Re-launched two decades ago, the Carnival was immediately regarded both in Italy and abroad as an event not to be missed
Venice Carnival is steeped in history, charm and tradition: its inhabitants and tourists alike have taken a keen interest in it, thanks to its mix of transgression, art, history and culture in one of the most unique cities in the world.
The Sensa Feast-day
In previous centuries this holiday held an important role in the social and political life of Venice, which resulted in one of the most important and sumptuous celebrations, interweaving the legend, myth and history of the city.
If, historically speaking, the Sensa is the result of an overlapping of civil and religious rites and events through the ages, today we prefer to give it the meaning of festivity of the Sea and therefore of a festivity of a city which draws its raison d'être from its relationship with the sea.
The Redentore Feast-day
The Redentore is one of the Venetians' most treasured festivities, and is a tourist attraction thanks to the spectacular firework display in the evening.
It falls on the third Sunday in July, when Holy Mass is held in the presence of the Patriarch, followed by a religious procession.
But the special moment of the festivity takes place on Saturday night: with the unbeatable backdrop of Saint Mark's Basin, a play of lights and reflections produce a kaleidoscope of colours with the silhouetted spires, domes and bell towers of the city behind.
The weekend ends with a gondola regatta.
The Historical Regatta
Even now the Regata Storica is one of the most spectacular, picturesque and moving events of Venetian life, capable of both charming the tourists and exciting the locals.
A historical procession commemorates the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, in 1489 after she renounced her throne in favour of Venice. It is a procession of 16th century style boats, with the famous Bucintoro, the boat representing the Serenissima, at its head.
Then comes the competition. The spectators participate with gusto and shouts of encouragement during the sporting events.
The Feast-day of the Madonna della Salute
The Feast-day of the Madonna della Salute is probably the least "touristy" of the Venetian festivities and evokes strong religious feelings among the city's inhabitants.
The holiday is, like the Redentore, in memory of another bout of pestilence, which lasted for two years from 1630-31, and the subsequent vow by the Doge to obtain the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
Even today, thousands of inhabitants visit the main altar of the imposing Salute Church on November 21 to give thanks, and a strong symbolic tie remains between the city and the Virgin Mary.
The Rowing Season (April - September)
Every year from April to September, in Venice and on the lagoon, there are more than 120 regattas, in addition to the famous Historical Regatta.
Many of these races are spontaneous; eleven are promoted by the Municipality of Venice in collaboration with the Rowers' Associations and the Co-ordination of the Rowing Clubs with the aim of keeping alive a sporting practice which originates from the very nature of the city. Many of these regattas coincide with traditional festivities and festivals where the race once represented an occasion of not only true popular but also institutional glory.
The Palio of the Ancient Maritime Republics
Su e zo per i ponti
San Marco (St. Marcus day): April 25th