The 2024 Venice Carnival will take place from Saturday 27 January to Tuesday 13 February, this year's edition looks to the East and pays homage to one of its greatest travellers, Marco Polo, whose 700th anniversary from death is celebrated this year. A carnival spread throughout the city, from the islands to the mainland, which, like every year, will bring joy to all visitors. The architect of the transformation of the city into a fantastic land is Massimo Checchetto, artistic Director and set designer of the Teatro La Fenice.

To the East... Marco Polo's amazing journey is the title of the 2024 edition of the Venice Carnival, which this year celebrates the journey, the opportunity to get to know new cultures, the meeting with others, but also the intended journey in an introspective way, in search of oneself. The inner or outer journey is always the key to transformation. The streets and fields of Venice are filled with colors and surprises... starting from the water procession to the street artists, passing through the night show at the Arsenale, the Marie parade and the traditional allegorical floats. Carnival in Italy is an ancient tradition with cheerful celebrations, which in Venice are transformed into pure charm and research. To make the most of your festive days, choose the Venice Pass, will be your key to the city of Venice, a simple pass that includes all the main attractions of the city.

Venice Carnival 2024: The opening


Venice Carnival

The journey to the East changed the life and destiny of the young ambassador of Venice and the world known at the time. 700 years after the death of Marco Polo, Venice has decided to dedicate the most colorful and exciting festival in the lagoon to him, given the deep bond between Marco Polo and Venice. The theme of travel is at the center of the 2024 edition, travel in all its forms, for a very rich program extended across the entire territory.

The opening of the Venice Carnival 2024 will once again be on the water. Sunday 28 January at 11.00 with the long-awaited water procession of traditional boats, an extraordinary spectacle of decorated rowing boats conducted by rowers in costume. The procession will take place on the Grand Canal, starting from Punta della Dogana and reaching Rialto, where a colorful choreography will envelop the Rialto Bridge, to give a symbolic start to the Venice Carnival celebrations. It is important to know that on Sunday 28 January, vaporetto lines 1 and 2 will not operate the route along the Grand Canal, but an alternative route.

Venice Carnival Street Show


Venice Carnival Street Show is a journey into the phantasmagoric dimension of the circus-theater, clowns, musicians, parades, magicians and wandering storytellers that will enchant you. Suitable for audiences of all ages, ready to immerse themselves in fantastic stories, games, and wonders of all sorts. In the calle, streets and squares there will be 200 artists from the best companies on the international scene, 1000 performances will be repeated daily. The Carnival Street Show gives us the measure of the widespread Venetian Carnival.

The preview is scheduled for Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January in Mestre at the theater in Piazza Ferretto. The schedule will continue throughout the carnival period, coming into full swing on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 February and on the days of the Fat Week from Thursday 8 February to Tuesday 13 February. Both in Mestre and Venice the shows are scheduled in different time slots from 11am to 7pm, except on Shrove Thursday and Friday, when the artists will be on stage in the afternoon.

In Venice, the programming of widespread shows will be in: Piazza San Marco, Campo San Geremia, Santa Maria Formosa, San Giacomo dall'Orio, San Cassiano, Santa Margherita, Esedra Castello; while in Mestre the artists will be found not only in Piazza Ferretto, but also in Largo Difesa Julia, Piazzetta Battisti, Via Poerio and Via Palazzo. The stage in Piazza Ferretto in Mestre is twinned with the stage set up in Piazza San Marco in Venice, where the parades for the most beautiful mask and the parades of children's masks will also take place.

The widespread Carnival Street Show meets and merges with the celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon, mixing with the splendor of the East and returning to the dimension of Marco Polo's journey. You will be able to imagine Marco Polo's arrival at the court of the Great Khan in China with all his splendor. The celebrations are scheduled for Sunday 9 February in Piazza Ferretto in Mestre, with the dragon dance and the lion dance. During the Venice Carnival 2024 you will also be able to discover the true traditions and arts of ancient China. There will be parades, dances, songs, and free workshops open to the public.

Night show in the Arsenale: Terra incognita, Marco's amazing journey

Terra incognita. Marco's amazing journey is an exciting show on water, it will take place in the Darsena Grande at the Arsenale, for about thirty minutes of show. The title - Terra incognita - recalls the cartographic term in use since 1500, to indicate the lands of the globe that have not yet been explored: unknown land. The show is an imaginative story inspired by Marco Polo's Million that will emerge from the waters. The natural stage of the Darsena Grande will be enriched by a nocturnal scenography of dancing fountains, lights and videos created by the combination of art and technology.

On stage, nine performers from the French company Ilotopie will set the Venetian water ablaze with energy and creativity with their surprising stage machines. The show is enriched with the interpretation of two actors who bring Marco Polo to life: Tancredi Blu Silla will give body and movement to the story, while the actor Gaetano Ruocco Guadagno will be the narrator of the text, edited by the Venetian author and historian Alberto Toso Fei. Finally, five dancers from the oriental company The East Dance Company will accompany you to discover ancient Chinese legends with the sword dance and the dance of the four seasons. The show is scheduled for Friday 2 February in two performances scheduled for 6.30 pm and 9.00 pm.

The 12 Marys at the Venice Carnival

The traditional Festa delle Marie recalls the homage that the Doge brought annually to twelve beautiful and humble Venetian girls, generously endowing them with dogal jewels for the wedding dowry. Every year, contestants from the metropolitan city of Venice are selected, aged between 18 and 28, and on Saturday 3 February the 12 lucky Maries will be presented to the public.

The 12 Maries will parade in traditional Venetian costumes, aboard gondolas along the Grand Canal until they reach Piazza San Marco, where they will be presented to the public. This represents a unique moment to admire the extraordinary Venetian clothes and see the repetition of this ancient tradition that blends history, charm and refinement, all Venetian qualities. The proclamation of the winning Mary will take place on Tuesday 13 February, and will be presented in Piazza San Marco.

The parade of allegorical floats


Carnival allegorical floats

For the Venice Carnival 2024, dozens of allegorical floats are planned with hundreds of participants who will parade throughout the metropolitan area of Venice. In Pellestrina on 8 February, at the Lido of Venice on 9 February, on the island of Burano on 10 and 11 February; in the city of Dese on 28 January, in Chirignago on 4 February, in Marghera on 10 February, in Campalto on 11 February, in Mestre on 12 February and in Zelarino on 13 February. Colorful and fantastic floats inspired by the Venetian hero, accompanied by musical bands, flag-wavers, and majorettes, among colorful streamers, music and pancakes will begin your discovery of      and all the journeys you want to take through your imagination.

Venice Carnival 2024: summary and tips


To enjoy your experience to the fullest we recommend you go equipped, but light, to travel comfortably and at ease. An easy solution for getting around Venice is the Venice Pass, the key to enter the best sites and museums for free, without restrictions through the Venice transport network. And if you want to know how to go to the Venice Carnival, in this article you will have all the useful information and you won't be able to get lost. Now a small handbook on everything you need to know for the Venice Carnival 2024:

  1. Official opening: Sunday 28 January at 11.00 water procession of traditional boats on the Grand Canal, from Punta della Dogana to Rialto
  2. Carnival street shaw, Shows in Venice will be: 27-28 January, 3-4 February, 8-13 February; opening hours: from 11:00 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 18:00 (with the exception of Thursday 8th and Friday 9th only in the afternoon). Shows in Mestre will be: 27-28 January, 3-4 February, 8-13 February; opening hours: from 11.30 to 12.00 and from 15.30 to 18.30 (with the exception of Thursday 8th and Friday 9th only in the afternoon).
  3. Night show in the Arsenale, Terra incognita, Marco's amazing journey, Friday 2 February at 6.30pm and 9.00pm
  4.  The 12 Maries at the Venice Carnival 2024 on Saturday 3 February, gondola parade on the Grand Canal. Tuesday 13 February announcement of the winner in Piazza San Marco.
  5. Parades of allegorical floats: in Pellestrina on 8 February, at the Lido of Venice on 9 February, on the island of Burano on 10 and 11 February; in the city of Dese on 28 January, in Chirignago on 4 February, in Marghera on 10 February, in Campalto on 11 February, in Mestre on 12 February and in Zelarino on 13 February

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the cheerful madness of the extraordinary Venice Carnival 2024!