We all know that Venetian glass is on most people's shopping list as they come to Venice. Besides the glass, be prepared to see a lot of masks. You can find carnival masks made out of paper mache everywhere. I believe that they make an excellent purchase here. They come in many colors, types, and price ranges. In some shops, you can see them being made. I consider them all to be works of art. You can get the ballroom dance type with the wooden handles, or you can get one that covers the whole face. I am not much of a shopper myself, however there was something about these masks that was really interesting.
What to pay A few euros for the most basic ones to well over 100 euros for some very special ones.
Everyone knows that Carnivale in Venice is absolutely amazing and unlike sister celebrations anywhere else in the world!! Of course it makes sense then that there are tons and tons of masks everywhere. There are the really ornate ones for collectors and then there are the more ordinary ones. If you want to buy a mask, Venice is definately the place for it!!
What to pay 10Euro - Over 100 Euro
I had to have a Venetian mask but not from some touristy shop. It needed to have a personal touch. As I walked down a previously unexplored calle, I spotted an elderly woman, hand painting a mask in her shop. She was wonderful and so were her masks. Suddenly, there it was. The one for me. But, ahead of me was a full day of walking and discovery. "I'll be back later." Later I retraced my steps. Along that canal, left at that church, across the bridge, right at the cafe and there it is . . . not? Nothing! Day two another search and nothing. Ready, to give up on day three, same route and there it was! What happened? Turns out the shops were closed but more than that, they had pulled down overhead doors and made themselves disappear completely. So if you see it and you want it . . . go for it!
What to pay I paid about $60.00 for this mask in 1998.
We actually bought our masks on the Island of Burano (see my Burano page),
They make the masks in the shop & they couldnt have been nicer people, they played with and entertained freya the whole time we were in there (about 45 min!)...............
What to buy Masks are very popular buy in Venice, especially around Carnival time ( February-March ). You can spend as much or a little as you wish, althoug obviously the more you pay the more individual the mask tends to be.
What to pay 5 Euros to 500 Euros (and probably more!)
What to buy Masks for Carnival are selling in every moment of the year. It's a typical product of Venetian people, by the way Stanley Kubrick wanted venetian masks for his last movie "Eyes Wide Shut".
What to pay High cost
Venetian masks are world famous and all over Venice you will find shops and art galleries who sell Venetian masks. They come in papier mache, in plaster, in porcelain or in ceramics. The decoration is so different and can be in gold or silver leaf, with pearls, paintings, ... all you can think of as per the imagination of the artist. Classical colours are black, red and gold.
The best shops to buy the masks are the ones where you can see with your own eyes how they are being created. It's only then that you can be sure that the mask is unique, handmade and autographed.
I had decided to take home just one mask, but sigh, I had a hard time trying to choose one!
Finally I got home with a mask that shows 3 faces, happy, angry and thinking.
What to pay I paid about 10 € so I didn t think I paid too much.
There are mask shops around ever corner, and it doesn't have to be carnival time, either, for masks to be available. This shot was taken in a back room of one shop. You can see the molds from which the papier-mache masks are made in the background.
Venice of course is known because of the Carnival of Venice and the Commedia dell' Arte.
Must have been strange walking through the narrow streets of foggy Venice in the centuries before the 18th century when masks were still in fashion.
People disguished, laughing, drinking and sometimes dancing passing eachother in the narrow streets.
I tried to imagine it when I was looking at masks in a little shop and I could imagine the feel of freedom such a mask must have given.
What to buy Masks are very popular in Venice because they symbolize the Venetian carnival. There are some very skillfully made masks, but also a lot of rubbish, cheap stuff! Have a close look and just decide if you like i!
There are very many mask shops in Venice. They are at best very special items which cost all the way to 200e+. They are mainly for the Venice Carnevals but there is also other uses. The mask in the movie Eyes Wide Shut were bought here.
What to pay Around 100 euros - 200 euros can get you a very beautiful, special mask.
One of the most respected and reknowned masks shop in Venezia. Remember the Eyes Wide Shut movie with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise? well, the masks were from this shop.
What to buy Any mask... the usual big nosed one like the ones in the movie are the most common and cheap, but you can get anything you ever dreamt of, or even order something special, designed only for you.
The attached picture is obviously not mine but this is exactly the mask I bought for E10. I have worn it only once with a black suit and cap and with a tripod hat which is the traditional costume during the carnival.
What to pay Anything you can afford. From E10 up to whatever you can imagine!