Hidden treasures

Mr. Carnevale’s confetti factory in Paese

Local Traditions

Mr. Carnevale’s confetti factory in Paese

We all know what confetti is! It is little pieces of colored paper that are thrown into the air during the course of carnival celebrations... Have you ever wondered who invented it?

In the past, especially during the Renaissance period, it was customary at carnival celebrations to throw, from the balconies or from the carts, comfits filled with coriander, the famous spice used in cooking (hence their name today!). These sweets, however, were very expensive and soon they were replaced by small balls made with coriander seeds coated in plaster.

The invention of paper confetti occurred in the late 1800s at the hand of Ettore Fenderl, a young man who was only fourteen at the time: born in Trieste, he lived in Vittorio Veneto where he is still buried and became a world-renowned Italian engineer and scientist. In 1957, during a radio interview, Ettore revealed that he had invented the traditional colored paper pieces used to celebrate the Carnival! In 1876, when he could not afford to buy comfits or rose petals to take part in the festive celebrations, he cut out some little paper triangles and threw them from the balcony onto the crowd. This simple but innovative idea was soon imitated by many people so much as to be industrialized and marketed all over the world.

Today there are no longer many confetti factories ... One of the last remaining is in Veneto, in Porcellengo di Paese in the province of Treviso, and is owned by Mr. Carnevale... That's right, a destined surname!

Mr. Franco Carnevale arrived in Veneto as a non-commissioned officer of the Italian air force in 1961. In 1982, he resigned from the air force and began working for the Cartotecnica factory in Fontane, being in charge of the production of confetti. In a short time, he started devoting himself to the making of these highly sought-after pieces of paper and, together with a friend skilled in mechanics, he designed and built machinery to shred and mix the different types of paper. Despite the ripe age of seventy, today Mr. Carnevale’s confetti still adorns carnival floats in Italy and are exported to France, Belgium and Holland!

The Carnival has just started! Arm yourself with confetti and come and celebrate it in the most magical city in the world: Venice ... Maybe taking part in one of the exclusive events in hotels and palaces in the historic center. Visit our website and choose the party for you!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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