Hidden treasures

The origins of the Carnival in Venice

Local Traditions
faliero-vitale

The origins of the Carnival in Venice

When looking for information on the birth of the Venice Carnival, the first place to head for is St. Mark’s Basilica, the place where the Doge who established the tradition of Carnival is buried.

In the atrium of St Mark’s Basilica, to the right of the central portal, is the oldest funeral monument of the basilica, made with reclaimed old marble stones.

Here, in 1096, the doge Vitale Falier was buried. He was the thirty-second doge of the Republic of Venice, and also the man who miraculously found the body of St Mark, lost the previous century during a fire, and who established the most beautiful carnival in the world .

In a document of 1094, which speaks of entertainment for the public, the word Carnevale is mentioned for the first time.

The establishment of the Carnival by the Venetian oligarchies is generally attributed to the intention of the Serenissima, similarly to what had happened in ancient Rome (with panem et circenses), to grant the population, and especially to the most humble social classes, a period entirely dedicated to fun and festivities, during which Venetians and foreigners alike would take to the streets of the city for crazy celebrations with music and dancing.

With the disguise bestowed by the wearing of masks and costumes, a sort of leveling of all social divisions was achieved and even the public mockery of the authorities and the aristocracy was authorized. These concessions were widely tolerated and considered a providential way to relieve the tensions and discontent that inevitably emerged within the Republic of Venice, which placed strict limits on issues such as common morality and the public order of its citizens.

Today the Venice Carnival is one of the most famous in the world ... Two weeks of fun, events and great parties to remember the glories of the Venice of the past! On our portal you can look for the best Carnival events to fully enjoy the magic of this ancient and fascinating festival!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Bussolà, typical Easter biscuit of Burano Island

bussola
Local Traditions

‘Bussolà’ (plural bussolai) is a traditional Venetian biscuit which derives its name from the word ‘busa’ which means ‘hole...

View

Venice: Easter in the Serenissima Republic of Venice

pasqua-serenissima
Local Traditions

Easter is one of the most important celebrations for Christianity as it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus but over the centuries, ...

View

Padua: Giotto’s Vices and Virtues in the Scrovegni Chapel

Carità-e-Invidia
Historical Curiosities

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua contains one of the most significant masterpieces of all time: the great fresco cycle by Giotto. Among th...

View

Venice: Stalin, the bell-ringer of San Lazzaro degli Armeni

armeni
Big Names

There are many great artistic, literary and political figures who have walked the streets of Venice over the centuries ... Among these,...

View

Top posts

Venice: Titian's paintings in the Sacristy of the Basilica della Salute

tiziano-salute-venezia
Big Names

The Basilica della Salute is one of the most important religious places in Venice ... it was constructed to commemorate the end of the ...

View

Padua: The ancient Jewish cemetery of Padua in Via Weil

cimitero-ebraico-padova
Historical Curiosities

Padua boasts one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in 1222 and open to everyone. Between the 13th and the 14th century, ...

View

Vicenza: The legend of the Dwarves of Villa Valmarana ai Nani

Villa_Valmarana_ai_Nani
Mysteries & Legends

Villa Valmarana ai Nani in Vicenza, Italy, is one of the best known and most visited villas in the Veneto region thanks to the frescoes...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View