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One of the most exclusive events in the world, the highlight of the Venetian Carnival for the past 30 years, an unmissable appointment for international jetsetters: Il Ballo del Doge. In order to understand the spectacularity and unicity of this incredible event, which will take place on Saturday February 10th 2024, it is worth going back in time to learn about the origins of the Carnival of Venice.

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    La Serenissima – the powerful Republic of Venice – was a pleasure playground of Europe and a must-stop on the Grand Tour. Well known and renowned throughout Europe, the Venice Carnival in the eighteenth century became a real institution. Visited each year by thousands of visitors, the prestigious festival of the Carnival in Venice at that time reached its zenith and international recognition: the effervescent and transgressive atmosphere, the comedy, masks, spectacular shows and the public gambling house made Venice “the magnet of Europe”. Centuries later, the Carnevale di Venezia is still one of Italy’s biggest events.

    The first mention of the Carnival of Venice dates back to 1094 and in 1296 it became an official public holiday taking place the day before the beginning of Lent. The Carnival carried on after that with jugglers, dancers and musicians all entertaining the public. This continued until the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1798. It was banned for nearly two centuries and it wasn’t until 1979 that the Carnevale di Venezia was revived. The festival recreates a time when the Venetian Republic ruled the trade routes and held an elite place in the world. The lavish parties, costumes, masks, food, music and spectacles all tip their hat to the wealthy Venetian merchants of the past.

    Il Ballo del Doge was born in 1994 and since then it takes place every year in Venice during the Carnival. This exclusive event is defined as the most sumptuous, refined and exclusive costume ball in the world and one of the hundred things to do in a lifetime. Il Ballo del Doge is an artistic event, a world-class appointment and an unforgettable experience that unites guests coming from all over the world. Each year’s edition has a different theme that is inspired by childhood dreams of its creator and designer, Antonia Sautter, fashion stylist and world-famous luxury event planner.

    Luxury decorations, scenery designed and realized specifically for the theme of each edition, never ending artistic shows with over 100 artists, refined foods and drinks, music, dance and itinerant performers until late at night make Il Ballo del Doge a real international event, celebrated by the jet set, celebrities and seekers of dreams. Guests, wearing the costumes, designed and created by hand by Antonia Sautter at her Atelier, reach the Palazzo by water, instantly immersing themselves in a fantasy world.

    Antonia Sautter is the pulsating heartbeat of Il Ballo del Doge, with her fantasies made up of images, colors and sounds that wrap themselves like an embrace around her guests who are the real protagonists of the evening. For over 25 years, Antonia Sautter, has designed and hand-made hundreds of costumes. Today her Atelier hosts her collection of costumes from all historical periods, theatrical suits and allegorical creations, all produced by Antonia, available for purchase and rental all over the world.

    Situated a few steps from St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Antonia Sautter’s Atelier represents a journey across the tradition of the Venetian costumes and a real path of discovery of an authentic Venice, which lives through artisan craftsmanship, a valued worldwide excellence. A private visit to the Atelier is an opportunity to discover a fascinating and magical place, full of charm and elegance. Upon crossing the threshold you will find yourself in adreamlike dimension among costumes, masks, headgear, feathers, ribbons, crystals and shimmering gemstones: the beating heart of the Carnival, where time is suspended and enchantment is everywhere, among the over 1,500 costumes.

    • Il Ballo del Doge booking assistance from ticketing to transfers and accommodation solutions
    • Visit to Antonia Sautter Atelier with Fitting, Promenade or Gondola Excursion (available all year round)
    • Complete “Over the Top” Antonia Sautter Experience (available all year round)

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