Venice, Typical Food & Carnevale Traditions

Venice is sometimes better understood through the eyes of the camera lens.  The elegance and romance of Venice can be captured in the simplicity of the daily Venetian life between  shadows and reflections. But in February each year Venice opens it’s canals to one of the world’s oldest traditions and most extravagant masquerades – Carnevale.



Carnevale is the Italian version of Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, and when everyone who is catholic prepares for lent, the period before Easter.  It is said to have started its large scale Carnevale celebrations back in the 1100s, with parades and masquerade parties.  Still today, thousands of tourists and locals flock to the narrow, twisted maze streets of Venice and to the large piazza of San Marco to celebrate with costumes and masks just like has been done over the past century.

During this time parades are seen throughout this mystical city on the water and all Carnival goers indulge in the Venetian cuisine and typical dishes and sweets just for Carnevale. The Venetian cuisine is unique in its simplicity and particularity. Typical dishes are:

bacala, sarde in sor, seppie in nero, aperitivo veneziano, aperol spritz. 

Traditional Carnevale recipes tend to celebrate all things that are fried, buttery, and/or filled with sugar.

See our Carnevale fried recipes guide here.

See our Carnevale dessert recipes guide here.


If you’re looking for more travel information on Venice check out the Venetian tourism site here.

If you’re interested in seeing more on Venetian Carnevale traditions and event check out this video here and an insider look on Venetian craftsmanship here.