The dates for Carnival change every year, as they’re connected to the liturgical year rather than the calendar year. In 2016, Carnevale takes place January 23 through February 09.
While Carnival in Venice may have been more wild centuries ago, the modern version is much more stately. Acting troupes and performers engage in various forms of “commedia dell'arte," or improvised performances of theater, juggling and comedy, and there's also the epic proportions of traditional Venetian food and wine that are consumed.
Whenever you choose to join in the festivities, you’ll first have to choose a mask. Throughout the festival, revelers conceal their identities with various styles of the fashionable face covers, while some historians believe masks were originally used during Carnival to erase the lines between classes in a very class-driven society, allowing people from all walks of life to mingle in a way that was impossible at any other time of year.