Venice Carnival Photography Workshops 2020 by Marco Secchi

Carnival in Venice

This year the Venice Carnival will begin on Saturday, 8 February and end Tuesday, 25 February.

The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest. This congregation of masked people, called Venice Carnival, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century! During those years one of the first laws made by the Serenissima was that masks cannot be used around the city at night. Later, Venice Carnival attracted foreigners - including princes - from all over Europe, who came to enjoy the wild festivities while spending fortunes.

2012 Venice Carnival Atmosphere

2012 Venice Carnival Atmosphere

During the ten days of Carnival leading up to Mardi Gras, Venice is a hive of activity and entertainment, from improvised street entertainment to performances put on by the organizers. A central idea is chosen each year that is taken from various cultural or show-biz themes. Saint Mark’s Square remains the heart of Carnival, with its huge stage, although other events take place throughout the city, helping to avoid an excessive build-up of people in pedestrianized Venice.

During this period we will offer a Carnival Photo Walks where during the first hours we will take pictures of the Masks and Costumes in St Mark’s Square and then we will head after a coffee break for the Venice Tour. 4h Tour Price is €400 Max 3 people or 2 adults + 2 Teens  – Extra persons MAX 2  € 70 per person.

Spring in Venice by Marco Secchi

Spring in Venice has the scent of the first warm rays of sunshine on the bottom, aperitifs enjoyed in the field and the color of mimosa trees that sprout from unsuspected hidden gardens, between a church and a palace of the sixteenth century.

These are the most difficult things to tell when talking about Venice. The beauty of this island is unquestionable: its most famous attractions, the famous foreshortenings, Piazza San Marco and the gondolas between the canals are well impressed in our minds. But Venice is much more than the sum of its individual wonders, and to miss it when you take a vacation right here is a real shame.


Let yourself be guided by instinct, relax and try to recognize the essence of this particular city. Take the details, dwell on the architecture of less known buildings (many buildings, even non-noble ones, are more than five hundred years old and are still regularly inhabited by Venetians); take advantage of the spring sun rays to stop and contemplate the tranquility of a secluded little square, of an unknown canal, without the anxiety of having to visit all the most famous attractions; plan your itinerary and feel free to modify it at every step without warning, giving up without worries instagrammatissime attractions to accidentally discover lesser-known little pearls in the sestieri less traveled.

Spring blooms will awaken your attention to the many secret gardens of Venice that you can enjoy even just through a fleeting glance through gates and railings. Observe the rising and falling tides, adapt to its rhythm and identify yourself with the "breath of Venice", in its millennial balance between sea and surface.

One thing is certain, you will not regret it.

Christmas and Festive Season in Venice by Marco Secchi

What can you do if you are visiting Venice during Christmas time?

 VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 08:  Three gondoliers chat near a Christmas decorated Rialto Bridge on December 8, 2011 in Venice, Italy.

First of all, you can have a quiet walk in a less crowded city, with a magical mist and Christmas lights on the houses and on the canals. In St. Mark square you will find the Christmas Tree, and you can walk under the porticos of the Procuratie, where the ceilings are decorated with luminous rows that recall a cascade of snowflakes.In Calle XXIII Marzo, the street of the luxury shops, you can make shopping under luminaries that create a unique atmosphere with the ancient palaces.

Soak up the festive atmosphere by strolling through the streets and lingering in squares or churches to listen to choirs singing and the church bells ringing. On Christmas Day itself, the bells ring out all day from St Mark's Bell Tower.

If your walk has left you chilly warm up with a hot chocolate in Caffè Florian on St Mark's Square.

Do you want to buy some typical food or some artisanal gift?

Take advantage of the Christmas Market in Strada Nova and Accademia area, maybe drinking a glass of Vin Brulè (typical winter hot wine) to warm up a little.

In Campo San Polo there is the ice skating rink, fun for adults and children.Are you classical music lovers?

If the answer is yes, the Venice Christmas season offers a variety of concerts. Many Venetian churches for Christmas o organize evening shows: from traditional Christmas songs to more modern tunes performed by international singers, in short, shows for all tastes.And you cannot miss the Santa Claus Run on 16th of December, starting from Campo San Giacometto, close to Rialto Bridge.

Venetians have their main Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve or “La Vigilia”. Families traditionally tuck into a fish dinner of several courses before heading to midnight mass. If you want to join them, services at St Mark's Basilica start at 11:30 p.m. and are conducted in English, French and German as well as Italian.

20 Great Things to do in Venice 5/20 - Fireworks by Marco Secchi

Watch the New Year's Eve Fireworks from S GiorgioThis tip is still warm...I just discovered it yesterday. Instead of watching the New Year's Eve fireworks in St Mark's Square where yesterday evening there were more than 70,000 people why not watch them from S Giorgio with beautifully lit St Mark's and Palazzo Ducale? VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 31:   Fireworks display are seen in St. Mark's Square from S Giorgio during New Year's Eve street party on December 31, 2011 in Venice, Italy.  Official figures say that around seventy thousand people gathered in St. Mark Square for this year's street celebrations. (Marco Secchi)


Santo Stefano Celebration in Venice by Marco Secchi

VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 26:  Rowers dressed in XVI century costumes escort a live nativity scene, whilst ferrying them in a gondola from St Mark's to the Island of S Giorgio on December 26, 2011 in Venice, Italy.  The event is in its first year wants and to replicate an ancient tradition when the Doge of Venice used to go to the Island of S Giorgio to celebrate the relics of Santo Stefano on Boxing Day. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)Gondoliers dressed in 16th century costumes ferry people performing a Nativity scene from St Mark's to the Island of San Giorgio.

The event, in its first year, replicates the ancient tradition when the Doge of Venice used to travel to the Island of San Giorgio on Boxing Day to celebrate the relics of Santo Stefano.

Christmas Holidays by Marco Secchi

NOALE, ITALY - DECEMBER 18:  Participants dressed as Father Christmas take part in the Noale Sant Run on December 18, 2011 in Noale, Italy. Close to two thousand people participated in the third annual Noale Santa Run, one of the largest non competitive Santa Run in Italy. (Marco Secchi)NOALE, ITALY - DECEMBER 18: Participants dressed as Father Christmas take part in the Noale Sant Run on December 18, 2011 in Noale, Italy. Close to two thousand people participated in the third annual Noale Santa Run, one of the largest non competitive Santa Run in Italy.

Can a Muslim say happy Christmas to his friends? As a Muslim I get asked this question all the time during this period . Often I get even told off by some good doer Mullah acting for the Islamic Police!  As I have done for so many years now, once again, I extend these wishes from around the globe, to you all Merry Christmas to my Christian friends and Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends

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Large Cruise Ships in Venice by Marco Secchi

UPDATE 12/1/2012A new protest has been called for the 14th January at 3:30 pm details are here but will be from Le Zattere near the waterbus stop!

VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 18:  A protester holds  a flare in front of a banner as they protest against large cruise ships in St Mark's basin on December 18, 2011 in Venice, Italy. Venetians and Environmentalists are opposed to cruise ships, which plough through the shallow Venetian lagoon, damaging the fragile buildings and canal banks. (Marco Secchi)

This evening saw a protest in St Mark's Basin against the super Cruises. In the picture a protester holds a flare while on the banner is written "BIG CRUISES YOU KILL ME"

Giorgio Orsoni Mayor of Venice few days ago said cruise ships could be transferred to Porto Marghera, on the mainland, in order to minimise their environmental and aesthetic impact on Venice.

Environmentalists and heritage groups have long pointed out that as cruise ships plough through the shallow Venetian lagoon, their powerful wake and undertow damages the fragile canal banks, wooden piles and mud banks on which the city rests.

There has been a huge increase in the number of cruise ships visiting 'La Serenissima', as Venice is known, from 200 in 2000 to 510 in 2007.

Last year 1.6 million tourists arrived in Venice by cruise ship, a more than fourfold increase since 1997.

Venice's cruise ship terminal was the 10th busiest in Europe but is now the fourth most popular.