Coming Up Soon in 2016, Venice’s Festival of Masks

The Yuletide season is delightful, but one of Europe’s most special celebrations of all comes soon afterward in Venice, during the pre-Lenten Carnival season, this year January 23 to February 8.

La Serenissima’s unparalleled Carnevale is like a magical mystery tour back to the 17th century amid the cool, misty plazas, lanes, and canals of one of the world’s most atmospheric and romantic cities. Its special character and elegant masks originated when the aristocrats of the day wanted to mix with common Venetians celebrating Carnival but without being recognised, with the epicentre of the action being of course the inimitable Piazza di San Marco.

So while spring and fall are in many ways the most delightful times of year to experience Venice, it’s well worth braving the chill of winter (and this being Italy’s Mediterranean coast, “chill” is quite relative) to experience one of the most enchanting street parties in Europe. Brilliant photo ops galore – or buy your own mask and costume and make like a Venetian aristo!

So do give it a thought, but don’t wait too long! Flights to Venice understandably tend to sell out early on those dates. Are you ready?

Photo | Stefan Insam