the most beautiful mask will be on display, a tradition of Venice dating back many centuries.
you have to plan your visit for year in advance, the City bursting with Tourist.
should you have bad luck being here at Carnival time, during the year Mask Makers are busy, have a look around and watch how such little wonders come about.
Carnevale di Venezia ( Carnival of Venice ) is a must visit at least once in your lifetime, and to get into the spirit of things, a mask is a must. Venice has seen some form of mask going back to the twelveth century but it was in 1608 that the mask was deemed proper for only the Carnevale or official functions. Today, the Carnevale di Venezia takes place in February of each year.
Mask making is done by masters of the craft and only a handful are considered the best. One of the artist's that has an amazing store and a design shop across the small cobblestone walkway from each other, is Hamid, owner of Ca' del Sol. His designs are not only masks to wear but art work that can grace the walls of your home, office, or business. Every type of mask is made by Hamid and his staff and you will find Hamid in his store to help you decide which mask style, size, and shape is best for you. If you plan to be in Venice during the "Carnival" stop by and see the beautiful and the grotesque masks that are available to purchase as well as costumes to wear. If you visit Venice anytime of the year, the mask makers shops are a must see to re-live the past customs of Venice and prepare for the future fun making days of Carnevale. Ca' del Sol is located at Castello, 4964 (S. Zaccaria-Fond. Osmarin). Look for Hamid and his craftsperson, Mercedes, and say hello from travelgourmet.
I WAS FORTUNATE TO FIND ON A FEW NIGHTS AS I WAS EITHER GOING TOWARD ST. MARKS OR COMING FROM ST. MARKS ...THIS SMALL RESTAURANT WITH PEOPLE DANCING AND SINGING OLD ITALIAN SONGS..IT WAS SO MUCH LIKE A MOVIE AND ALSO REMINDED ME OF YEARS AGO WHEN I PLAYED IN A WEDDING BAND FOR ITALIAN WEDDINGS.....ALL THE CELEBRATION.. .ALL THE SONGS!!!!!!
The whole city becomes colorful and spectacular when the citizens celebrate their Carnival.
The Venice Carnival is one of the most famous celebrations, not only in Italy but worldwide, it has nothing to do with other Carnival celebrations, such as the carnivals of Brazil.
This pagan festival is an elegant and distinguished party, with its attendant tradition of mask-wearing, has existed since the 13th century, but the tradition began to be held in the early fourteenth.
For centuries, they have dressed up in colorful costumes with the typical Venetian masks.
The mask has a long tradition: for ten days a year, everyone can put it on and allow to the illusion of being someone else.
The significance of the mask is the proved in the Comedies of Carlo Goldoni too, where the masks play an important role always. But more exciting thing (5-10 €), if you have a street carnival mask painted by beauticians for yourself, which suits your character.
The disguises are however very expensive (2000-3000 €). Most of them are the property of the city or one of the local clubs, but it is possible to lend them, the 24-hour rental ranges between 400 and € 600
Venice got the title of the City Carnivals in the 18th century only. In that time it was not so unusual that courts of European kings and princes took part in the Carnival, in order to have a good time at the city's squares and on its streets, in the casino and in theaters and they spent large fortunes.
For example in 1869 also the Emperor of Austria, Franz Josef took part in the Carnival incognito under the name of Count of Falchenstein.
When the republic has fallen, the carnival became forgotten. The tradition came true in 1979 and again today already one of the world's most popular events.
The most magical night of the carnival is held at the Pisani Moretta Palace. This palace on the Grand Canal, located between Campo San Tomà and Campo San Polo is one of the most beautiful palaces frescoed by outstanding Venetian artists such as Giambattista Tiepolo, Jacopo Guarana, Gaspare Diziani. There the prestigious masquerade ball, the "Mascheranda" is held. Everything is set in the 17th century.
The Venice Carnival is one of those parties to which you should assist at least once in a lifetime.
The symbol of Carnival is definetely the mask, the mask of Comedia dell'Arte, the Neapolitan mask, the one created today with inspiration and iimagination by skilled craftsmen.
Masks were already used in the 18th century, people wore masks on the feast of Saint Stephen and on Shrove Tuesday, but there were numerous prohibitions indicating that the mask was not only an ornament used for amusement.
The most famous of the Venetian masks is certainly the "bauta", the white mask, smooth and essential. "Moretta" is black oval mask with holes only for the eyes, "Gnaga" is the cat mask, while the mask of the "plague doctor" is with a long nose.
It is said that its origin comes from a victory of Venice in the war against Ulric; Patriarch of Aquileia, in the year 1162.
During the 18th century it fell into decline. It was revived in 1979.
At Carnival time there are many people of all ages wearing masks. In the city you can enjoy several street performances; parades, and other attractions.
The Carnival in Venice starts around two weeks before Ash wednesday and ends on Shrove tuesday (fat tuesday).
There are so many important events in Venice during the whole year, but the Carnival is probably the most famous one. It is the time of the year when locals shows the other side of their characters, I'd say, the one when indigenous arrogancy is substituted by the almost childish mirth and anxiety. It is the best time of the year, besides Regatta Storica, when one should visit the town. During the days of the carnival, almost everything is allowed and the visitors shouldn't be surprised with some pleacsant and maybe unpleasant surprises.
This is a wild, enjoyable festival. Carnival has ancient origins and originally lasted for a long time: from December 26th to Ash Wednesday.
In the past Carnival played an important social function: it created a temporary escape valve for the people who were strictly observed all year by the Doge’s government. In this period they at least appeared to be free, dressing up and partying day and night.
Shows were put on in the squares and in Piazza San Marco, especially on Jeudi and Mardi Gras, the most important days of Carneval. Carnevale reached the height of its magnificence in 1700 when it began to attract visitors from all over Europe. The “maschereri” were founded to meet the growing need for masks: they were true crafts experts for dressing up and created masks and heavy velvet cloaks for the occasion. The most fashionable mask was Bauta, a unisex costume made from a black tricorn hat, a white paper-mache mask that left the mouth uncovered for eating and drinking and a black cloak.
Carnevale is still celebrated in the open air today, with public shows and private parties organized in the Venetian palaces. People really let themselves go and there are many tourists around to watch, who either dress up or who just watch.
The Carnival celebrations officially begin on 17 January.
Venetian craftsmen developed their characteristic forms of carnival mask, and today these remain 1 of the principal symbols of the city.
People who wear masks over their faces no longer belong to the everyday world, but are symbolically shifted to a different, spiritual world, returning only when the mask is removed.
Until the mask reveals their face, they live in the underworld through a personal transformation and regeneration.
It's symbolic that the carnival's celebrated in winter, when life itself is to be found underground, renewing itself for spring.
You can see the importance of the Carnival all the year for the lots of fancy dress stores you will find all along Venice.
Lots of religious fancy dresses, mask of all kinds ... all with a great art made and high quality
The 4 Musketeers and my little sister (braving the chilly wintry weather) here in Venice during the Venetian CARNEVALE.
The history behind wearing a masquerade during CARNEVALE dates back to the 1700s when the festival and merry-making began on December 26 and lasted right up to Ash Wednesday. Mask-wearing and other unofficial activities still do continue well into the spring.
According to history books, all these non-stop partying and gambling... and general irresponsibility actually led to the eventual decline of the once-mighty Venetian Republic, which had begun to lose its wealth and power with the rise of Dutch and British trade in the 1600s.
After Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice in 1797, the Republic was finished and so were the desultory remnants of the Carnevale.
Moral of the story: Too much partying and merry-making is bad for your health and for the country.
Fast forward to modern times: If you're heading to Venice for the Carnevale, and if you're like my little sister who absolutely abhors cold & chilly weathers, please bring along a super-thick winter coat. However, for people like me - who thrive better in colder temperate climates vs tropical climate - I merely brought along a slightly thicker trench coat. And survived to write share my story ;-)
If you have a chance, you must visit Venice during their annual CARNIVAL and have your photo taken with these interesting carnival characters.
The Venetian Carnival, or CARNEVALE, is Venice's response to the Mardi Gras and Fasching.
For 10 days before Lent each winter, tourists throng the city to join in the merry-making and participate in the equally many pageants, commedia dell'arte, concerts and masked balls... right until Shrove Tuesday where every merry-making activity seems to come to a sudden halt.
Carnevale isn't just exclusively celebrated in Venice. In fact, many such festivities and merry-making occur throughout the Roman Catholic world, including Italy.
The term "carnevale" comes from the Latin word for "farewell to meat" and it literally means that. Catholics will traditionally give up eating meats during the fasting weeks leading to Easter. This sounds very much like the Muslims fasting during their "Ramadan" period.
For the history of wearing masks during Carnevale, please proceed to the next tip.... Grazie mille!
Photo: That's my little skinny sister (sans make-up) looking half awake here in this romatic city. :-)
Who doesn't know about the Venetian carnival? I guess the answer is none!!
Been a few days before carnival in Venice we had the opportunity to spot at the last day a man dressed like that. Well now you will ask me how do I know he was a man?! I don't know any woman walking like he did!!!
Planning on visiting Italy in the weeks before Lent begins (usually late February, early March)? Hit the streets of Venice to partake in Carnevale, the most ornate Mardi Gras celebration in Italy. Bring cash, too, because mask vendors don't take credit cards!
Carnival Masks. Every February Venice becomes party central when Carnival season arrives. You can buy these masks all over Venice including on the islands of the lagoons. They are handcrafted and therefore quite expensive. I spent about a half hour watching a very welcoming and talented lady paint a mask while visiting Burano.