Considering its humble beginnings as a muddy swamp, Venice has come a long way. Today tourists flock to its labyrinth of streets, canals and bridges to see the embarrassment of architectural gems and artistic masterpieces on offer. Take a trip to this city and soak up some of the magic that has inspired artists from the Renaissance to the present day.
In February, it’s all about the Carnevale di Venezia so here are some of its highlights. Don’t leave without tasting frittelle, either – these fried doughnuts will provide a much-needed energy boost to keep you going throughout the festivities.
La Festa Veneziana sull’acqua
The carnival kicks off in style with this parade of dance, music and theatre – all taking place on the water of course.
February 11, 6pm–10pm & February 12, 11am-1pm Canale di Cannaregio
Il Volo dell’Angelo
This wacky event involves an angel flying along a zipwire from the campanile (bell tower) in St. Mark’s square. The spectacle originates from the 16 th century and is free – you just need to get there early enough.
February 19, 12pm–1pm, Piazza San Marco
Il Ballo del Doge
The Dance of the Doge is the most exclusive event of the carnival calendar and is held in the luxurious and ornate Palazzo Pisani Moretta located on the Grand Canal. It’s basically the masquerade ball of your wildest dreams, but it’s not cheap – tickets start at €800.
February 25, 8.30pm, Palazzo Pisani Moretta (Sestiere San Polo)
The Best Masked Costume Contest
For something more inclusive but just as dramatic enter the costume contests which take place twice daily in St. Mark’s Square. Pre-register for this free event and see if you make it all the way through to the final on the last Sunday of the month.
February 20–26, 12.30pm & 2.30pm, Piazza San Marco
Venice Carnival takes place from 11-28 February. For more details visit: