Marie 2024 (2048 × 1280 px) COVER

Venice Carnival 2024: Carnevale di Venezia 2024: the 12 Marie for 25th edition of the Venetian historical re-enactment were choosen!

High school and university students, tour escorts, musicians, aspiring lawyers and event organizers-these are the profiles of the 12 Marie of Venice Carnival 2024 selected Sunday afternoon at Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista. Some 50 aspiring Marie of what patron Maria Grazia Bortolato likes to call a “historical re-enactment” rather than a contest, born or residing in the 44 municipalities of the Metropolitan City of Venice between the ages of 18 and 28, who showed up this year to live the space of a small dream. A unique and unrepeatable experience that will allow the 12 chosen to represent and experience the Carnival of Venice wearing the 16th-century sartorial dresses designed and made by Francesco Briggi’s Atelier Pietro Longhi.

Riportata in auge dal regista visionario Bruno Tosi nel 1999 e diventata col tempo uno degli eventi cardine del Carnevale di Venezia, la “Festa delle Marie” ricorda un fatto storico realmente accaduto. Correva l’anno 973 quando nella chiesa di San Pietro di Castello, durante gli annuali festeggiamenti dedicati alla purificazione della Vergine Maria, dodici ragazze veneziane vennero rapite da un gruppo di pirati dalmati. Dopo un inseguimento organizzato dal Doge Pietro Candiano III, le fanciulle furono liberate e ricondotte a Venezia. Da allora, la Festa delle Marie fu festeggiata ogni anno nella città lagunare con modalità e riti che cambiarono nel corso dei secoli.

Resurrected by visionary director Bruno Tosi in 1999 and over time becoming one of the pivotal events of the Venice Carnival, the “Festa delle Marie” recalls a historical fact that really happened. It was the year 973 when in the church of San Pietro di Castello, during the annual festivities dedicated to the purification of the Virgin Mary, twelve Venetian girls were kidnapped by a group of Dalmatian pirates. After a chase organized by Doge Pietro Candiano III, the maidens were freed and taken back to Venice. Since then, the Feast of the Maries was celebrated every year in the lagoon city in ways and rituals that changed over the centuries.

The 12 chosen Marie of Venice Carnival 2024 are:

Giorgia Vettorello, 19, from Tessera, a university student,

Lidia Gasparini, 18 from Chirignago, a student,

Gaia Donà, 18 from Venice, a student,

Iolanda Gajon, 18 from Marghera, student,

Ilaria Marvilly, 27 from Venice Lido, musician,

Mariam Gargiulo, 27 of Dese, student,

Laura Mattiazzo, 22 from Mestre, works in an event agency,

Rossana Grementieri, 27, from Cavallino-Treporti, practicing lawyer,

Nabila El Ashker, 27, from Mestre, a teacher,

Irene Renosto, 20, from Mestre, tour guide,

Elena Maria Furlan, 22, from Noale, working student.

Silvia Zecchin, 20 years old from Noale, student.


The two mades are:

Carolina Borghese, 19 years old from Venice

Veronica Boscolo Cegion, 22 years old from Chioggia.


“This is my 25th edition, and this silver wedding anniversary has a very special flavor. The years go by. But every time I always get very excited to see these girls arrive here and I expect it can be memorable and I hope to celebrate,” commented Maria Grazia Bortolato after the election of the 12 new Marie of Carnival girls. “I see all 12 girls as beautiful, I hope they can all become friends and above all to have respect for each other and for others. I always prefer to call this event not a contest but a historical re-enactment because Venice is at the center of everything: from the jury’s choice of the girls to the spirit of this initiative that the unforgettable Bruno Tosi in 1999 wanted to bring back into the Carnival program. These days my ambition is to make known above all Venice, its palaces, its calli, its monuments, its museums. Its most hidden spaces that are not part of what we see and read. Beautiful, indeed beautiful things,” concludes the patron of the contest, “that will leave an indelible memory for all participants and not only for the one who will be elected as Mary of the Year on February 12.

The Festa delle Marie is also a unique time to admire traditional Venetian costumes. The costumes that they will wear in this edition, also redesigned by Atelier Pietro Longhi in 2021, draw inspiration from the works of the 16th-century Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio: Francesco Briggi, Anna Zappella and Raffaele Dessì have chosen the sartorial lines of the mid-16th century and, as fabric, an ivory and champagne-colored damask with floral designs, produced by the historic Rubelli weaving mill. The one between the Atelier and the Venice Carnival is a professional relationship that has lasted for 11 years, that is, since 2013, when the then artistic director Davide Rampello asked Briggi himself to change the costumes of the 12 Marie.

“There will be a small variation that I wanted to introduce this year to remind us of the theme of Carnival 2024, which is the figure of Marco Polo, his Milione, the tales of the lands known in the East and therefore with some reference to China,” Briggi himself revealed.

The selection of the 12 Marys of Carnival 2024 was made through the votes of a technical jury consisting of:

Massimo Checchetto, Carnival Artistic Director;

Stefania Stea, entrepeneur.

Paolo Polato, Abusdef executive;

Silvia Bianchini (Mary of Carnival 2010);

Claudio Vernier, president San Marco Association;

Andrea Rubelli, Tessiture Rubelli;

Giovanni Giusto, City Councilor delegated to the Protection of Traditions;

Cristina Scarpa, Director of Events San Giovanni Evangelista School.

Marco Vidal, Merchant of Venice general manager;

Francesco Briggi, Atelier Pietro Longhi;

Eleonora Fuser, actress and cultural worker;

Matteo Ramot, Costa Crociere.

Roberto Papetti, Director Il Gazzettino

The first official act of the 2024 Marie Pageant is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3th, starting at 3 p.m. with the dressing and crowd bathing with an initial “strut” from Santa Maria Formosa to the stazio of Santa Sofia. From there, the 12 girls will board 6 gondolas and disembark in front of the Todaro column, before arriving in Piazzetta San Marco and then reaching the stage under the Correr Museum where they will be presented one by one by the contest’s historic master of ceremonies, the eclectic Prince Maurice, to the Carnival audience.

The competition is in collaboration with

Il Gazzettino


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