Festivals in Venice

From the Venice Biennale international air fair to the classic masked balls of Carnevale, here are the best of Venice's festivals

Masked and costumed Carnevale celebrants in VeniceCarnival in Venice ★★ - Venice's top event is the theatrical bacchanalia of Carnevale, an unbridled celebration of classical concerts and masked balls when the entire city is filled with costumed people straight out of a baroque painting. A generally more stately and refined affair than its more rowdy cousin festivals in New Orleans and Rio, Venice's Carnival takes up the 12 days immediately preceding Lent, the 40-day period of penitence and abstinence prior to Easter, usually in February or early March. (The name, by the way, is derived from the Latin carnem levare—"to take meat away"—since many people gave up meat for the duration of Lent.)... » more
Art from the 1009 Venice BiennaleThe Biennale ★★★ - In the spring of every odd-numbered year (2011, 2013, etc.), Venice hosts 70–80 countries in what has become the pre-eminent exhibition of contemporary art in the entire world, the Venice Biennale. Started in 1895, this international art show now receives more than 300,000 visitors every-other year. The core of the Biennale is inside the Arsenale (the Renaissance-era—yet still functioning—navy yards) and the nearby Giardini Pubblici public gardens, but shows are curated in spaces scattered all across town. It lasts from the spring until late November, and has begun incorporating film, music, and dance (and those frequently continue in the even-numbered years as well)... » more

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Giardini ex Reali, San Marco (between Piazza San Marco and its western ferry stop)
Vaporetto: San Marco–Giardinetti Reali
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