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The "Volo dell'Angelo" in Venice

Angelo, Colombina and Aquila: we know the figures who fly over Piazza San Marco during the Carnival, following a centuries-old tradition

Those who have a home in Venice know it well: Carnival is one of the most intense moments of the year, with traditions that have been repeated for centuries.

In 2021, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, it will be interpreted in a different guise than usual and will be completely digital: from 6 to 7 February and from 11 to 16 February, at 5.00 pm, it will be possible to enjoy streaming shows from Palazzo Ca 'Vendramin Calergi, seat of the Venice Casino, accessible on the social channels of the Carnival and on Televenezia (channel 71 of digital terrestrial).

Online events in which you can also take an active part by registering for special Virtual Rooms, where there will be workshops, games and of course insights into the most curious masks and traditions. Among these there is certainly the "Volo dell'Angelo" over Piazza San Marco, which over the years has had different names and methods of development, without however losing its charm. Those who dream of coming to live here, of buying a house in Venice, must absolutely experience Carnival 2021, starting from its historic and spectacular flights.

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It is the name of the oldest and most exciting ceremony linked to the Carnival, known at least originally also with the name of Svolo del Turco. Legend has it that this custom was born in the sixteenth century thanks to the feat of a Turkish artist who from a boat managed to reach the belfry of San Marco, walking on a rope.

The undertaking became so famous that it was repeated even in the following years, but changing the formula: the artist called to interpret the angel in fact had to walk on a rope starting from the Bell Tower and then descending to the Loggia where to pay homage to the Doge and then go up .

An exciting show, initially scheduled for Shrove Thursday and then moved to the first Sunday of Carnival in which, after the professional artists, the Arsenal workers known as Arsenalotti also competed, who later became real specialists in this discipline. Legends and history intertwine on the various performances: from Sante Lazzari who at the end of the seventeenth century seems to have arrived on the bell tower with a horse to a group of four artists who a century later reached the top with various acrobatics.

Not always, however, everything went well and the chronicles also record cases of angels "fallen" ruinously among the crowd. It was probably also for a matter of safety that in more recent times the Angel was replaced by a wooden dove which, activated by a particular mechanism, dropped flowers and confetti on the spectators gathered in Piazza San Marco. From Volo del Turco, to Angelo, to Colombina.


In the last two decades, however, it was decided to restore the spectacular flight over Piazza San Marco with a person, this time however well secured to the rope. Since the 2001 edition, the "Volo della Colombina" has been replaced by the "Volo dell'Angelo", a role in which well-known faces of sport and entertainment have alternated. After Katiuscia Triberti of the Compagnia dei Folli who relaunched the custom, the showgirl Antonella Elia, the models Carolina Marconi, Bianca Brandolini d'Adda, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, the presenter Carlotta Mantovan, the singer Coolio, came down from the Campanile di San Marco. the sporty Frida Scarpa and Federica Pellegrini.

Then, from 2011, the role of Angel was attributed to Mary of the Year, the winner of the beauty contest in historical clothes that recalls the medieval festival where girls of marriageable age were involved in a particular blessing.

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While the Flight of the Angel usually opens the festival, it is not the only acrobatics associated with Carnival. In fact, since 2012, in the week following that of the "Volo dell'Angelo", a second passage on the square has been introduced, called the "Volo dell'Aquila", also assigned in this case to well-known faces of sport and national culture.

The sports Fabrizia D’Ottavio, Francesca Piccinini, Carolina Kostner, Giusy Versace and Arianna Fontana, the showgirl Melissa Satta, the skier Kristian Ghedina, the musician Saturnino and the entrepreneur Renzo Rosso took turns twirling from the bell tower of San Marco.

Performances which, however, constitute only a piece of this historic Carnival, which is built, prepared and lived for several months. Having the opportunity to participate as protagonists and to live it freely is an experience that can only be fully experienced by those who have thought about buying a house in central Venice.

The best way to enjoy a front row stage on this party that has no equal in the world?

Simple, take a look at our houses for sale in Venice located between the districts where the Carnival is more intense.

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