Have A Ball In Venice!

by Sunni Chapman

Masked balls. Fried sweets. Colorful costumes. In the weeks before Fat Tuesday (martedì grasso), Venice revels in Carnevale. Dating back to the 1200s, Carnival marks the start of the Christian period of Lent – or, the 40 days that lead up to Easter. Since believers are expected to fast during Lent, avoiding meat and sweets, Carnival is a season for feasting. 

Carnival in fact comes from the Italian word carne (meat) – the very thing Venetians were not supposed to eat in Lent. Residents of Venice fill their faces then with fried treats during Carnival, which locals call frìtole. If Lent is a time for restraint, Carnival celebrates gluttony and mischief. During this time, Venetians don handmade masks.

Rich or poor, noble or servant, masks hide the wearer’s identity. For 10 straight days, Venice hosts open air festivities and masquerade balls. A mask, a costume and a call to See Italy will grant you access to Carnival’s most sumptuous soirées. At historic balls, attendees stroll – like peacocks – through candlelit palaces. Costumes are a must for all Carnival balls -- thankfully, we can help your travelers rent one in Venice!

Below you’ll find more information on Carnival’s lavish balls:

THE TIEPOLO BALL, February 23rd:

The Ballo Tiepolo, also known as The Grand Ball, takes place in the Palazzo Pisani Moretta. This 16th-century palace overlooking the Grand Canal. The Main Hall is transformed for the night into an 18th-century ballroom – lit with hundreds of candles. Dance Masters, accompanied by an orchestra, guide guests through minuets and waltzes. Opera singers entertain guests, as they dine upon a 5-course meal. After midnight, dancing continues to the rhythms of a live band.

THE DOGE BALL, February 25th:

The Ballo del Doge is considered the most exclusive event of Venice's Carnival. Held at the historic Palazzo Pisani Moretta, the ball starts at 8:30PM. After a welcome cocktail, dinner will be served throughout the palace’s centuries-old halls. Artistic performances, classical music and period dancing can be enjoyed until the early morning.


The Minuetto Ball is your last chance to experience an authentic masquerade. During and after dinner, you can learn the steps to dances from the 1700s and 1800s. A baroque ensemble will play music throughout the delectable 4-course dinner. The splendid setting for this event is Casa Pesaroa canal-facing palace that dates to the 14th century. It takes place the last night of Carnevale, on Fat Tuesday.

No matter where your travelers go in Italy, we're here to give them memories of a lifetime -- access to an Italy that, without you, they'd never experience!

Ciao, ciao!

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