What's On In Venice – Events Guide 2016 & 2017
Venice is full of fun-loving Venetians who like being out and about in their city. They know what to do and where to go in every season of the year. It's a city of festivals; in fact, some of the biggest in the world — Venice Film Festival, the Biennale, and of course,the Venice Carnival.
Other stellar events include plenty of regattas that fill the Grand Canal, as well as religious festivals that combine blessings & fireworks with plenty of good Venetian food. We've created this seasonal guide of the best fun events in Venice in 2016 & 2017. Better yet, to discover what's on when you're there (and the best things to do), be sure to check our updated monthly guides, using these links —
Read Our Monthly Guides to Activities & Events in Venice
Springtime in Venice
March Events in Venice
- FESTA DELLA DONNA – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
In Italy and throughout Europe, Women's Day is a big event and a chance to treat your mother, sister, daughter, aunt or wife with special care & attention. In Venice, the day starts with a procession on the Grand Canal. Women in decorated boats gather at San Marcuola and set off to the church of the Madonna, Santa Maria della Salute.
• Wednesday, March 8, 2017
What's On in April
- PASQUETTA – EASTER IN VENICE
As you can imagine Easter in Venice is a big deal. Basilicas and churches will be filled with Venetians celebrating the most holy of their holidays. The cold winter weather is fading so expect warm, spring days on your Easter vacation in Venice.
• Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday
• April 14, 16, 17, 2017
- FESTA DELLA LIBERATIONE & FESTA DI SAN MARCO
It's a double whammy of Italian Liberation Day plus the Feast of St Mark! April 25 marks the end of German-Fascist control during World War II. It's also a religious holiday to honour the patron saint of Venice. The day is filled with music, dancing, concerts, and the Regata di Traghetti, a boat race for gondoliers who compete while transporting passengers along the Grand Canal.
• Tuesday, April 25, 2017
May Events in Venice
- VOGALONGA REGATTA – ROWBOAT RACE
Since 1975, row boats have gathered to race the in the fun non-competitive regatta. Boats sail along a 20-mile course past the islands of Vignole, Sant'Erasmo and San Francesco del Deserto. The course continues to the Cannaregio Canal, the Grand Canal, and on to Punta della Dogana in front of St Mark's Basilica.
• Mid-May, 2017
- LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
Since 1893, the Biennale has celebrated the arts, architecture, cinema, dance, music, and theatre. Despite the name, the multi-arts festival happens every year, beginning in May.
• May to October
Summer in Venice
What's On in June
- VENETO JAZZ – VENICE JAZZ FESTIVAL
A fantastic program of international stars and new jazz talents. Performances are at the best, the most iconic locations in Venice — churches, piazzas, and even the gardens of the Peggy Guggenheim museum.
• 2017 Date TBA
July Events in Venice
- FESTA DEL REDENTORE – FEAST OF THE REDEEMER
It's the oldest celebration in Venice and it's one of the most popular events of the year. A temporary bridge is built across the canal so pilgrims can cross to Giudecca Island and the Il Redentore church to be blessed. A giant party is held the night before where boats gather in the lagoon for a fireworks celebration.
• Third weekend in July, 2017
What's On in August
- FERRAGOSTO, FESTA DELL'ASSUNTA – ASSUMPTION DAY
This religious holiday marks the beginning of summer holidays in Italy. If you've wondered what Venice would be like without the Venetians, this is the time to visit. Locals head to the beach and practically everything in the city shuts down.
• August 15, 2017
Autumn in Venice
September Events in Venice
- VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
It's the oldest film festival in the world and one of the Big Three, along with Cannes and Berlin. The 11-day event is part of the annual Venice Biennale arts festival. Most of the fun takes place at the Hotel des Bains, the Excelsior Hotel, and the historic Palazzo del Cinema.
• August 31 to September 10, 2016
- REGATA STORICA – HISTORICAL REGATTA
This is the biggest boating event in Venice, dating back to the 13th century. What makes it so unique is that no motorized boats are allowed in the lagoon during the fun all-things-boat day.
• September 4, 2016
What's On in October
- SAGRA DEL MOSTO
Spend a day in the country on the isle of Sant'Erasmo (the agricultural hub of Venice in the northern Venetian lagoon). The festival celebrates the first pressing of the new wine.
• First Weekend in October
- OCTOBER MARATONA – VENICE MARATHON
The course is flat and fast and it starts in a small town west of Venice called Stra. Runners go past Piazza San Marco, cross fourteen bridges, and sprint towards the Grand Canal to the finish line at Riva Sette Martiri, between the Piazza San Marco and the public garden. Held The fourth Sunday in October
• October 23, 2016
November Events in Venice
- FESTA DELLA SALUTE – FEAST OF SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE
When a devastating plague ended in 1630, leaving one in three Venetians dead, the Doge commissioned a church to thank the Madonna. The Church of Madonna della Salute — good health — was finished in 1687. On this Venetian feast day a temporary bridge is installed across the Grand Canal for a procession led by the patriarch (the archbishop of Venice).
• Monday, November 21, 2016
Winter in Venice
What's On in December
- CHRISTMAS IN VENICE
You must try to spend a Christmas in Venice. Sure, it's cold, but if you dress warmly you will be richly rewarded with a magical holiday. Imagine seeing the gondolas decorated with holiday lights! Like other Italian cities, Venice will have a tiny outdoor skating rink, Christmas markets, and seasonal menus. Christmas Eve attracts Venetians to the Basilica San Marco. Christmas officially starts on December 8 with the L'Immacolata and ends on January 6, Epiphany.
• Sunday, December 25, 2016
January Events in Venice
- BEFANA – EPIPHANY
A national holiday, Epiphany is the twelfth and final day of Christmas. It's a day Italian children look forward to; It's when La Befana, the good witch, delivers chocolate, candy, and treats. There's also the Regatta delle Befane where men dress like the witch Befana and race in the Grand Canal.
• Friday, January 6, 2017
What's On in February
The world's most famous annual mask & costume party returns in February, with exclusive parties and balls, street revelries and costume competitions.
• February 11 to 28, 2017
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