Venice, the city of canals, is a popular destination any time of year. However, February offers a unique opportunity to experience the city in a different light. The crowds are smaller, the weather is cooler, and the city takes on a romantic and mysterious atmosphere. Here are some ideas for what to do in Venice in February.
Carnival of Venice
One of the most famous events in Venice is the Carnival, held in February. The Carnival is a time where locals and tourists alike dress up in elaborate costumes and masks, and the city becomes a giant party. The Carnival lasts for two weeks, with events happening all over the city, including street performances, masquerade balls, and parades. The most famous event during the Carnival is the Flight of the Angel, where a woman dressed in white descends from the Campanile bell tower to St. Mark’s Square.
Costumes and Masks
If you want to participate in the Carnival, you will need an elaborate costume and mask. You can rent costumes and masks from various shops around the city, or you can purchase them from local artisans. The costumes and masks can be expensive, but they are worth the investment for the unforgettable experience.
Parades and Performances
The Carnival parades are a must-see event, with elaborate floats, music, and dancing. The parades usually take place in the evenings, and the best spots to watch are along the Grand Canal or in St. Mark’s Square. The street performances are also a highlight of the Carnival, with acrobats, jugglers, and musicians entertaining the crowds.
Venice is known for its seafood, and February is the perfect time to indulge in some of the city’s culinary delights. The colder weather means that hearty dishes such as risotto and polenta are on the menu, and the local restaurants offer seasonal dishes such as baccalà mantecato (creamed cod) and fegato alla veneziana (Venetian-style liver).
One of the best ways to experience Venetian cuisine is through cicchetti, which are small plates of food similar to Spanish tapas. The local bars and restaurants offer a wide variety of cicchetti, including seafood, meat, and vegetarian options. Cicchetti are perfect for a quick snack or a light meal, and they are a great way to experience the local flavors.
Museums and Art Galleries
Venice is home to some of the world’s most famous museums and art galleries, and February is the perfect time to explore them without the crowds. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a must-visit for modern art lovers, while the Accademia Gallery houses some of the most famous Renaissance paintings in the world. The Doge’s Palace is also a must-see, with its stunning architecture and rich history.
If you want to escape the crowds and discover some hidden gems, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path museums to explore. The Museum of the History of Medicine is a fascinating look into the medical practices of the past, while the Palazzo Fortuny is a beautiful museum of textiles and art. The Ca’ Rezzonico Museum of 18th-Century Venice offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Venetian aristocracy.
In conclusion, Venice in February offers a unique and unforgettable experience. From the Carnival to the cuisine to the museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So grab your mask and join the party in one of the world’s most romantic cities.