The amazing feat, which took the name of svolo del turco, was so successful that it was revived in the following years during the Thursday before Lent. For many years professional acrobats and tightrope walkers did astonishing performances that prompted even young Venetians to attempt them, showing great courage and dexterity.
This celebration took the name of volo dell’angelo only later, when a man with wings hanging on a rope came down the cable with great speed.
The feat became increasingly difficult and reckless each year, until the inevitable happened in 1759 and an acrobat fell to the ground, leaving the crowd dismayed. From that moment on, the figure of the acrobat was replaced with a large wooden dove, which dropped flowers and confetti onto the crowd. Thus, the volo dell’angelo became the volo della colombina (flight of the dove).
This event, interrupted with the end of the Republic of Venice, was resumed in more recent times and it was moved to the first Sunday of Carnival, when a mechanical dove descended towards the Ducal Palace, pouring confetti and small gifts onto the crowd.
In 2001, it was decided to resume the old tradition of the angel’s flight, using an actual artist who is secured to a metal cable and brought down slowly.
Given enormous success of the angel’s flight, the volo dell’aquila (flight of the eagle), which takes place in the same way on the Sunday following that of the Angel, was also introduced in 2012.