Springtime mardi gras events before the Lent period are a cause for celebration around the globe. Countries like Brazil, Spain and Italy are especially known for their Carnival parties and events. One of the best places in Italy to experience “Carnavale” is Venice, known for its fantastic traditional masquerades along the scenic canals. Book low fares for cheap tickets to Venice today and plan your Venetian Carnavale experience.
Venice opens its Carnavale season about 40 days before Fat Tuesday, or Martedi Grasso, the day before Ash Wednesday. There are parties and celebrations almost every night during this time, so make sure you get plenty of sleep before flights to Venice. As in many parts of the world, costumes are a major part of Carnavale, but in Venice there is special emphasis on elaborate masks. Many of these fancy masks, or maschera, are covered with gesso or gold-leaf and traditional ones are hand painted and decorated with feathers or gemstones. The best are made with a base of leather or glass. Bauta, the main type of masks made and worn during Carnavale, traditionally covered the entire face and had no mouth, but nowadays you can find ones that just cover the upper part of the face for convenience. There are world-famous mask parades in St. Mark’s Square and there is even an intense competition for the best masks, judged by international fashion designers in the last week of Carnavale. Masks for Carnavale, made famous in the United States by the film Eyes Wide Shut, have been an important part of this time of year for over 500 years. The early Venetian mask makers, or mascherari, had their own guilds and were highly respected members of society. Although Venice is a romantic cheap plane tickets destination any time of year, it can be especially lovely to visit during Carnavale when there are gondola parades along the Grand Canal.
An estimated 30,000 visitors daily are in Venice for Carnavale, many coming to the city on cheap plane flights from around the world. The 2012 Carnavale will be held in the weeks leading up to February 21. If you’ll be bringing your kids to see Carnavale in Venice, there is even a Carnavale for Children in the Cannaregio district. Bring your own masks and costumes on your flights to Venice to join in the fun. The grand finale of Carnavale is marked by a fireworks show in St. Mark’s Square, but you’ll be able to see the fireworks from almost anywhere in Venice. Take advantage of cheap plane fares and book cheap flights to Venice as early as you can to make sure you’ll be spending Carnavale in beautiful Venice.