Social Media Widget

Venice thrives on tourism and this city is always celebrating with a non-stop calendar of events and festivals taking place both on land as well as on the water no matter what time of year you visit. Here are our picks for events and festivals worth timing your holiday for.   

February/March: Carnival

Venice’s most popular festival celebrated each year, starting 40 days prior to Easter as the beginning of Lent. Elaborate costumes and traditional ornate masks are worn as the city comes to life with colour, music and revelry for 10 days in San Marco. 

May/June: Volgalonga

On a Sunday in late May/early June, thousands take to the main canals for an open day on the water. It’s a crowded, colourful and chaotic free-for-all protest against the damage motorboats do to the environment. All participating vessels must be a rowing craft only. 

May–November: Art Biennale

Art lovers flock to the Venice Biennale every two years (on odd numbered years) to experience one of the art world’s longest running and most prominent international contemporary art exhibitions. Curated shows and individual exhibitions take over the city typically from May until November. 

May–November: Architecture Biennale

The equally popular architecture counterpart to the Art Biennale, this event takes place at the same time of year but on opposite (even numbered) years. Officially it’s held in the Arsenale, the former military dockyard, but pop-up exhibitions also take place around the city.

June/July: Venezia Suona

Live music fills the city each year around late June/early July for Venezia Suona, which translates into ‘Venice plays’. Enjoy hundreds of performers playing every genre of music imaginable and filling mostly the outdoor squares or ‘campos’ around the city from 4pm until late. 

June/July/August: Arena di Campo San Polo

During Summer, San Polo square is transformed into an enormous open air cinema where you can enjoy typical Hollywood blockbusters (subtitled) and local food vendors. It’s also a screening venue for the Venice Film Festival. Over Winter, an festive ice skating rink takes its place. 

July: Festa del Redentore

Each year Venetians celebrate the construction of the church on the Giudecca to mark the end of the plague in 1576. On the third Saturday in July a pontoon is built across the canal for celebrations and fireworks before Sunday’s religious pilgrimage to the church. 

August/September: Venice International Film Festival

Each year international celebrities and the cinema industry convene for the oldest film festival in the world. Held in late August or early September on the island of Lido, films are mostly screened in the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi and nearby venues. 

September: Regata Storica

Along the Grand Canal on the first Sunday of September locals dressed in 16th century costume row a procession of heavily decorated boats for a variety of regattas for beginners, female rowers and the main event featuring two-man teams of rowers with their racing gondolini.

October: Venice Marathon

In October, runners convene the town of Stra and follow either the full marathon or 10k run along the Brenta Canal to the finish line on the riva Sette Martiri. Another half marathon and 10k run also take place under the moonlight each May.