Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

VENICE CARNIVAL HISTORY

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The Carnival in Venice is said to have originated from an important victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima" - how it was known the city of VENEZIA in those times - in the war against Ulrich II von Treven, Patriarch of Aquileia, in the year 1162.

Ulrich II had to pay - to be freed with his soldiers, about 700 men - one bull and twelve pigs, and had to promise (which he certainly did) to do this every year, for the Giovedì Grasso feasting in Venice.

As a consequence, to celebrate this big victory, dances and reunions started to take place in the San Marco Square.

Of course, how it was usual in those times, and due to the multicultural character of the city of Venice, magicians and other peculiar characters joined the fun.
Some for business, some for fun only.

We should not forget that at the time, Venice was a rather powerful republic, center of much traveling inside the Italian Peninsula, and on the road to China.

In the beginning the Carnival celebrations started the day after Christmas and ended with the big feast of the Fat Thursday.

This tradition went on for several centuries until the XVIII century came, and in those times Carnival started the first week of October, always being a rejoicing in music, culture, rich garments and a growing middle class.

The Carnival in Venice was outlawed entirely in 1797 by Francis II Emperor of Austria with the fall of the Repubblica della Serenissima.

It has been revived in 1979, and received an extra punch in researching its traditions by Bruno Tosi in 1999, and this is more the Carnival we know, to which we can relate more.

Etching by Giuseppe Gatteri: Patriarch Ulrich's ransom payment in a bull and twelve pigs arrives in Venice - 19th century
Giuseppe Gatteri:
"Ulrich II's ransom payment of one bull and twelve pigs arrives in Venice"
engraving by Antonio Viviani - Storia Veneta (1852)

Etching by Giuseppe Gatteri: Patriarch Ulrich's ransom payment in a bull and twelve pigs arrives in Venice - 19th century
Giuseppe Bernasconi:
"May 12, 1797: last moments of the Republic of Venice, with riots repression"
engraving by Antonio Viviani - Storia Veneta (1852)

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