would dress in elaborate apparel, ostentatious dress, and extravagantly decorated masks. The masks were commonly worn by those protecting themselves from something. Whether it was thievery, pursuing a forbidden love, or hiding from someone. Venetians would wear masks to hide their identity, until the wearing of masks was banned in 1608 at the Council of Ten, except for at the Carnival and other important events.
It is a tradition that has lasted for centuries and has grown in popularity overseas. No longer is the Venice Carnival an event reserved for Venetians and other Italians, but a million people a year gather from all over the world to be a part of the festivities. Concerts and raves are put on the square, shows, balls, music and plays are put on all throughout the city.
If you’re considering traveling to Venice in February, be aware that the Carnival will be in full swing the entire month. It certainly is an amazing sight to see and event to be a part of. However, if you don’t like crowds, you may want to stay away, or only visit for a few hours. During the Carnival, the streets are packed, so be prepared to move slow, crowded restaurants, and packed hotels. If you’re planning to stay overnight, make sure you plan your hotel accommodation and transportation with the event in mind.
Of all the places to see in Italy, Venice during the Carnival will surely leave a lasting impression. You don’t have to wear a mask or dress up, but it can be loads of fun if you do. From the ferry to the city, and all throughout the streets are vendors selling masks for you to participate and come home with a memorable souvenir.
Have you been to the Venice Carnival? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
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