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Venice Carnival 2024: A Spectacular Farewell on Shrove Tuesday [PHOTO]

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Photo: Venice Carnival 2024: A Spectacular Farewell on Shrove Tuesday. Source: visit-venice-italy.com
Photo: Venice Carnival 2024: A Spectacular Farewell on Shrove Tuesday. Source: visit-venice-italy.com

Today is the last 10th day of the sensational Venice Carnival. This year, it is dedicated to the great Venetian traveller Marco Polo and is called "Eastward, the Amazing Journey of Marco Polo" in honour of the 700th anniversary of the explorer's death, according to the official website of the City Council of Venice.

Charming at every time of the year, Venice increases its charm during the Carnival period: ten days a year, during which this unique city on the water becomes a huge time machine that takes everyone back to the eighteenth century.

The 2024 Venice Carnival began with a colourful parade of boats on the canal. The water parade featured about 600 rowers dressed in period costumes. They raised their oars as a sign of salute. This is a gesture traditionally used by rowers at the Venice Regatta to show respect.  At the same time, the rowers shouted, "We are all Marco Polo". 

Hundreds of luxuriously decorated boats sailed through the Grand Canal from St Mark's Square to the Rialto Bridge. The costumes of the regatta participants also paid tribute to the famous traveller Marco Polo, who was born in Venice in 1254 and died there in 1324. Marco Polo spent a quarter of a century travelling around Asia and wrote his stories about the Silk Road and the Mongol court in his memoirs.

On the weekend evening, at the end of the festival, hundreds of masks took to the stage in Piazza San Marco: costumes that embodied a triumph of creativity and fun that left the audience speechless, disguised characters of all ages and nationalities showing off to be admired by the audience.

The Venice Carnival chose the most beautiful masks from among them. Three of the costumes won awards: the Crown, the Red Queen costume, won the award for the most complex mask; 

the Olè costume won the sceptre for the most imaginative;

the costume called "700 times by Marco" won the prize for the mask that is most closely related to the theme of this year's Carnival 2024.


The Venice Carnival takes place from February to March and lasts about 10–15 days. The duration and exact dates vary from year to year and depend on the date of Easter. The most important days, on which the most famous events take place and which therefore attract the most people, are usually the first Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the weekend before closing and Shrove Tuesday (closing day). 


On the last day of the carnival, Tuesday, 13 February, the "Le Città in festa" schedule offers the final fun events. This will include the grand finale of Malcontenti, Carnival 2024 with children, theatre and more, and a mask parade through the streets of the city.

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