Venice Carnival 2022, Part 1

I spent a week in Venice in February 2022, in the lead up to Mardi Gras which this year takes place on March 1st. I found it quite laid back and relaxed and not too busy for carnival time; it reminded me of my experience as a student in Venice decades ago where my friends and I strolled around the city in fancy dress. There were no special parties or events that we attended, though there were specific experiences exclusive to Carnevale, such as the eating of frittelle all zabaione, delicious mini doughnuts with a marsala-laden custard centre only available in this period. This traditional seasonal treat is still going strong:

Covid-19 coexisting with Carnevale:

There are signs everywhere that we are still in pandemic times. Below, a social distancing sign is strewn with carnival confetti known as coriandoli:

A Venetian ice cream shop’s ‘fake news’ headline made me laugh:

Whilst I was visiting Venice there was strict enforcement of surgical mask wearing on all transport, including the outdoor decks of the water boats and inside all shops and venues.. These had to be the FFP2 masks and not the lightweight blue paper surgical masks I was used to wearing. Below, a woman wears her carnival mask as a headdress while she adjusts her surgical mask:

Masked tourists visiting the island of Burano, wearing FFP2 masks:

Below, an outdoor table with carnival mask and hand sanitiser:

Negotiating a double mask on the vaporetto water boat:

More double masking in a department store:

Token Homages to Carnival:

I think one of my favourite aspects of this years carnival for me was just seeing people paying homage by adding a bit of glamour or humour to their everyday look, usually with either a decorative mask, ornamental headdress or hat:

Kids at Carnevale:

Carnevale attracts all ages. It is of course family friendly; I’ve called the picture below The Young Pope:

A toddler in an almost empty square:

Leopard parents:

Brothers in Piazza San Marco:

A carnival mask placed on a sleeping baby’s pram:

Venice is also dog-friendly:

Outdoor dining on the Zattere:


Even exercise during this period celebrates the carnival spirit – here are some rowers on the Grand Canal:

A Mask on my Way:

One morning walking around the Dorsoduro area, I came across this seasonal still life – a golden mask decorated with musical notes, placed on an external window sill:

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