Review of Venice Carnival 2010, Italy

The Venice Carnival 2010 last from February 6 to 16. The Venice carnival is the most anticipated event of the year in Venice: ten days of masquerade, shows, music, games and colors. The city goes crazy and fills with a cheering crowd. In the living room of Piazza San Marco and in the thousands of other fields you can freely attend theatrical performances and costume parades, concerts and historical re-enactments, entertainment for children and nights of wild dancing, gastronomic tastings and other sensory experiences.

The 2010 edition of the Venice Carnival revolve around the theme of “6 senses x 6 sestieri”, the leitmotif of events and shows are the 5 traditional senses combined each with the 5 sestieri (districts into which Venice is divided): smell in Santa Croce, taste in Cannaregio, sight in San Polo, touch in Castello, hearing in Dorsoduro, to which adds the mind in the San Marco district.

Building on the success of the previous editions, we enrich our knowledge of the world through 5 senses: sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell. The world is mostly in our 6th sense, in our mind. The format for the Venice Carnival already bears in the title the promise of a novelty and a change: Sensation, 6 senses x 6 sestieri.

The senses are declined through the presence of props, performances by theater groups and artists, concerts and installations of lighting design. San Polo is the district intended for sight, Santa Croce for smell, Dorsoduro for hearing, Castello for touch, Cannaregio for taste. Saint Markit becomes the sensory, imaginative and thinking center of the city, welcoming the mind, a true crossroads of all senses and in all senses. San Marco therefore represents the beating center of everything, mental place and sensorial fulcrum, and hosts the main stage on which musical groups, theatrical and artistic performances alternate, great events for the new 2010 Venice Carnival.

The show take place in Piazza San Marco where a fantastic garden inspired by the most famous fairy tales was created. A path of greenery and mirrors, with topiary sculptures and a large portal, where the majestic Lion of the last edition stand out, revisited this year with decorations inspired by Arcimboldo’s paintings. A place where the public can walk and, above all, can parade as a protagonist, showing their disguise.

The Venice Carnival 2010 attracts a large number of tourists from all over Italy and the world for the occasion. The Venice Carnival includes a series of open-air public events that punctuate the Carnival. The most important and festive events are masked balls and private parties organised in palaces to the rhythm of the nights of the Venice Carnival.

The Carnival of Venice, rich in history, traditions and enchanting suggestions, is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the baroque atmosphere of a city full of charm. Venice is full of celebrations that drag the visitor into a kaleidoscope of emotions. The ancient Venetian palaces, architectural jewels, host luxurious masked parties that evoke the transgressive atmospheres, a golden age for carnival celebrations as evidenced by the particular shapes of the costumes worn with pride by the Venetians.

Venice Carnival is one traditions with strong foundation in culture with the significance and beauty. The whole world also gathers every year around this time gaze on its grandeur. Every year, the Venice Carnival turns the city into a spectacular riot of pageantry, colour, musical performances, fireworks displays and glamorous Venetian balls. If you want to experience the exotic atmosphere of Venice at its best, carnival is the time to go.

“Experiencing” the Carnival in Venice mean to savour every moment of the festival by definition. Venice offer a rich calendar of performances, shows and evens linked to its products of excellence. Literary, musical and theatrical tradition, both national and international, offers several suggestions that inspire the artistic and scenic choices.

The program dedicated to theater and music is rich and varied. The art of masking had one of its greatest expressions in Venice. The 2010 Carnival therefore rediscovers theater, opera and comedy not only inside the theaters but also outdoors, on the stage of Piazza San Marco, in the fields, in the streets. A great show in which the world of reality and artistic illusion come together, enhancing all the traditions of the culture of art and crafts of the Venetian civilization.

In the “fat” week, an explosion of events, parties, parades: in Piazza San Marco, the last Sunday, with the final of the competition for the most beautiful mask of the Carnival, the Flight of the Eagle from the Campanile of San Marco; at the Arsenale in Venice the party lasts until late at night. Grand finale on Shrove Tuesday, when the Venice Carnival celebrate the glories of San Marco in the Svolo del Leon, the majestic banner of San Marco, the winged lion on a red field that made the Serenissima Republic immortal in the Mediterranean and in the world.

The glamorous side of Carnival is that of the palace parties: stuccos, golds, velvets and candles, the experience is overwhelming and immersive: between food and perfumes couples of fairies and admirer, queens and courtiers, great leaders, doges, cardinals, comedians and dancers welcome guests who in a few minutes forget the era to which they belong.

Visitors could attend the Gallery of Wonders at the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi Palace, where fine art, comedic performances and delicious food combine with wild costumes and dancing long into the night. The palace then hosts a number of similar events, so nobody need to miss out. Throughout the Carnival of Venice, visitors can also attend masked costume contests in the Piazza San Marco. Contestants are graded on the authenticity of their outfits before the Grand Finale.

Highlight events
Venice during the Carnival is spellbinding, with a historically rich mixture of performance and dining, and, of course, the magnificent costumes, including the extravagant masks for which Venice is so famous. If you have never had a romantic encounter in Venice, perhaps you have an opportunity to learn why countless generations of impassioned lovers have exclaimed that romance in Venice is the best romance there is. As every year there is great expectation for the Venetian festival, which always attracts a large number of tourists from all over Italy and the world for the occasion.

In the Carnival, the streets are filled with celebrants dressed in luxurious, festive garb; experiencing Venice during the Carnival is like stepping back in time, with no modern buildings to spoil the illusion. One can wander the streets, taking in the costumes and street performances, or attend an evening party, an opera or concert, in one of the palaces or hotels accustomed to hosting royalty.

Popular and exciting are also the Corteo delle Marie and the Flight of the Angel which celebrate the second weekend of Carnival, such as the Competition for the most beautiful mask in which costumed groups from all over the world participate, the Flight of the Eagle, the coronation of the Carnival Mary and the shows that close the party on Shrove Tuesday, in a riot of colors, applause, confetti and the grace and beauty of the girls protagonists.

The glamorous side of Carnival is that of the palace parties: stuccos, golds, velvets and candles, the experience is overwhelming and immersive: between food and perfumes couples of fairies and admirer, queens and courtiers, great leaders, doges, cardinals, comedians and dancers welcome guests who in a few minutes forget the era to which they belong.

All of an evening you might experience walking up the stairs of a candlelit palace, expecting Casanova to make his advances; enjoying cocktails over the glimmering Grand Canal, abandoning your senses to pleasure; all while revealing your true identity only to carefully chosen intimates. After all this extravagance perhaps your night is completed by a mysterious, romantic, moonlight tryst, leaving you entranced and breathless, ready to meet the whole experience again the following day.

The following was the program of the 2010 edition:

The Flight of the Angel 2010
The most followed and awaited traditional event sees in 2010 an exceptional Angel: Bianca Brandolini D’Adda. Historical parade of the CERS, European Consortium of Historical Reenactments, with the participation of the Friends of the Venice Carnival and the International Association for the Venice Carnival.

The Flight of the Donkey 2010
The flight of the Donkey in Mestre on Valentine’s Day. The amusing parody of the flight of the Angel sees as the protagonist the actress Monica Zuccon who descends from the civic tower to Piazza Ferretto.

Feast of the Marie 2010
The parade of the Marys with the 12 Venetian girls who parade accompanied by the historical parade. The event is presented by Prince Maurice, with the participation of Chiarastella Serravalle. Directed by Bruno Tosi. Organized by the CERS, European Consortium of Historical Reenactments, with the participation of the Friends of the Venice Carnival and the International Association for the Venice Carnival.

Venetian Festival 2010
The colorful water procession and the flavors of the sestiere give life in Rio di Cannaregio to the followed and traditional Venetian Festival. This festival is loved for music, dances and the famous Venetian specialties offered by the restaurateurs of the district.

The Most Beautiful Mask of the 2010 Carnival
Final competition for the most beautiful mask of the 2010 Carnival. The winners are chosen by a jury of industry experts such as the artist Fabrizio Plessi and the Artistic Director of the Carnival Marco Balich and chaired by Angela Missoni. Led by Prince Maurice, with the participation of Chiarastella Serravalle.

Cultural Program
Cultural events that take place in theaters, museums and city institutes. The cultural review of the Venice Carnival 2010 puts the city on stage by opening the doors of palaces, libraries and archives, museums and music halls to hybrid, impromptu projects, suitable for the more brilliant and festive context than the atmosphere of the Carnival induces. A largely free or very popular programming with dozens of daily events that outline an artistically vital and exuberant city.

A schedule that is organized for the entire period of the event by connecting the cultural realities of the city, from the Civic Museums to the State Museum Center, including the independent private foundations in a precious calendar of events (concerts, conferences, exhibitions, theatrical and film reviews) on the theme of the Carnival, works that testify to the culture of art and crafts in Venice; iconographic itineraries focused on the arts also in places of the sacred; theatrical and comedy performances; fairy tales for children and theaters, as well as workshops of the art of craftsmanship.

The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. It is one of the best known and most popular carnivals in the world. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks. Its origins are very ancient: the first evidence dates back to a document of the Doge Vitale Falier of 1094, where there is talk of public entertainment and in which the word Carnival is mentioned for the first time.

The institution of the Carnival by the Venetian oligarchies is generally attributed to the need of the Serenissima, like what already happened in ancient Rome (see panem et circenses), to grant the population, especially the humblest social classes, a period dedicated entirely for fun and celebrations, during which Venetians and foreigners flocked throughout the city to party with wild music and dancing.

Through the anonymity that masks and costumes guaranteed, a sort of leveling of all social divisions was achieved and even the public derision of the authorities and the aristocracy was authorized. These concessions were widely tolerated and considered a providential outlet to the tensions and discontent that inevitably arose within the Republic of Venice, which placed strict limits on its citizens on issues such as common morality and public order.

The Modern Carnival
Only in 1979, the centuries-old tradition of the Venice Carnival officially rose from its ashes, thanks to the initiative and commitment of some citizens’ associations and the logistical and economic contribution of the Municipality of Venice, of the Teatro la Fenice., of the Venice Biennale and tourist boards.

Within a few editions, thanks also to the media visibility reserved for the event and the city, the Venice Carnival has returned to tracing the footsteps of the ancient event with great success, albeit in different ways and atmospheres.

The individual annual editions of this new Carnival have often been distinguished and dedicated to a basic theme, which inspires them for parties and surrounding cultural events. Some editions were also characterized by combinations and twinning with other Italian and European cities, thus providing further involvement of the event at an international level.

The current Carnival of Venice has become a great and spectacular tourist event, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who flock to the city to participate in this festival considered unique for its history, atmosphere and masks.

The traditionally most important days of the Venetian Carnival are Shrove Thursday and Shrove Tuesday, even if the greatest influxes are certainly recorded during the weekends of the event.

The holidays
With the first edition of the recent Carnival, a program of events and a detailed calendar for the new major event are simultaneously established. The date for the start of the official celebrations is established to coincide with the Saturday before Shrove Thursday and the end with Shrove Tuesday, for a total duration of only eleven days. Unlike the Carnival of the past, which for a long time had an official duration of six weeks, the modern one takes place with a concentrated program, but full of individual events.

As in the past, the Carnival of Venice still represents a great popular festival for a large audience of all ages. Street parties and events of all kinds animate the days of the groups of masks and tourists, who happily scatter around the city. In addition to the official parties in the square between campi and campielli, still today as in the past various private parties and masked balls are organized in the great Venetian palaces. In these places, rich in furnishings and atmospheres almost unchanged over time, it is possible to relive the ancient splendors and the tradition of the Carnival of the past.

The Feast of the Marys
Only in 1999 the ancient Festa delle Marie was finally restored, with an atmosphere that combines the historical re-enactment of the ancient procession with the girls with a more modern beauty pageant in costume. It was officially revived about six hundred years later, by Bruno Tosi

In the weeks preceding the Carnival, a sort of selection is held among the young local beauties to choose the twelve Marys destined to parade as protagonists of the procession, during the celebration. The party generally takes place on the afternoon of the first Saturday of the Carnival, when the twelve Marys, accompanied by a long procession made up of a procession of bridesmaids, flag-wavers, musicians and hundreds of other figures in period costume, begins its slow walk starting from the church of San Pietro di Castello and heading towards Piazza San Marco, between the wings of a crowd of masks and tourists.

In Piazza San Marco, the next day, the bridesmaids parade again awaiting the official proclamation of the winner of the edition, the most beautiful of the twelve (the so-called Mary of the year), to whom a substantial prize is awarded.

The Flight of the Angel
In the modern Carnival it was decided to re-present to the public, in a guise similar to the original one of the ancient Carnival, the anniversary of the Flight of the Angel, in its variant of Volo della Colombina. While in the past this show was celebrated on Shrove Thursday, in modern editions it is generally held at noon on the first Sunday of celebration, as one of the opening events that officially decree the beginning of the Carnival itself. Until the 2000 edition, above a cheering crowd, with its gaze turned to the Campanile of San Marco, a mechanical bird with the shape of a dove carried out, as in the past, its descent on the rope towards the Doge’s Palace. Approximately halfway through, a trap door was opened in its lower part,

Since the 2001 edition, the first of the millennium, the old formula of the Flight of the Angel has been passed again, replacing the Colombina with a real artist and ending the descent in Piazza San Marco. The 2001 flight was entrusted to the Compagnia dei Folli, which lent its own artist for the event. For each edition, the Angel of the Carnival, secured to a metal cable, makes his only descent from the belfry of the bell tower, slowly sliding towards the ground, suspended in the void, above the multitude that fills the space below.