Hidden treasures

The carnival at Ridotto of St Moise in Venice

Historical Curiosities
Carnevale

The carnival at Ridotto of St Moise in Venice

During the Venice Republic Carnival was the only time of year when gambling was allowed. It was obviously highly profitable and therefore was managed by the state, and so, a special games room was created called the Ridotto, near the church of St Moise.

The Ridotto was only open for the months of the Carnival period (from Christmas to Lent), and one could only enter wearing a mask except for the croupiers, who were usually Barnabotti (because they lived in the parish of St Barnaba) namely, the impoverished nobles, who were paid by the state.

In 1774 the Council of Ten decreed the closure of the Ridotto of St Moise Reduced on moral grounds. In fact the room was frequented by moneylenders and prostitutes, as one can see in this beautiful painting by Francesco Guardi (1746), preserved in the Museum of Cà Rezzonico, where there is a woman in the centre with a spindle in her hand, a typical attribute of the prostitutes, who is trying to lure a prospective customer. The cards on the ground point to the frenzy of the game and so the picture of the Guardi clearly explains why the Council of Ten decided to close this ""place of destruction""!

If you want to try the magical experience of a Carnival party in a typical Venetian Ridotto, we suggest you Minuetto al Ridotto, an elegant masquerade ball, which is held in the beautiful ridotto hall of the Monaco&Gran Hotel in Venice! Dinner and dancing all night long... of course wearing Venetian historical costumes!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: What happened on May 16 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saint of the Day is St. Boldo (St. Ubald Bishop) a church was dedicated to the Sain...

View

Venice: What happened on May 1 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, today’s Saints are Sts. Philip and James, Apostles and Saint Scholastica, of whom ther...

View

Venice: What happened on April 25 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saint of the Day is St. Mark, Evangelist, Patron Saint of Venice It is the First Fea...

View

Venice: What happened on April 20 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saint of the Day is St. Victor.   - April 20, 1797: capture of the French friga...

View

Top posts

Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

canzoni-ve
Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...

View

Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

vò
Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...

View

Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

10_film_venezia
Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...

View

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View