Martedi Grasso – Fat Tuesday in Venice

Carnival Costumes and Gondolas


Fat Tuesday in Venice, and “Ogni scherzo vale” (Every trick/prank is ok) is the saying for today. Think of the U.S. holidays Halloween and April Fools Day put together and that is Martedi Grasso in Venice. The entire city is on holiday and celebrating in each person’s own way. Pastel-colored confetti carpets the streets and groups dressed in theme-coordinated costumes sing as they march down the calle in Venice. I’ve seen leprechans, a deck of cards, tellytubbies, and many Disney-themed costumes especially Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.


Carnival Stage in St. Marks Square Carnevale Stage in St. Mark’s Square

Carnival pranks in St Marks Square
Spraying and Being Sprayed with Shaving Cream

Coffee in Costume in Venice
Coffee in Costume in St. Mark’s Square

Tellytubby Costumes for Carnival in Venice
Teens as Tellytubbies

Venice Carnival Costumes
The more fancy costumes in the Square

Costumes of Carnival in Venice




St. Mark’s Square is party central with both young and old dressed and having fun. Several of the youngsters’ pranks were quite harmless, only a little confetti thrown around, and some spraying of silly string and shaving cream. I’ve only been doused with a few handfuls of confetti. I was expecting worse. Actually, the kids who were spraying the shaving cream were very careful to get it only on each other.


Besides St. Mark’s Square, Campo San Polo had its own festivities for the day and previous weekend with an ice skating rink set up and vendors from many other regions in Italy selling their food. My lunch consisted of a porchetta sandwich from Tuscany, olives and mozzarella from Puglia and almond paste cookies from Sicily.


Ice Skating rink in Campo San Polo Venice
Ice Skating in Costume in Campo San Polo

Porchetta from Tuscany
Porchetta from Tuscany

Sausage from Piedmont Italy
Sausage from Piedmont

Cheese from Piedmont Italy
Cheese from Piedmont

Pugliese Food Stand
Food from Puglia

Tonight Carnevale and Martedi Grasso festivities will end with a candlelit parade along the Grand Canal at midnight. I’ll have photos from that parade (hoping they come out) later tomorrow.



  1. Andrew
    March 8th

    I did Carnevale a number of years ago in Venice. It was awesome, but judging by your pictures you had far better weather than I.
    My set from 2004.
    It was foggy and cold, but that just added to the mystique, so I don’t complain. I loved the couples walking around in masks.

  2. Jozee
    March 8th

    I am happy that you are having so much fun at Carnevale and meeting up with your friend Monica.
    I wish that my refrigerator was filled with all of that wonderful food.

  3. Italian Notes
    March 8th

    Great atmosphere and photos – and nice to see tarelli and other specialties of Puglia at the Venice Martedi Grasso.

  4. Tuula
    March 11th

    Ohh, you’re killing me with these posts! Wish we were there :)
    We will definitely have to make our way to carnival – the photos are simply gorgeous. I can’t believe how elegant those costumes are…seem to be out of a movie, lovely!

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