Hidden treasures

The origins of the Carnival in Venice

Local Traditions

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: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....