9 Popular Festivals In Venice, Italy

festivals in venice
| 5 min read

Venice is an island that once was home to terrified men fleeing invasions of the nearby Italian mainland. It became a lavish and culturally driven country and built its great walls in honor of its past and with hope and prayers for its future. Now, it features beautiful attractions and excellent accommodations, such as boutique hotels and vacation rentals. Venice has survived plagues, wars, and feuds amongst its people. In retrospect, their luxurious festivals are held to celebrate every winning milestone. They don’t only happen once a year, instead the nation has several eye-catching celebrations all year round. There many more festivals than we can include on this list, yet these are some of the must-see festivals to really say you have been to Venice. Check our list of the most popular festivals in Venice, Italy.

1. Festa della Salute - November

Santa Maria della Salute
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Luca Aless used under CC BY-SA 4.0

More of a religious event, locals fervently celebrate the intercession of the Virgin Mary to heaven during the Festa della Salute. Venice’s atmosphere changes in an instant on this day, as devotees solemnly cross a bridge to the Salute Church to give their prayers to the Mother Mary.

Tons of people flood the streets in hopes that their faith, devotion, and prayers be heard by the Virgin Mother. During attendance, you will witness the crowd’s sincerity and hope painted upon their faces. This festival is one of the must-sees in the city because Venice’s history is rooted in its strong bond with its religion and beliefs.

Festa della Salute

Address: Basilica della Madonna della Salute

Website: Festa della Salute

Takes place: November 21

Price: Free

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2. La Sensa - May

Bacino di San Marco in Venice
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Moonik used under CC BY-SA 3.0

During this festival, people gather to witness the regattas and rowboats on the Bacino di San Marco and Lido, facing Sant'Elena. The main attraction here is the replica of the Bucintoro, a grand double-decker vessel wherein the Doge, embodied by the City Mayor, boards and throws a golden ring into the lagoon to symbolize his marriage to the sea.

A message of respect and in honor of the relationship between man and sea, this is done annually to give thanksgiving and prayer for another year of safety on land and sea. The event attracts a crowd, mostly because of the grandeur of the festival itself.

La Sensa

Website: La Sensa

Takes place: May

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3. Carnevale - February

Carnevale Acireale Sicily Italy 36
Source: Photo by user Carnaval.com Studios used under CC BY 2.0

Imagine walking through a Disney-like movie but in real life. During the annual carnevale – St. Mark’s square is filled with amusing masked faces. A seemingly out of this world fantasyland, this festival began in the 13th century and, up to this day, people still dress up to celebrate their colorful and unique culture. On this day, St. Mark’s Square is crowded beyond measure and a mix of scary and artsy masks is the preference of the participants.


Takes place: Usually held in February

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4. Regata Storica - September

Bissona Praga + Rialto
Source: Photo by user Vopok used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Regata Storica, the main event of the Voga alla Veneta, has been celebrated for many generations. A rowing race across the Venetian lagoon held on the first Sunday of September, it starts off at Giardini, where local gondoliers and rowers prepare their colorful and creatively designed gondolas.

This race takes a day and most locals are present. Most believe that their attendance brings prosperity to the sea, which then is happy for its citizen’s gratitude and honor.

Regata Storica

Takes place: September

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Venice Tour Guide


[De Tour]Ist

Born and raised in Venice, I ventured far and wide, getting 'germanised' in Bochum and Göttingen, absorbing the post-Olympic vibrance in Turin, getting drunk in the worst bars in Moscow, tracing the historic Silk Road in Central Asia, indulging in Berlin's pulsating club scene, and engaging in the corporate world as a manager in the construction equipment industry across Africa and the Middle East. Back in Venice since 2018, I'm currently pursuing a second degree in Art History, sharing the city's rich heritage with a passion. With over 1000 full-star reviews, my aim is to ensure every visitor experiences the enchanting magic and timeless charm of Venice. Today, I am a tour guide in Venice and I'm excited to share my profound love for this city, commitment to sustainable tourism, and insider tips as a local guide. Let me unveil hidden gems and guide you through unique experiences that leave an indelible mark!

Tours by [detour]ist

5. Su e Zo per I Ponti - April

Canal Grande and Ponte di Rialto, Venice - September 2017
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Martin Falbisoner used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Su e Zo per I Ponti literally translates to “up and down the bridges” and it’s an annual walk in celebration of solidarity. Men and women, young and old walk across Venice in a 12-km (7.4-mile) route that starts at St. Mark’s Square and back, crossing 45 bridges. There’s a shorter route of 6.5 km (4 miles), starting at the Santa Lucia Railway Station and finishing at St. Mark’s Square, crossing 23 bridges. The event is filled with joy and enthusiasm from participants and locals alike.

Su e Zo per I Ponti

Takes place: April

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6. The Vogalonga

Venise à l'heure de la Vogalonga 2019
Source: Photo by user Jean-Pierre Dalbéra used under CC BY 2.0

During the Vogalonga, power rowers come together for a 30-km (18.6-mile) long race across a stretch of the lagoon. Boats fill the island of Sant'Elena and the docks nearby just for this timely occasion. Gondolas stay at bay and make space for the half-day festivity, which is one of the most sought out events for rowers year-round.

Unlike the Regata Storica, most who attend this festival are from other nations, only traveling to Venice for this occasion. It is one of the busiest times of the year in Venice.

The Vogalonga

Takes place: Usually held between May and June

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7. Festa del Redentore - July

Tutto ciò che c'è da sapere sulla Festa del Redentore a Venezia
Source: Photo by user Viaggio Routard used under CC BY 2.0

The Festa del Redentore is a celebration that marks the end of a terrible plague in 1577. It is held on the night before the third Sunday in July. The view from the Riva Degli Schiavoni will leave you speechless, as you’ll see the best fireworks of the year. Festive lights on the boats also brighten the night sky, making everything like a beautiful dream. The fireworks reflect on the calm, clear water of the lagoon and the cheers of the people will make you feel joy and sheer bliss.

Festa del Redentore

Takes place: The night before the third Sunday in July

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8. Art Night Venezia - June

Venice library museum
Source: Photo by user Alexandra Karlsson used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Organized by the Ca’ Foscari University, hand in hand with the Municipality of Venice since 2011, Art Night Venezia is brought to life by cultural activities and artistic events. During this festival, institutions, foundations, galleries, art museums, and bookstores open their doors to the public for a whole night, allowing visitors to have longer access to the amenities and additional extravagance of the night.

This event aims to educate tourists and locals about art, which is highly influenced by the city’s past. As well, it aims to allow locals to never forget where they came from. During the activities, Venetians mostly focus on historical plays and, as the night turns to dawn, celebratory parties at local pubs and hotels. This festival is a must-see and a must-experience night – you should really skip out on sleep at least once at this time of year.

Art Night Venezia

Takes place: Usually held in June

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9. Veneto Jazz - June & July

Gegé Telesforo at Venice Jazz Festival
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user stefie66 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Veneto Jazz was first founded in Italy in 1988 and has been the leading association for music and the arts in the country. This association aims to produce and organize prestigious music events internationally. Some of the activities that the association has organized include contemporary and jazz music events, workshops for musicians, conferences, and art exhibitions.

This festival aims to provide a platform for talented artists to showcase their skills and talents, which may, in turn, open new doors of opportunities for them. Every year, Veneto Jazz hosts a music festival attended by renowned artists worldwide that usually takes place in the heart of Venice. So, if you are someone who loves music and the arts, or maybe someone who’s looking for inspiration or a platform to show your talent to the world, you have to attend this amazing festival in June and July.

Veneto Jazz

Takes place: June and July

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Celebrate the festivals of Venice

Venice has a rich history, filled with tales of being knocked off its feet and then rising up again with all its might and glory. Venice’s festivals are one of the ways citizens celebrate their wins and faith and they bring in a great number of tourists who aid the city’s economic growth. All in all, Venice is the place to go to experience absolute bliss and witness color-filled celebrations year-round.

Don’t leave Venice without trying their delicious traditional food or joining some of the fun boat tours.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Charmaine is a Filipino food and travel blogger who is in constant search for new adventures and experiences. Travelling around the world has given her a wider perspective about life and a deeper...Read more

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