Where to Stay in Venice for the Carnival of Venice

Spread over a two-week period, usually in February or beginning of March (The 2023 Venice Carnival will be held from 4 February 2023 to 21 February 2023), the annual festival invites locals and tourists alike to completely immerse themselves in the history and culture of the Floating City. From masquerades and parades to public shows and costume contests, the whole city wakes up to new magic.

Festa Veneziana

The first day of the Venice Carnival starts with a big bang with the Festa Veneziana. As the crowd tends to get big, we always recommend that guests start the day early so they can grab the best spot to watch the show. The annual water parade starts as a flock of colorful gondolas sails on the Grand Canal towards Rio di Cannaregio. They carry Venetians who are all dressed up in traditional garbs and their iconic masks. A cacophony of festive Italian music and the cheers of the excited spectators add to the joyful atmosphere that engulfs everyone.

Festa Delle Marie

An ancient tradition that has its roots in the 9th century, Festa Delle Marie recreates the magic of a traditional beauty contest that features 12 beautiful women, who are presented to the Doge of Venice. A Doge, or highest leader of the city was in place from the 8th to the 18th century.

The parade starts from San Pietro di Castello and the 12 women, all dressed in some of the finest Venetian gowns, are carried by palanquin bearers to St Mark’s Square where they are officially presented to the public. This event is repeated for 10 days, giving everyone a chance to attend.

Flight of the Angel

The Flight of the Angel is an age-old tradition that honored the Doge of Venice, the winner of the previous year’s Festa Delle Marie is dressed as an angel with wings clipped to her back and will jump from St. Mark’s Basilica’s clock tower, attached to a zipline, and will fly 100 meters down to embrace the Doge.

The crowd, dressed in her most extravagant costume, cheers as the Angel leaps from the tower and descends towards the stage. The event is marked with impressive set pieces and musical fanfares to transport the visitors to the ancient period of Serenissima

The Flight of the Angel will not be held in 2023 due to the ongoing construction works at St Mark’s Square.

The Best Mask Contest

One of the last and most grandiose events of the Carnival is undoubtedly the Best Mask Contest. Indeed, one of the –if not the- most iconic aspects of the festival is the mask. The contest is a tradition that goes back to the very beginning of the Carnival, the mask was a way for all participants to shed off their public status and image, and savor the bliss of anonymity for a while. Today still, artisans such as Marilisa Dal Cason, mask maker (L’Arlecchino, in the San Polo area), and Francesco Briggi, costume designer (Atelier Pietro Longhi, Noale) keep alive the traditions that have always defined the Carnival’s most iconic imageries.

The Best Mask Contest is open to anyone. Guests must only fill a form and then show up to St Mark’s Square in the fanciful costumes and intricate masks for the show. From traditional Venetian mask to more fantastical iterations, each year the competition gets more exciting, and the spectacle more memorable.

Where to check-in for the Carnival?

When it comes to luxury hotels, Venice is at the top of the list. This stunning Italian city is home to a variety of opulent accommodations that cater to those seeking the pinnacle of sophistication and style. From five-star resorts along the Grand Canal to elegant bed and breakfasts tucked away in narrow alleyways, travelers are sure to find their perfect stay in this timeless city during the world famous Venetian Carnival.

The Aman Venice, at the heart of Venice

The Aman Venice is situated on the Grand Canal, in the heart of Venice. The Regata Storica, a rowing event of 16th-century style boats, genuinely takes place on its doorstep, when the Doge’s Ball, in the Palazzo Pisano Moretta, is two canals away. Regarding La Festa Veneziana, organized on the Rio di Cannaregio, it is only 20 minutes away by foot.

Sitting within the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli and decorated by iconic Jean-Michel Gathy, the palace juxtaposes Renaissance interiors and contemporary elements across the 24 rooms and common areas. Staying at the Aman Venice is like stepping into a time capsule. The experience becomes even more special, during the Venice Carnival when the surrounding areas boasts the effervescence of the city and its people.

Elsewhere, The Aman Venice’s culinary offering is one of the finest in the city. With menus designed by Chef Norbert Niederkofler, Arva offers authentic Venetian recipes with fresh produce that are seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced. Meanwhile, the third-floor mezzanine offers a comprehensive spa experience which is perfect after a whole day of festivities in the city.

The Aman Venice

Address: Calle Tiepolo 1364, Venice

Transfer: 20 minutes from Venice Marco Polo Airport

Opening period: All year


The Gritti Palace and The St Regis Venice, close to St Mark’s Square

The Gritti Palace and The St Regis Venice are ideally situated a few streets from St Mark’s Square (less than a 10-minute walk) and offer beautiful views on the Canal. Staying there during the Carnival, guests can enjoy the rowing events on the canal and can easily go to St Mark’s Square to see La Festa delle Marie, the Flight of the Angel and the Best Mask Contest.

The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Hotel Collection

A 15th century Palazzo that retains its historic style, The Gritti Palace offers an exceptional view over the Grand Canal and the Santa Maria della Salute, one of the most important churches in Venice.

The Gritti Palace invites guests to step into interiors that sport an elegant Venetian style décor reminiscent of the golden age, with period-style furniture and precious paintings and antiques. Across its conservative 82 rooms and suites, guests are treated to a Renaissance-style décor along with the comforts of the 21st century. Whether it is in the entry level guestrooms or the signature suites, however, views of the surrounding beauty of Venice are abundant.

The Gritti Palace Terrace and the Club del Doge Restaurant offer two distinct experiences of Venice, one treating guests to stunning interiors while the other amazes them with breathtaking views of the Grand Canal. Both, however, pay homage to the city’s rich culinary heritage.

The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Hotel Collection

Address: Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 2467, Venice

Transfer: 25 minutes from Venice Marco Polo Airport

Opening period: All year


The St Regis Venice

The St Regis Venice sits across the Grand Canal from the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and San Giorgio Maggiore. A stark contrast to the previous addresses, The St Regis Venice fully embraced the aesthetics and comfort of the modern age.

Across its 130 rooms and suites, discover a midcentury décor with rich materials and a soft, neutral palette that is innately relaxing.

The one aspect in which the hotel joins its peers is its love of the arts, with a resident artist program that ensures that its walls always boast a fantastic collection of art pieces and paintings from ancient masters to more contemporary names.

On the culinary front, the hotel is home to Gio’s Restaurant & Terrace with a menu that is a modern journey of Venetian and Italian dishes. While The St Regis Bar is perfectly fine for a delightful evening drink, the Arts Bar is the place to go for something a little more atmospheric, with its selection of art-inspired cocktails.

The St Regis Venice

Address: San Marco 2159, Venice

Transfer: 25 minutes from Venice Marco Polo Airport

Opening period: All year


Book a Luxury Stay for the Venice Carnival

Want to make the most of the Carnival of Venice? Take a look at our hand-picked hotels in Venice or get in touch with our team for assistance with a booking!

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