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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

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