2007 VENICE CARNIVAL
Carnival's roots delve into many traditions,
from the Latin Saturnalia celebrations to the Greek Dionysos
cults, which marked the transition from winter to spring and
which used to resort to masks and other symbolical
It was a period when all was apparently permitted, and it seemed
to represent the myth of a topsy-turvy world.
In reality Carnival was also a form of rigid control over human
pulsions, and the thrust towards excesses constituted a gracious
concession for a given duration of time.
And in Venice, which was a society governed rigidly by a chosen
few, it was necessary to give the lower classes an illusion of
becoming like the powerful, even though with a masked
countenance: social tensions were thus watered down, and
A dilated Calendar
Carnival was particularly long. It normally began on December 26
and ended on Ash Wednesday, but often permission was granted to
use masks beginning from October 1, and it was not unusual to
hold parties and banquets even well into Lent.
Also, during the Sensa (Ascension) festivity, which lasted 15
days, masks and disguises were allowed.
In brief, Carnival lasted several months, and this has certainly
contributed to the creation of the image of Venice as a city
given to enjoyment.
In this climate of amusement gaming could not be absent, and the
Ridotto at St Moisé, the public gaming house run by the State,
became one of the crucial places of Venetian Carnival.
Between 1638 (opening year) and 1774 (closing year) thousands of
masked gamesters poured a river of ducats out of their pockets
into the State coffers.
The Ridotto was open exclusively during Carnival (which however
lasted for months), and the only persons exempted from wearing
masks were croupiers, the so called barnabotti, impoverished
Carnival in the 18th century
In its last century of life, the Republic (which
capitulated with the French invasion in 1797) may only seem to
concentrate on the outer frivolous aspects of life, although
reality was much more complex.
At this time, Carnival started to become a tourist attraction
all over Europe, with its parties, plays, masks and theatres,
and public Gaming House, welcoming thousands of curious visitors
wanting to be part of such a peculiar and effervescent
atmosphere: Venice became "The magnet of Europe":
Venice Carnival 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007 - Tuesday, February 20, 2007
As every year, event organizers of ball in costume inside
historical palaces put their events inside our web site: browse
them in our calendar of events.
It will be a popular, widely spread and amusing Carnival. It
will be an event involving the whole town and its citizens, as
well as hundreds of thousands of guests.
The show offered to such a variegated multitude will be direct,
immediate and emotional. Music, ballet, theatre, circus and all
the arts dear to people's hearts, will be part of an event whose
roots delve many centuries into the past.
In 2007 it will be the Tricentenary of our writer and playwright
Carlo Goldoni, one of the most representative artists in our
Venetian literary and theatrical tradition. And more than anyone
else, he will represent the Carnival's "folklore", its
popularity, its being "everybody's event", no one excluded
The leading thread of the coming Carnival took inspiration from
an artcle in his memoirs. Goldoni and his company will travel
virtually around the world to meet artists from every country.
It will be a mosaic of arts, a masquerade, made up of so many
pieces, so many different, diversified, amusing themes.
The past edition experience has also been of service in
programming this new event.
The most appealing shows in 2006? Undoubtedly the great Goran
Bregovic and his splendid performance of the Taranta with an
overwhelming "Pizzica" in St Mark's Square
Music in the world, to make the world dance.
St Mark's Square will feature more music for dancing, pop, folk,
with international artists like Afro Celt Sound System,
Bollywood Brass Band, Roy Paci and Aretuska, as well as many
We shall also witness a battle, with no dead or casualties, the
"Marching Bands Collision". Latin-American bands will play on
the go, bumping into Scottish bagpipe players, finishing with
the extraordinary "Funk Off", the most famous Italian marching
band, back from Umbria Jazz and the celebrated Orvieto Musical
New Year's Eve.
In addition, a circus like a theatre with "Creatures" and the
"Magic of Fire" directed by Chiarenza, and dozens of Commedia
dell'Arte performances, on their typical small comedy stages,
acting out centuries-old Venetian popular theatre.
A great event, "Venezia Suona" (Venice plays), will be a guest
at Venice Carnival: dozens of musicians will perform around the
streets in Cannaregio and not only, there will also be a concert
by the Band of Venice, especially invented and created for our
city by Gianantonio De Vincenzo and his friends from "Il Suono
We shall see a grand show procession by the most important
costume atelier in Venice, Atelier Nicolao: hundreds of
extraordinary costumes, as part of a display that will transform
a woman into a rosebud...
Carnival 2007 will not only be new artists, but also new dates
and new rendez-vous.
Febuary 9 will be "Venice Day". The town will welcome guests
from the world, offering the best of its artistic expressions.
The "Maries Fête", now refreshed and updated, will play an
important part, then a grand concert from our best 18th century
music tradition, Pantalone and Harlequin to entertain the
public, ending with the Band of Venice to close a truly Venetian
The next day, 10 February, for the first time, children will be
absolute masters in St Mark's Square. A great competition and
procession for all elementary schools in Venice, stilts, clowns,
fire-eaters. A kids' only musical concert with "La mente di
Tetsuya", famed performers of cartoon soundtracks, ending with
acrobats and the magic of "Creatures".
On Sunday we shall see a yet secret new "Angel", to start with a
great week of entertainment, closing with grand firework music
over St Mark's waterfront. An exceptional godmother who will
confer the awards for the great international masked competition,
an extraordinary beauty from the East ... the name cannot yet be
But Carnival will not only be St Mark's Square. Children will
find their "Enchanted Wood" in Campo San Polo, with lots of
animation and games, only for the smallest, while youngsters may
enjoy music in Campo Bella Vienna, with the best trend groups of
the moment, and nightbirds will have the Marittima to live
through the night, and maybe, a yet secret new location at
Cannaregio will host the music by Venezia Suona, while Castello
will be alight with theatre shows and a new itinerant suggestion,
winding through the streets...
Mestre and its small revolution, finally with a distinct,
definite, metropolitan identity.
A great novelty: the date.
Mestre Carnival will start a week later, on Sunday 18 February,
when the baton borne by Carlo Goldoni will arrive over the Canal
Salso by gondola and give the go-ahead to the "Donkey's Flight",
a fun parody of the Venetian Angel!
Shrove Tuesday will be celebrated together in Venice, closing on
Sunday 25 February after three days of music and dancing in
The entire city, islands, peninsula, and mainland will be
disguised and animated by thousands of masked faces, popular
music, and dancing to experience together.
"Is Venice the Carnival ? No Sirs, pardon me : Carnival is