The Game, Love & Folly: Venice Carnival 2020, events from 20 to 25 February

The Game, Love & Folly: this is the title chosen for the Carnival of Venice 2020. A title that lets you perfectly imagine what will be the themes of the long Venetian kermesse, which will start on Saturday, February 8, to end as tradition on Shrove Tuesday, February 25.

So love will be the common thread of all the events in the program, unique and totalizing, in its highest declination, but which stands as the perfect needle in the balance between the game and madness: love is definitely also madness, but it is above all game, because you can't love without doing madness and you can't love without having fun!

The program is packed with 150 events, and 50 appointments divided between concerts, parties, dances, exhibitions, theater pieces, workshops for children and adults.

Venice is ready to welcome you to celebrate together in Carnival. Get ready to experience great emotions!

Ballad of the masks with the cut of the bull's head

Thursday 20 at the Peschiera di Rialto in the San Polo district you will be able to attend the 4th edition of the Ballad of the Masks in the company of the Bull, whose head will be cut, in memory of the attempted insurrection of 12 feudal lords suffocated in blood. By the “Compagnia L’Arte dei Mascareri” Association, it is recommended to participate masked at the event to attend and be completely immersed in the traveling show that will start from Campo San Giacometto to Piazza San Marco, with a great final show.

Thursday 20 February, Pescheria di Rialto, from 15:00 to 17:30

Free event

Escape from the Piombi - The Ghosts of Goldoni and Casanova in Venice

A poetic and dramatic show about the very ancient bond between Giacomo Casanova and Carlo Goldoni and how the latter helped him to escape from the Piombi, an ancient prison located in the attic of the Doge's Palace in Venice. A theatrical and musical performance that will animate the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, home of the Swiss Consulate in Venice, and which will make you discover a long and tenacious friendship, in a double date.

Thursday 20 February, Palazzo Trevisan, Campo S. Agnese 810

  • From 18:00 to 19:30
  • From 21:00 to 22:30

Free event while seats last

A Story of an Invincible Love

On Friday 21 February in Piazza San Marco you will be able to watch the double show that recalls the clash between the Nicolotti and the Castellani, two factions that competed for power on the islands of the Lagoon which, with the concession of the Serenissima Republic, faced dangerous challenges on the bridges of the city with sticks and bare hands: it is in this ferocious atmosphere that two lovers belonging to the two opposing factions will have to choose whether to follow their heart or their honor. What will they choose?

Friday 21 February, San Marco Square

  • from 15:00 to 15:30
  • from 17:00 to 17:30

Free event

“Vogio cantar e star alegramente”

An unmissable concert of Venetian popular songs with mimed performances, which will animate the situations described by the voices that will perform at the Ateneo Veneto in Campo San Fantin. A traditional show, strong and lively with the voices of Monica Giori, Erika Tosato, Verdiana Bacchin, Stefano Patron and Nina Pesce. Admission is free while seats last.

Friday 21 February, Ateneo Veneto, Campo Fantin 1897, San Marco

  • from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Free event while seats last

The ballad of unhappy loves

Luca Scarlini and Francesca Benetti will face the theme of unhappy loves through an elegant theatrical show, retracing some of the most famous events of literature and news. Accompanied by a background of theorbo and romantic guitar, the place of sweet and catastrophic performance will be the Grassi Theater, at the Palazzo Grassi.

Friday February 21,Teatrino Grassi, Campo San Samuele 3231

  • from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Free event while places last

Carnevale as a Maker at Vega with Fablab Venice

Five educational activities aimed at children aged 6 to 12 who will face activities related to programming and the development of logical thinking, discovering machines and mechanisms related to digital manufacturing, electricity and lighting, the FabLab of Marghera.  The number of participants is limited, as well as subsequent afternoon activities, and the purchase of the chosen laboratory requires a cost of € 5,00 as registration fee.

Saturday 22 February, FabLab Venice at VEGA, Via della Libertà 12, Marghera

  • from 9:30 to 11:30

For the participation there is a registration through the online platform of the complex: if you are interested click here

The Eagle flight

On Sunday 23 February in Piazza San Marco you cannot absolutely miss the traditional Eagle Flight 2020. Each year the long-awaited protagonist is chosen by the Artistic Director of the Venice Carnival and will be revealed at the departure of the feast days of the Serenissima. The event will be preceded by “Waiting for the Carnival Eagle” with costumed parades and historical dances by the C.E.R.S. - European Consortium for Historical Re-enactments. To attend the show, it is recommended to arrive early and areas of greater crowding are not recommended for those with reduced motor skills or for those who use prams or strollers. One-way streets or other changes to pedestrian traffic may be established. At the end of the parade it is advisable to leave to offer other spectators the opportunity to attend the next show.

Sunday 23 February, St. Mark's Square

  • from 12:00 to 13:00.

Free event


A free workshop reserved for children aged 4 to 10 who are offered the opportunity to create masks of African, Oceanic and Meso-American origin such as those present in the exhibition “Migrating Objects” at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and which requires a compulsory reservation at least one week before the established day, by calling the official number of the museum.

Sunday February 23, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Dorsoduro 704

  • from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Free event

Paper love and love cards

A documentary journey of love affairs through ancient documents of the Serenissima kept in the Venetian State Archive: an unmissable exhibition, perfectly in line with this year's Carnival theme!

From 18th to 25th February, State Archives, Campo dei Frari, San Polo

  • from 10:00 to 13:00

Free event

Passions, vices and virtues... yesterday as today

Shrove Tuesday participate at the Ateneo Veneto in the journey among the most famous comedies of Goldoni characterized by a superb mix of cunning, cunning, romance and fun with a happy ending. Admission is free while seats last.

Tuesday February 25th, Ateneo Veneto, Campo Fantini1897

  • from 4:00 p.m.

Free event

The Svolo del Leon

The Winged Lion of St. Mark is the symbol of the city of Venice and this is why the Venice Carnival officially ends with the Flight of the Lion, the banner of Venicethat will float above the spectators waiting for the show. Nestled in the hands of the twelve Venetian maidens, Le Marie, will be slowly let fly towards the Bell Tower: a suggestive show to say goodbye to the Carnival!

Tuesday 25th February, Saint Mark's Square

  • from 17:00 to 18:00

Free event

The Festa delle Marie 2020 – Award Ceremony

The Carnival of Venice cannot end without the election of the most beautiful Mary!

After the voting, the winning Mary will arrive in St. Mark's Square after having participated in the water parade from San Giacomo dell'Orio, where the Doge will crown her in front of the crowd. She will fly from the Bell Tower, in the guise of the Angel, to start the Carnival 2021.

Tuesday 25th February, Piazza San Marco

  • from 4:00 p.m.

Free event

This is just our selection of the unmissable events of this 2020 Carnival. For the complete program, refer to the official website, here

For Carnival events in the surroundings of Venice, click here

For the events of the Carnival of Mestre, click here

PLEASE NOTE: All the events foresee a large influx of spectators in spaces with a rather small capacity of containment, and for a short time. We recommend, to all those who want to participate in the events, the places concerned well in advance, so as to settle in an orderly manner, without creating inconvenience. And with the same order it is recommended to flow.

For the handicapped or those with reduced mobility, it is not recommended to reach the most crowded areas. Please note that on this occasion, the municipality may, for safety reasons, set up one-way streets or other changes to pedestrian traffic.

Remember that when you take part in the Venice Carnival you are guests of the city and its citizens who live it every day: it is essential never to forget, during your stay, that to show respect for Venice and Venetians is fundamental! Do not forget that, while you are in the city to have fun, very often Venetians live their daily life made of work and personal commitments: so, try not to be in the way, collaborating with the organization of the Municipality. Leave the city clean, as you will find it when you arrive: you will have a better memory of it!

We also inform you that this year the Venice Carnival is green and plastic free: plastic lanyards and streamers are strictly forbidden throughout the Municipality of Venice.

Venice welcomes you, take care of it!

Happy Carnival to all ;-)