You are sitting with a warm cup of freshly brewed Italian coffee in front of you. Your table is one of the many dotted around the edge of the historic St Mark’s Square. Your view of the Basilica is unparalleled as the mid-winter sun glints off the wet slabs of the square.
You can see groups of masked revellers arriving in the square in time for the culmination of 2 weeks of parties, music, water processions and parades. This is part of the Festa Delle Marie and you can expect the square to be packed as 12 humble ladies, who have been taking part in festivities for the last two weeks, arrive by boat and one of them is crowned the “Maria” in the square.
The theme of the carnival this year is Wonder and Fantasy of Nature so the city will be populated with strange and mythical creatures. The idea is that the masks and costumes of the carnival goers reflect the wonder and fantasy of nature.
A grand opening show of the Venice Carnival is on the banks of the Cannaregio and as night falls the show, filled with fantastic music, fun and “fantastic creatures”, gets the crowd in the mood for partying.
Don’t miss the Best Mask Costume contests at St Mark’s Square. You will be wowed by the elaborate designs and you can even participate if you’re feeling creative.
Other amazing events include the Volo Dell’Angelo or Flight of the Angel where a brave festival goer will “fly” from the top of the San Marco bell tower on a rope to the middle of the square. And finally the Svolo del Leon, which is the celebration of the Lion of San Marco, when a flag emblazoned with the lion will rise from the ground up to the top of the bell tower.