The origins of the Carnival in VeniceLocal 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 evening events to fully enjoy the magic of this ancient and fascinating festival!
Venice: The columns of the ciborium of the altar of St Mark’s Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica in Venice is an inexhaustible source of treasures... The four alabaster columns that support the ciborium above th...View
Padua: The ancient Jewish cemetery of Padua in Via Weil
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
Venice: The Pietà by Titian at the Gallerie dell'Accademia
Tiziano Vecellio is considered the greatest painter in the history of Venetian art, known and appreciated all around the world... Just ...View
Vicenza: The legend of the Dwarves of 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
Venice: The 'Naval Battle' by Tintoretto at Doge’s Palace
The ceiling of the Doge's Palace, in addition to being the largest wooden suspended ceiling in the world, is a real trove of painting m...View