History of the Carnival of Venice

Venice carnival

The Venice carnival is known to be the most famous in the world, for 10 days a year in fact this marvelous city transforms into a huge stage where any disguise is allowed, where social orders are reversed and anyone can become whoever they want. This magic is allowed by the masks , an ancient tradition of more than 900 years, which allows the transgression and the joy typical of this event. The birth of the masquerade carnival is more remote than one might think, in fact in many cultures there is a holiday that allows you to dress up and let yourself go, releasing your inhibitions and mixing with other social classes.
In Venice all this took place between balls and luxurious dinners, in the old casinos and foyers, the only places where gambling was permitted.
Piazza San Marco came alive with parades and skill tests, the canals were filled with colorful boats and masked characters.
In the 18th century, the Venice carnival reached its peak of success, becoming an international event known throughout Europe.

Carnival masks

The most famous and most traditional masks are certainly the Bauta , a white mask worn together with a tricorn (typical Venetian hat) and a tabarro (black cloak) and the moretta, a black velvet mask worn by women. The peculiarity of this mask was that it was held by means of a button in the mouth which however did not allow one to speak, whoever wore a mask was also called "mute servant". The Bauta or Bautta

More masks to wear during this carnival, click on the dove

Equally important at the time were the masks of the commedia dell'arte, Arlecchino, Pantalone, Colombina....

To date, there are very few artisan shops left that continue to hand down this very ancient art, thanks to the fact that the original papier-mâché masks have a higher price than plastic imitations.
However, buying an original mask means supporting this city and the carnival itself, keeping this festival and all its history alive.