Discover and admire the oldest Venetian celebration: La Festa delle Marie [VIDEO]

    900 506 Venezia Autentica | Discover and Support the Authentic Venice

    The History behind the ``Festa delle Marie`` in Venice, Italy

    Since the IX Century, every year on the 2nd day of February, the Serenissima blessed all the couples who were planning to get married within the year.

    Not all couples, however, had the means to afford a wedding and the expenses required for building their own life, so the authorities soon decided that the wealthiest Venetian families should offer every year magnificent jewels, clothes and a rich bridal dowry to twelve beautiful but poor Venetian girls.

    This celebration continued for centuries until it was abolished in 1379 after decades of ever-growing protests of the rich families fed up with the heavy expenses they had to face, and the exasperated rivalry amongst poor families desperate to have their daughters win the nomination.

    Hundreds of people wearing historical costumes take part in the ``Festa delle Marie`` Parade

    Nowadays, hundreds of people take part in the historical parade, wearing all kinds of historical costumes, and walking with the 12 elected Marie from the San Pietro Basilica to Saint Mark’s Square.

    The “Marie” are selected amongst young women who live in the area of Venice, but only one will be elected as the “Maria 2017” on the last day of Carnival, Mardi Grass.

    The winning Maria is entitled, amongst other things, to fly down the Saint Mark’s Bell Tower for the event called “Volo dell’Angelo” on the following Carnival… now that is some amazing award!!!

    I'm visiting Venice. Why should I follow your recommendations?

    The way you visit Venice has an impact both on the quality of your experience and on Venice itself.  Chilling, exploring, shopping, eating and drinking where the locals do, can make a huge impact both on the memories you bring home and on the local economy and community.

    Liked this article? Don’t forget to share the love!  

    Home >> Venice & Venetians >> Venice in Images >> You’re Here

    Photos and videos of the real Venice

    More about life in Venice, Italy

    Things To Do & See in Venice, Italy



    We make it easy to experience Venice with local guides and experts


    Looking for things to do in Venice? Experience Venice with a local!  

    We’d love to chat.

    Let us know

    how we can help

    Thanks for the love! Stay updated, follow us: