Small head and shoulders photo of us in mask and costume

Taking part in the

Venice Carnival


About the carnival


1. Costume
2. Sightseeing
3. Who goes there?
4. Impolite people
5. Carnival themes
6. Weather
7. Carrying things
8. Where & how
9. Mutual respect
10. Have fun!

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About the carnival


The Venice Carnival (or Canevale) takes place each year, usually for 10 days between the end of January and the beginning of February, but depending on the date of Easter. Despite the cold weather, tourists from all over the world flock to see the costumed and masked characters in St. Marks Square.

Photo of us in mask and costume

About us

We are a couple: she likes to get dressed up for carnivals and festivals, and aims to visit one large-scale event every year. He initially goes along for the ride, but inevitably gets into the spirit of things and ends up enjoying it too. Neither of us are performers or street entertainers, just enthusiastic revellers who like to join in with everyone else.

After taking part in the carnival ourselves, we heard from people who had no idea it was possible, and some who just didn't know how to go about it. This web site was created to answer those questions.

We've since been to some of the lesser-known carnivals and events round the world, such as the Dead Rat Ball in Ostend, Belgium and Pirates Week in the Cayman Islands.

About these pages

We had heard about the carnival from a number of places: guidebooks, web sites, newspapers, etc. We read numerous suggestions to put on a costume and join in the festivities. However, we couldn't find practical information on how to go about it. Crucially, it seemed that many of the people writing the articles had never taken part in the carnival themselves!

Visits to web sites turned up blank, e-mails to the organisers went unanswered ("Mailbox full", apparently), and other people were asking questions on message boards without getting answers.

So we took the plunge, got dressed up, and just went for it! Thankfully, it paid off. We didn't get deported, carried off to the lunatic assylum, laughed at, or arrested. Quite the opposite in fact.

This is our account of what we learned on the way, in the hope that others will find it slightly easier than we did to get dressed up, join in, and have fun!

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