How to visit the carnival in Venice?
Every year in Venice on various carnival activities comes a huge number of tourists – at a conservative estimate, about a million. To them add all sorts of actors, clowns, artists, scammers, just people-tumbleweed.
They all spill out on the narrow Venetian streets to take part in a significant event – the world famous Venice carnival.
The history of this carnival lasts from time immemorial (the first mention of it dates back to 1094) and dates back to Roman Saturnalia – a kind of harvest holidays. Here, by the way, and the tradition of wearing masks during carnival slaves were allowed to sit at the Banquet table with the owners, but to caste prejudices did not spoil the fun, all hid their faces behind masks. Over time, the mask turned into a separate article of the income of Venetian artisans.
And now to come to Venice and not to bring charming painted carnival masks – moveton, gentlemen!
Under these masks in the middle ages there were a lot of brave and scary things. During the carnival, mask, incognito – that’s what freedom of action! Nothing seemed too shameful, too bold, too reckless, too slutty. Adultery is not adultery, theft is just a joke, an insult is not necessary to wash off the blood, even murder can be solved somewhere in the recesses of the damp Venetian streets. Over time, masks were worn on ordinary days. Poisoner, lovers, murderers, pirates, criminals, adventurers, fugitives, convicts – not always intentions were pure. This forced the Church to ban the wearing of masks outside the carnivals. And in 1608 in Venice issued a decree, according to which men for wearing of masks in daily life was sentenced to two years in prison and fined, and women publicly h on the square.
Closer to the Renaissance festival has come even to set the tone in fashion: dancing in the squares copied in ballrooms, luxurious, gold-embroidered and jewelled costumes become role models at fashion tailors. Prior to the industrial revolution, the carnival was the most important event in the life of the city. But gradually, day by day, the new realities, the need to earn money by hard work, factories, plants, war ousted him about the unbridled joy of carnival day is almost forgotten.
But there is a silver lining. Again, thanks to industrial growth and development technologies, Venice lagged behind rapidly flying progress. And in order not to fade, I decided to go back to basics. So the carnival of Venice has become a business.
In the middle ages, the carnival lasted a month, in modern Italy – two weeks in late January .
The carnival opens oldest Venetian holiday – Festa delle Marie, which is dedicated to the liberation of the Venetian girls, kidnapped by pirates from Istria. St. Mark’s square, arranged presentation of “Commedia Dell’arte”, and then rain down on the audience tons of confetti. Every carnival has a peculiar initiation and topic (for example, this year the theme of the carnival – Sensation: 6 sensi x 6 sestieri). Then begins the carnival procession.
City squares are concerts, fireworks, theaters performances on the theme of the carnival, in the ancient palaces of the city are closed masquerade balls. To get to them either by special invitation – if you belong to a small group of elected or buying tickets only to take care of it ahead of time. On average, the length ball on the night will cost three hundred and eight hundred Euro (add up some drinks, costumes and entertainment).
On the streets of Venice facing the citizens and guests in costumes of the world-famous characters of the Italian Comedy – harlequin, Pierrot, Pantaloon, and Columbine became the emblem of the holiday. Guest must be in a mask and a costume. This suit can be ordered from the designer – from five thousand euros to buy in the store ready – made dress from five hundred euros, or rent – from three hundred. The most popular Venetian carnival costume is considered Boutte – white satin mask in combination with a wide black cloak and a black triangular hat.