Venice Carnival 2019

Program of the unmissable Carnival parties and events!

From 16 February 2019 to 05 March 2019

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From 16th February to 5th March the Venice Carnival has a lot of surprises ready for you! An unmissable program for one of the most anticipated events of the Venetian calendar!

After the success of the last editions, Marco Maccapani, the artistic director of the Carnival of Venice, will continue to promote the area and its traditions to engage and excite the inhabitants of Venice and not just tourists. Are you ready to take part in the amazing program of Venice Carnival 2019? Take note of the most exciting events and unmissable appointments of this long tradition!

Let's start with the Venice Carnival dates 2019: 18 days of celebrations with masks, fun and famous masquerades… Venice Carnival in February and March will open the doors of the past and show traditions that have been forgotten. From the official opening, on Saturday 16th February, to Shrove Tuesday, its program is preparing to engage and enchant thousands of people!

Great events – Venice Carnival Schedule 2019

  • Saturday 16th February – Venice Carnival opening ceremony 2019. The Carnival officially opens the festivities with the traditional Venetian Festival on the water! In the evening, the Cannaregio Canal transforms itself into a fascinating stage of water that will excite spectators from around the world… Original floating structures, shows and entertainment will give you great moments of happiness!
    First show at 6.00 pm; repeated at 8.00 pm.
  • Sunday 17th February - Venice Carnival continues with the fascinating water parade of the Venetian Rowing Associations: at 11.00 am the parade wills set off from Punta della Dogana and will travel along the Canal Grande to Rio di Cannaregio where it will continue to the applause of the audience along the banks. From midday, food stands will offer cicchetti, savoury specialties of the Venetian cuisine and Venice Carnival cakes, music and animation will surround the water parade in the Cannaregio district.
  • Saturday 23rd February - at around 2.30 pm the traditional ‘Marie parade' will depart from San Pietro di Castello along Via Garibaldi and the Riva degli Schiavoni to St Mark’s Square where there will be the official presentation of the Marie of the Carnevale in Venice 2019. During this fascinating ceremony of the Venice Carnival on Saturday 23 February, the tribute that the Doge used to reserve to twelve beautiful maidens from Venice will be re-enacted, providing them with jewellery for their wedding. The Festa delle Marie offers the chance to see beautiful Venetian clothes and to take part in one of the oldest traditions of the city. The festival will continue for several days, until the proclamation of the Maria of the 2018 Carnival to be held on Mardi Gras.
  • Sunday 24th February - Flight of the Angel Venice Carnival. Considered one of the most anticipated events of the Carnival, the Flight of the Angel in Venice is the official opening of the celebrations of St. Mark's Square. The Maria of the Carnival 2018. Erika Chia, will accomplish the historic svolo (flight) from St Mark’s Bell Tower to the cheers of the audience watching the show from the square. From 11.00 am to noon parades, music and entertainment will delight visitors during their waiting time!
  • 28th February – Fat Thursday: Venice Carnival in February 2019 dedicates this day to a re-enactment of the victory of doge Vitale Michiel II on the patriarch Ulrico of Aquileia and the 12 rebel feudatories, which took place precisely on Fat Thursday of 1162. To remember the attempted rebellion quelled with a bloodshed, each year the patriarch's successors sent 1 bull, 12 loaves and 12 pigs to the Doge, as a gift and compensation. The bull, symbolizing the patriarch, and the pigs, symbolizing the feudatories instead, were publicly taunted before the bull's head was cut off, the animals slaughtered and cooked to be distributed during the festivities. From this anecdote comes the Venetian expression 'cut off the bull’s head’, which means to settle a matter once and for all, in a definitive, relentless and often ruthless way.
  • Sunday 3rd March - the Carnival of Venice 2019 gets ready to close with three days of great events! At approx. midday the Flight of the Eagle, another spectacular flight from St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark’s Square executed by a surprise guest, while from 2.30 pm there will be the award ceremony of Venice Carnival mask competition 'The finest Mask' where the winners of the parades that took place from Thursday 28th February to Saturday 2nd March will contest each other.
    In Mestre, from 11.00 am, Piazza Ferretto will host the Donkey's Flight from the Tower to the stage positioned at the centre of the square, a popular parody of the Flight of the Angel in St Mark’s Square.
  • Monday 4th March: the festivities continue in St. Mark's Square with two special parades for younger ones. From 11.00 am to 1.00 pm don’t miss the Contest of the most beautiful Mask – children’s edition!
  • Tuesday 5th February: the Carnival of Venice dates wrap up with proclamation of the winner of the Maria 2019. At approx. 5.00 pm the symbol of Venice, the winged lion of St. Mark, is erected up St Mark’s Bell tower to fly over the audience in the square… under the guise of a beautiful painted scenic drape!

From Sunday 24th February to Monday 5th March the exciting contest to crown the best mask of the Carnival 2019 will be staged... the daily parades will let the public admire the participants and vote for the most beautiful masks! Those chosen between Shrove Tuesday and Saturday 2nd March will go through to the final on Sunday 3rd!

Besides the major annual events listed above, such as the Carnival of Venice flight of the Angel, the Carnival 2019 will offer entertainment and daily events all day round, in the whole of Venice, in the islands and the lands. Just to mention a few Carnival events near Venice, Mestre, Burano, Zelarino and Marghera have already confirmed their Carnival line-up.

  • Mestre Carnival Street Show - February 23rd and 24th and February 28th to March 5th 2019: plenty of art, entertainment and shows along the streets of Mestre, especially in Piazza Ferretto.
  • Burano Carnival – from Shrove Thursday, 28th February, to Shrove Tuesday, March 5th!
  • Marghera cart parade - Saturday 2nd March, in Piazza Mercato, masquerade carts and local groups from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm.
  • 52nd Children’s Carnival of Zelarino - Tuesday 5th March, a cart parade will fill the streets of the town.

Marco Maccapani’s artistic direction aims to go back to the origins and stage a Carnival involving the inhabitants of Venice and the nearby cities of the mainland. The Carnival of Venice has always been linked to a sense of freedom and irony, but is also an important cultural event that attracts thousands of visitors to Venice every year: Maccapani wishes to combine these two aspects and organize an all-encompassing event! A people's event, for the people and with the people!

The massive turnout and number of events of the past editions, with over 120 events, engaged both tourists and the inhabitants of Venice...The Venice Carnival programme 2019 aims to confirm and, why not, exceed the great success of the 2018 edition!

Deserving a brief mention are also the elegant masked balls in Venice, organized both in the historic palace of the historic center and in the most exclusive hotels: discover them all in our special section, and grab your tickets as soon as you can: places for each event are limited!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff