Review of Venice Carnival 2017, Italy

The Venice Carnival 2017 last from February 11 to 28. As the oldest and most awaited festival in the lagoon city where citizens, tourists and onlookers find unique and unrepeatable smiles, joy and entertainment, Venice carnival is unique experience,the romantic water city sometimes covered by dense fog, full of stories and mysteries. Many events that was held during the carnival, grand costume balls, fierce mask contests, towering wigs and a parade of preening, enriched with sumptuous costumes and fascinating masks, the pride of Venetian craftsmanship.

The 2017 edition of the Venice Carnival revolve around the theme of “Creatum: Vanity AF-fair”, invites you to satisfy the desire to appear, to overdo it, to be someone else or ten people together even for just one day. A Carnival between vanity and beauty that exalts on the one hand the desire to appear of people who come to the Serenissima from all over the world to show off and the charm of the city magnified by the artisans through their real and not fake work.

The 2017 Venice Carnival program is a concentrate of great traditional events, masked costume parties at the palace, initiatives in theaters, clubs and between the streets and squares of the city. From the Flight of the Angel to the Doge’s Ball, from the Festa delle Marie to the Tiepolo Ball, from the great parades of masks to the palace parties that combine the pleasures of gastronomy with dances in costume.

There were more than 120 events, of which thirty addressed to an audience of children and young people, as many cultural initiatives intended for a more demanding target, and over 200 artists, companies and groups involved; about sixty unique events designed by Vela and its partners specifically for the lagoon festival, for the most part with free admission, including playstheatricals, film screenings, concerts, lessons and itineraries told, which was attended by at least 10 thousand spectators. The five original exhibitions and the 150 artists, performers, actors and musicians involved by the organization, capable of attracting another eight thousand visitors, are also fundamental.

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.

Highlight events
The Venice Carnival 2017 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 two-weeks 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, will host luxurious masked parties that evoke the transgressive atmospheres of the eighteenth century, 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.

The river of Cannaregio is transformed into a real water stage with a show that enchants thousands of spectators every year, where floating structures transfer the theme of the Carnival onto the water. Saturday 11 February 2017, starting at 6 pm, with a repeat at 8 pm, the Rio di Cannaregio becomes a stage for water and air

The Venice Carnival’s schedule is packed with events. 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 heart of the party beats lively in Piazza San Marco, the crossroads of the most important events and initiatives. The flight of the angel on February 19 will accompany the celebrations with a rare scenographic show that will suspend Claudia Marchiori in midair, the most beautiful of the Venetian girls, the girls whom the Doge once honored with doge jewels.

Among cicheti, frittole and good wine, the parades of masks, which take place in the city for the whole week before the carnival, will bear witness to the varied imagination and profound mastery of Venetian tailors and craftsmen in assembling costumes and papier-mâché masks.

On one of the numerous bridges that connect the Cannaregio district, the view of the traditional ” water procession” will be exceptional. Hundreds of gondolas dressed up like allegorical floats will travel along the main canals of the lagoon city, adding further charm to the rare peculiarities of a unique city. Sunday 26 at noon eyes up towards the bell tower of San Marco: the appointment with the famous ” Svolo de l’aquila” is renewed with a well-known face of the Italian jet-set that will be revealed only a few days before the event.

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.

Venice Carnival come to the finale on February 28, when the huge “Leone di San Marco” – the lion flag that symbolises Venice – is raised to its place at the top of the bell tower of San Marco to be saluted by the Twelve Marias. Earlier in the day, you could also watch the charming Carnival of Youth of Zelarino, which sees children parade in their colourful carts to Venice’s main square.

The following was the program of the 2017 edition:

The Venetian Festival on the Water – Part 1
The Grand Opening of the Venice Carnival 2017 offers an evocative water show “The Vanity of the Abyss, The Queen of the Sea resurfaces in Venice to be reflected in the Moon”. The vanities and preciousness of the underwater world invade the Rio di Cannaregio to mix with the mysterious and colorful rite of the carnival, a centenary rite that celebrates life. The sea creatures enchant the audience with their beauty and their jealously hidden secrets. There is also an exciting tribute to the Moon, which calling to itself the millennial waters, accompanies a majestic Queen of the abyss with her court of marine creatures.

The Venetian Festival on the Water – Part 2
The celebration of Venetian rowing pays homage to the Venice carnival with its traditional colorful procession that parades from Punta della Dogana to the Rio di Cannaregio, which cheerfully awaits the opening of food and wine stands with Venetian specialties. An event in collaboration with AEPE – Association of Public Exercise Operators and Coordination of Venetian Rowing Associations.

St. Mark’s square – Vanity AF-Fair
Venice, its traditions, its history, its excellence. Piazza San Marco is transformed again into a large workshop of the trades. It opens its doors to Venetian artisans who are hosted in a fairytale setting in front of the Correr Museum and between the two Napoleonic Wings to recreate the atmosphere of the Serenissima Republic.

The VANITY AF-FAIR stage, designed by the set designer Massimo Checchetto of the Gran Teatro della Fenice and commissioned by the artistic director Marco Maccapani. The spaces of the artisan shops are occupied by Francesco Briggi’s Atelier Longhi, by the masters of the Murano Artistic Glass Consortium Promovetro. And again, the artisans of the El Felze association, those of the Consorzio dei Mascareri, the Polytechnic Calzaturieri del Brenta, the weavers of Venice Textile and the Consorzio dei Tajapiera Restauratori Veneziani.

Procession of the Marys
The “Festa delle Marie” is the traditional event for the presentation of the twelve Venetian girls to the city and to the Carnival public. The procession starts from San Piero di Castello to arrive in St. Mark’s Square and is accompanied by the costumed historical groups of the CERS and the Friends of the Venice Carnival and the International Association for the Venice Carnival.

The Flight of the Angel
Welcomed in the crowded parterre by the groups of historical reenactments in costume, the Angel Maria winner of the 2016 Carnival Claudia Marchiori dissolves the tension of flight in the embrace of the Doge and the public. Il Volo dell’Angelo 2017 is in partnership with easyJet, which celebrates its multi-year presence at the Venice airport, celebrating the official opening of the event in grand style. Procession of the Doge by the CERS – European Consortium of Historical Reenactments, with the participation of the International Association for the Venice Carnival, the Friends of the Venice Carnival Association and the Historical Group “Mario’s Masks of the Venetian ‘700”.

Mestre Carnival Street Show
From 18 and 19 February and from 25 to 28 February 2017 the CARNIVAL OF VENICE celebrates art and entertainment in the streets of the city in Mestre, animating squares, streets and arcades with music and street art shows.

The Flight of the Eagle
At the end of the 12 strokes of the “marangona”, the eagle takes off from the bell tower of San Marco. To take on the role of Melissa Satta, with a dress in shades of blue, designed by Nicola Formichetti for Diesel, and made by Francesco Briggi’s Pietro Longhi atelier. To the applause of the audience, the Italian showgirl is welcomed on the stage of San Marco by the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, together with the organizers of the Carnival.

Donkey Parade and Flight
The 2017 Donkey flight in Mestre is accompanied by a colorful parade led by a cheeky Lord Asinello and his host of percussionist warriors, and then opens with the elegance of a Bridesmaid on her carriage and the fresh beauty of the twelve Marys. To close the procession seven donkeys who keep company with the characters of the parade and the children spectators.

At 12.00 the clock of the Tower marks the beginning of the particular and exciting performance of the Donkey flight, by the Second Material Company which pays homage to the tradition of this event born in 2002 from an idea of Roberto Cargnelli di Mandragola and Luciano “Fricchetti” Trevisan of Ossigeno.The show respects the tradition of making fun of the Angel’s Flight with irony and comedy, but with the ability to excite and amaze the audience both for the use of special props and for the acrobatic evolutions on the ground and in the air of the performer.

The “Svolo del Leon”
The award ceremony with the coronation of the “Mary of the Year 2017” Elisa Costantini, who reaches Piazza San Marco accompanied by 11 Marys. As usual, the highest tributes are celebrated to the Winged Lion of San Marco, the symbol of our city which, exceptionally, climbs the bell tower painted on a large scenic cloth to fly over the public in the square. A highly suggestive ritual to seal the farewell of the Carnival.

Arsenale Carnival Experience 2017 – Grand Opening
Arsenale Carnival Experience 2017 is the Molocinque musical proposal dedicated to young people. Trendy sound and animation proposed by two different stages set up in the Tese in the North Arsenal.

The Competition of the Most Beautiful Mask
“The gentleman of the woods”, a splendid and fascinating mask dedicated to nature and interpreted by Mr. Luigi di Como, wins the Most Beautiful Mask competition which ended on the square in Piazza San Marco. 40 masks parade in the grand final in front of the jury chaired by Eva Riccobono, model, actress and Italian TV presenter who was already godmother of the Venice Film Festival in 2013.

Parade of Floats in Marghera
Along the streets of the “Garden City” 12 large masked floats and as many local groups parade: as usual, the procession makes two passages in Piazza Mercato where, at the end of the parade, the participating groups are rewarded.

The Children’s Carnival in Zelarino
The Zelarino Children’s Carnival reaches its 50th edition, with many moments of fun.

Cultural Program
The Venice Carnival is a training ground for creativity and cultural production. An artistic offer spread throughout the territory, historical city and mainland, which tells through exhibitions, music and theater, Venetian excellence, its historical crafts. The cultural review of the Venice Carnival 2017 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.

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.