Between February 19 and March 8, Venice will come alive with Carnival fever. Performances, parades along the canals, masked and costumed revellers dancing in city squares, concerts, poetry recitals, art exhibitions, cinema screenings, workshops for children, burlesque-inspired dinners and shows, and late-night openings at museums and churches are just some of the things marking the 2011 Venice carnival.
With the theme Ottocento-Da Senso a Sissi-La città delle donne, Venice's 2011 massive pre-Lent party, which runs non-stop from February 28, is dedicated to the unification of Italy and the culture of the 1800s, as well as to Women's Day, which this year falls on Mardi Gras.
One of the most extraordinary features of this year's carnival is the wine fountain in San Marco, which is dispensing (for a fee) some of the Veneto region's best wines during aperitivo hour. Angelo Lodi, head scenographer at Milan's La Scala, designed the fountain, which will be flowing throughout the festivities.
Elsewhere around town, burlesque-inspired dinners and shows at the Casinò di Venezia are sure to attract. With events and activities for children and families and an extensive roster of cultural events, there is something for all ages and tastes.
Artistic director of this year's carnival and president of the Triennale di Milano, Davide Rampello said at the press conference, ‘In just three months we were able to truly organize a different carnival; the strength of this edition is its focus on involving the entire city. Venice is open to the world, thanks to the involvement of all of the city's cultural institutions, which together, give a sense of unity both to the city and to tourists.'
For information on ticket prices and a full calendar of events, see www.carnevale.venezia.it.