Visiting Venice in February

Venice Carnival, Carnival di Venezia in St. Marks Square, Italy
Bridget Davey / Getty Images

If you're planning a trip to Venice, Italy in February, there's no shortage of special events, Valentine's Day celebrations, and local happenings in the city. In fact, one of the biggest events of the Venice calendar, Carnevale, usually takes place in February.

Although Venice is still quite cool around this time of year, and Venice in March is significantly better for tourism, February Carnevale and Valentine's Day traditions offer visitors a wide variety of special events and happenings to experience on their vacation to the Italian city.

Read on and discover more about these two huge holiday celebrations in the city and plan your vacation to Italy with the peace of mind that there will certainly be something to do while you relax and enjoy the Venice sights, sounds, and merriment in February.

Carnevale and Lent

As early as February 3, Carnevale and the beginning of Lent come to Venice, sinking the city into a cacophony of celebrations. Carnevale is one of Venice's biggest traditions and thus one of Venice's busiest times for tourism.

Travelers from all around the world crowd into Venice for Italy's most famous Carnival celebrations, which include masquerade balls, parades on both land and in the canals, food fairs, children's carnivals, and numerous other activities.

Events start several weeks before the actual date of Carnevale (Shrove Tuesday). Learn more about upcoming dates for Carnevale and how Carnevale is celebrated in Venice by reading some of our guides on the subject—Carnevale 2018 is set to begin February 8th, but no official declaration has been made for 2018's celebration so festivities could begin even earlier.

Festa di San Valentino: Valentine's Day

Only in recent years has Italy begun to celebrate the feast day of Saint Valentine with hearts, love letters, and romantic candlelight dinners like Americans have done for years, and some museums also offer two-for-one admissions for couples on Valentine's Day.

Venice's many restaurants, chocolate and flower shops, high-end bars, and gorgeous views provide a plethora of romantic date opportunities for you and your significant other on your trip to the city. Be sure to check out The Anchor and Chocolatier Blue for the highlights of Venice's romantic meals.

Celebrate by going for a gondola ride and kissing under the famous Bridge of Sights or splurging for a drink at an outside table in Saint Mark's Square in the evening. For more Venice romantic inspiration, check out this Romantic Venice photo gallery from our guide to honeymoons and romantic travel.