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9 feasts, festivals and more not to be missed in Venice

From historical regattas to flamboyant parades, parties and feasts, world-class fireworks and festivals organised by La Biennale di Venezia, Venice is like no other city. Mark your calendar and be part of the magical experience that only Venice can offer in 2019.

1. Venice Carnival 2019 - 16 Feb - 5 March

The much anticipated Carnival is the city’s oldest and most exuberant. Often described as one of the greatest celebrations on earth, the two-week festivity thrills you with endless parades of ornate Venetian masks, elaborate costumes, concerts, markets and street performances. While the opulent masquerade balls are an essence of the Carnival, the entire city transforms into a magical destination of fun and entertainment for everyone.

2. Su e Zo per i Ponti di Venezia – 7 April

“Up and Down the Bridges” walk is an event that sees thousands of people walk around the Venice alleys in the name of solidarity. Join in and be entertained by public performances, and celebrate friendship and togetherness in Venice.

3. Biennale Art 2019 – 11 May - 24 Nov

The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, highlights a general approach to making art and a view of art’s social function. Curated by Ralph Rugoff, the exhibition will focus on the work of artists who challenge existing habits of thought, draw attention to things that may be off-limits, under-the-radar, or otherwise inaccessible and question cultural boundaries. Come immerse yourself in an expansive experience of the deep involvement, absorption and creative learning that art makes possible. 

4. 13th International Festival of Contemporary Dance – 21 June - 30 June

Directed by Marie Chouinard, it showcases several daily events including three projects (Dancers’ project, Choreographers’ project, and a selection of Professional Dancers) by the Biennale College of Dance.

5. Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) 20 – 21 July

This event was once a purely religious feast but has evolved to include a party and regatta, culminating in one of the most impressive firework displays in the world. The festivities last a weekend and participation is the best way to experience this historical party.

6. 47th International Theatre Festival – 22 July - 5 Aug

Featuring a rich programme of shows and encounters, the Festival is directed by the renowned Antonio Latella, an actor, director and playwright. His work as a director brought his productions to important theatres and international festivals from Avignon to Salzburg.

7. Historical Regatta – 1 Sept

The excitement never ends. This is an annual historical procession ("Corteo Storico") where gondoliers in period costumes sail in magnificent 16th-century boats down the Grand Canal. Join the revelry with thousands of people watching from the banks and soak in the joyful atmosphere.

8. 76th Venice International Film Festival – 28 Aug - 7 Sept

The oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" film festivals, it aims to raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue.

9. 63rd International Festival of Contemporary Music – 27 Sept - 6 Oct

This year’s festival is directed by Ivan Fedele, a composer whose opus currently counts over 175 works and includes compositions of every kind: orchestral pieces, works for the theatre, electro-acoustic and chamber music.

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