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Venice Carnival 2019

Venice – Piazza San Marco opens tomorrow, Saturday 23 February, its large stage dedicated to a space mission to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the lunar landing. The stage was designed by the set designer of the Fenice Massimo Checchetto and with its opening you enter the heart of the Carnival of Venice 2019, after the traditional prologue of 16 and 17 February with the Venetian Water Festival in Rio di Cannaregio.

The 12 Marie, chosen last Friday from 86 candidates at Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, will be the protagonists of tomorrow’s opening day, which will be full of events. The young Venetians will wear the traditional costumes made by the Pietro Longhi atelier in the usual procession that will start from San Pietro di Castello at 15.00, and that, after stopping at the Exedra in Via Garibaldi as a tribute to the Carneval de Casteo, will go along Riva degli Schiavoni until arriving on the stage of St. Mark’s Square around 16.00.  The 12 Maries, carried on the shoulders along the way by young people, sitting on sedans, will be welcomed by Prince Maurice on stage, presented one by one to the public of St. Mark’s Square.

The event recalls in a modern key the kidnapping and liberation of twelve promising brides at the time of Doge Pietro Candiano III (1039). At the beginning of the 9th century, on February 2nd of each year, the day of Mary’s purification, the twelve most beautiful girls of the people chosen to represent the city gathered together with their betrothed promises in the church of S. Pietro di Castello, to receive their wedding blessing.

Bruno Tosi, a well-known director and cultural operator, who died in 2012, relaunched in Venice after centuries of neglect, this wonderful tradition that today is carried on by the tireless “mother” of all Marie Maria Grazia Bortolato.
The festival is also a unique moment to admire the costumes of the Venetian tradition. A procession accompanied by about 450 people from the historical groups in costume of the C.E.R.S. and the associations Friends of the Carnival of Venice and International Association for the Carnival of Venice.  To compose it: Accademia Cangrande della Scala di Bovolone, Flag-wavers Alfieri della Regina di Piovene Rocchette, Este Medievale, Cavalieri del Drago, Schola Tamburi Storici di Conegliano, Compagnia Città del Grifo di Arzignano, Serenisimo Tribunal de l’Inquisithion di Venezia, Palio Arcella, Corporazione Artigiani Medievali, Associazione Giano, Compagnia di S. Vitale, Historical Group of Servigliano, Brotherhood of the Lion, Academia Sodalitas Ecelinorum of San Zenone degli Ezzelini, Flag-wavers The Wandering, Knights of the Ancient Tower of Padua, Commenda Maladense, Brotherhood of the Lion of Brescia and others from Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland.

Guest of Honour: The Princes of the Carnival of Bonn. This year, also from Germany, a delegation of students from the Goethe University of Frankfurt, in historical costume, will also participate. The coordination is by the president of Cers Massimo Andreoli.

For the first time, thanks to the initiative promoted by the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba and the Tourist Affairs Office of the Embassy of Cuba in Italy, a show with which Cuba will be protagonist in Venice in the official events “Mestre Carnival Street Show” and “Carnival of Venice in St. Mark’s Square”. On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th the two stages will come alive with “Authentic Cuba: Much more!”, original music, dance and choreography will tell with joy and culture the beauty of one of the most beautiful countries in the world, which boasts a very strong bond with Italy and a strong carnival tradition. The Cuban atmosphere will continue throughout the weekend also around the city with live performances and public involvement.


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