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, 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.
If you plan to be in Venice for Carnevale, make sure to reserve your hotel room as far in advance as possible. Rooms are at a premium during this period and prices rise significantly closer to the date.
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 2020 runs from Febraury 8 to 25.
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 offer no shortage of romantic date opportunities for you and your significant other on your trip to the city. High-end hotels, particularly, offer Valentine's Day packages that may include romantic suites, welcome bottles of prosecco, couples' spa treatments, gondola rides and dinner for two.
Celebrate by going for a gondola ride and kissing under the famous Bridge of Sighs 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.
Warm Up to Cultural Pursuits
When it's cold outside – and it will be cold in Venice in February, consider some indoor pursuits, both to warm up and expand your cultural experiences. La Fenice opera house's season is in full swing in February, and Venice's museums, such as the Galleria dell'Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Collection are perfect places to while away a few hours looking at art and staying warm.