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Festivals & Events in Venice, Italy
Carnival - takes place before Lent each winter, finishing on Shrove Tuesday. Events include pageants, commedia dell'arte, concerts and masked balls. Many people wear fancy dress for the duration of the festivities.
Su e zo per i ponti - (second Sunday in March) - A marathon running race around the streets of Venice, with the contestants running up and down the bridges, as the name suggests.
La Sensa: Marriage to the Sea - (first Sunday after Ascension) -
This is an annual ceremony which reaffirms the "marriage" of Venice and the Adriatic. The mayor travels with his party by boat to the Lido, and drops a gold ring into the sea before attending a service at the San Nicolò church.
Venice Film Festival - (August) - is second only in importance to the Cannes festival. Take any water bus to the Lido to catch the action, or book into the Excelsior Hotel and mingle with the stars!
Regata di Burano - (third Sunday in September) - This regatta concludes the season's rowing events and is known as the "rematch of the Historical Regatta". The competitions are held in front of the island. On land, the regatta can be seen from the fondamenta where polenta, fish and wine are sold.
Venice marathon - (second Sunday in October) - A marathon along the Riva del Brenta, finishing in front of the Salute Church.
Venice City Break Guide
Published in Telegraph Travel Feb. 25, 2011
Written by: Ann Hanley
Why Go?Visitors pile into the fragile centro storico of Venice – and there are days when tourists outnumber locals by two to one – but the city never loses its capacity to enchant. Late spring and early summer bring some of the most daunting crowds, but there's a reason why they come: the sheer loveliness of this exquisite city bathed in clear light and warmth. It's important to remember that, even at peak visitor times, you are never more than a bridge and an alley away from a more secluded city, full of secret campos, handsome Gothic palazzos and neighbourhood wine bars.
As summer draws on, the place gets quieter: maybe the thought of clouds or mosquitoes and odorous canals deters visitors in August. It shouldn't: Venice shimmering in its summer haze like the most 'impressionist' work by Tintoretto is a sight to behold...the heat, humidity and some slightly pungent backwaters are a small price to pay.
In any season, Venice's churches and museums offer antique glories aplenty, but there is also a vibrant contemporary art scene, even away from the Art Biennale.
TIP: Get a gondola ride for 50 cents by taking one of the large traghetto (ferry) gondolas with two oarsmen that cross the Grand Canal at strategic points. It’s de rigueur to do the crossing standing up, as the locals do.