The year begins with a celebration of New Year's Day on the Lido beach.
Carnival - ten days leading up to Shrove Tuesday
Carnival takes place before Lent each winter, finishing on Shrove Tuesday. Events
include pageants, concerts and masked balls. Many people wear fancy dress for
the duration of the festivities.
Su e zo i ponti - second Sunday in March
A marathon running race around the "calli" of Venice
St Mark's Day - 25 April
Feast in honour of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. Men give women a long-stemmed
red rose called "Bòcolo" (rose bud)). A gondola race takes
place in Bacino San Marco.
A festival and regatta, held in the lagoon.
La Sensa: Marriage to the Sea - first Sunday after Ascension
This is an annual ceremony which reaffirms the "marriage" of Venice
and the sea The mayor travels with his party by boat to the Lido, and drops
a gold ring into the sea before attending a service at the San Nicolò
church. Anyone who manages to dive in and retrieve the ring may keep it, and
is free from all state taxes for the following year.
Vogalonga - first Sunday after Ascension
An international rowing race over a 32km course, from Bacino San Marco to Burano
Biennale - June to October
The Biennale is a modern-art exposition featuring painters, sculptors, and performance
artists from around the world, which takes place in odd-numbered years. Most
events are located in the Giardini Pubblici and at the nearby Corderie dell'Arsenale.
Festa del Redentore - third Sunday in July
Religious ceremonies are held every year in the Redentore church on the Giudecca
to commemorate the end of the plague of 1577. Visitors can reach the church
by crossing the Giudecca Canal over a pontoon bridge specially built for the
weekend. Decorated boats fill the lagoon to watch the spectacular firework display
on the previous evening. A huge feast of traditional Venetian dishes is held
along the Giudecca waterfront, followed by dancing on the Lido. On the Sunday
a regatta is held in the Giudecca Canal.
Regata di Pellestrina - first Sunday in August
This is held for the popular feast of the the Virgin of the Apparition. The
regatta is held on the lagoon side of the island.
This takes place end August-beginning September, and is second only in importance
to the Cannes festival.
Regata Storica - first Sunday in September
A procession of decorated craft leaded by the famous "Bucintoro"
along the Grand Canal is followed by a race for city gondoliers and other
Regata di Burano - third Sunday in September
This regatta concludes the season's rowing events and is known as the "rematch
of the Historical Regatta". The competitions are held in front of the
island. On land, the regatta can be seen from the fondamenta where the ACTV
waterbuses stop. Take lines 42 or 52 to Fondamenta Nuove, then line 12 to
St. Martin's Day - 11 November
Venetian children run through the city, banging pots and pans with wooden spoons.
It is traditional to reward the children by giving them a few coins. Special
cakes depicting St Martin are baked in celebration. F
Festa della Salute - 21 November
On November 21st each year, city workers lay a pontoon bridge over the Grand
Canal from the San Marco district to the Salute church. Citizens walk across
the bridge to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for delivering them from a plague
in the 16th century.