One thing we’ve learned over the years is that Venice is always busy, there’s just no such thing as a quiet day in Venezia. However, if you happen to arrive in this beautiful, historic city during the weeks of the Carnival - in Italian, Carnevale - you will find the narrow walk-ways and ancient bridges even more crowded than normal. Tourists flock to this northeastern Italian region and its capital in late February and early March to witness and partake in the festivities.
Venice's annual winter-time Carnival celebrations first began in 1162, over 850 years ago, when the Republic of Venice triumphed in battle over the Patriarch of Aquileia. The good tidings spread like wildfire along Venice's network of canals, and the city's people gathered in San Marco Square to celebrate this victory. During the Renaissance era, which began in the fourteenth century, the Carnival celebrations became an official, annual event which lasted for centuries. Two weeks every year were dedicated to the festival and the end of the revelry was marked by Shrove Tuesday in the Christian calendar.
The masks traditionally worn by Venetians during the Carnival are not only beautifully ornate, but also hold much deeper meaning to many individuals. The ancient guild of mask-makers enjoyed a special status in the city and they were bound by different laws. Masks were often commissioned to represent the interests and identity of the wearer and were thus symbolically significant and very personal.
When the Venetian Republic was annexed by the Austrian Emperor, Francis II, towards the end of the eighteenth century, the festival was forbidden and the wearing of traditional Venetian masks was outlawed. According to legend, the tradition lived on in private homes where defiant Venetians would gather and celebrate in secret.
The Carnival was formally reinstated in 1979 by the Italian government as a celebration of culture and creativity. Now the streets of Venice come to life in February and March every year, with loud music and bright costumes abounding. The Carnival attracts about 3 million tourists every year, and it is a truly magnificent spectacle to behold.
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.