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Carnival 2023

Soon the carnival of Venice will begin, even if it unofficially begins after the epiphany, and we at Venice Kayak and Classic Boats Venice are here to give you some more information, to reveal some anecdotes and, maybe give you some recipes, in order to replicate the aromas of the Venetian carnival at home.

If you are wondering if we do kayak tours to Venice or its lagoon in this period, our answer is unfortunately no, not so much for the climate as for the fact that we are renewing all the spaces and we cannot offer a service that meets our standards and your expectations.

To be honest we also recharge by staying with our families and celebrating with our friends and soon will start the most important secular festival in Venice (the most important is the Health) or the Carnival.

The Carnival in Venice is something serious just think that the calendar of the celebrations was decided by the Senate of the Republic already in 1296 as I wrote in this deepening.

After “only” 727 years several things have changed historically and even the carnival has changed. From the end of the Republic of Venice its celebration fell into disuse, it was necessary to wait until 1979 to see it rise from its ashes.

However, the modalities and atmosphere are different from those of the past. In the past, the very essence of Carnival was the joyful and incognito participation, which allowed a carefree liberation from their habits and all prejudices, wearing a mask and becoming a mask.

It was the Carnival to inspire the characters of the commedia dell’arte (a form of entertainment in vogue until the eighteenth century) and make reflect and entertain the abuses against which the Republic of Venice tried to limit some aspects, how to enter sacred places disguised as prelates and induce the nuns in sinful acts or hide under the wide cloaks arms.

This makes us reflect on how the “ancient” Carnival was above all an outlet of a society. The modern one has become a mass phenomenon that attracts crowds of tourists, these days it is estimated that there will be a presence of about 600000 people focused especially between Shrove Thursday and Shrove Tuesday. To make a comparison, consider that less than 50000 people live in Venice.

It is no coincidence that most Venetians try to escape from Venice in those days, as it is in fact impossible to live in Venice. Fortunately, however, Carnival is not only synonymous with invasion, but also with pleasant delicacies such as pancakes, galani that we Venetians expect throughout the year.

I would like to tell you a Venetian anecdote. Almost all Venetians prefer to eat pancakes in a renowned pastry called from Tonolo. If you go get ready to wait, but it will be rewarded: stabordanti pancakes of cream, chocolate pistachio or apple. There’s something for everyone.

Of course you can also enjoy the Venetian pancakes with raisins and pine nuts much more traditional, from my humble opinion I think that the luck of Tonolo is to make two mixtures: one “Venetian” is one without sultanas and pine nuts so that you can fill with creams.

Know that the famous Tonolo pastry shop does not close after Christmas, but after Carnival given the large amount of work that far exceeds that of the Christmas period.

But there you can also enjoy the real Venetian galani. If you ask what they are around Italy, in front of you, you will have puzzled faces as the same cake takes different names against the same preparation: in fact, a fried batter.

The tradition derives from the custom in ancient Rome of preparing the “fritcilia” during the festivals of the Saturnali and the Bacchanalia, corresponding approximately to the period of carnival.

Obviously you can find this sweet in most of the northern hemisphere as well as destinations of Italian emigration as South America. Names change, but not the shape and the little joy they give us when we enjoy this simple dessert.

Like every Italian culinary aspect if you asked for galani in other cities besides Venice you would find perplexed faces or, perhaps, comments worthy of a civil war, even if only for a small difference in the ingredients: thick, rum, grappa, lemon peel or orange peel, or other ingredients all this marks a dividing line beyond which verbal belligerence begins.

But we go beyond the differences, or rather we appreciate all the minor variations that a dish or a tradition have undergone over the centuries and in different places.

But we are also Venetians and therefore we can only provide you the recipe of the Galani Veneziani that you can replicate at home.

Doses for 4 people;


flour 500gr

  • sugar 50 gr
  • butter 30 gr
  • eggs 3
  • grated peel of 1 lemon
  • powdered sugar
  • a pinch of salt


  • Pour the pyramid flour and mix with all ingredients except powdered sugar,
  • Let the dough rest for at least an hour covered,
  • Roll out the dough as thin as possible,
  • Cut it into strips of 5 x 20 cm and make an incision in the middle of each rectangle of dough (this way the dough will grow better),
  • Fry in plenty of oil and, when cooled, cover with icing sugar,

Now you just have to go to the stove and then know if you liked this recipe.

Good preparation and good Carnival by the whole team of Classic Boats Venice and Venice Kayak.

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