Hidden treasures

The Carnival of Sappada in the Dolomites

Local Traditions
rollate-sappada

The Carnival of Sappada in the Dolomites

When it comes to carnival, everyone immediately thinks of Venice… But in the Veneto region there are many other Carnival events with roots in local folklore.

A great example is the Carnival of Sappada, where Rollate is protagonist: a masked character wearing heavy dark sheepskin fur with a large hood that completely wraps up the head, adorned with a tuft of red wool. The face is covered with a mask made from wood that alters the voice of the wearer, with a stern look and dark thick moustache and eyebrows.

It takes its name from ‘rolln’, noisy bells in the shape of metal spheres that are tied at the waist of the masked character with a chain and are rung as it walks along.

In the past, the Rollate mask carried negative connotations, and it is said that dressing up as Rollate was an opportunity to avenge injuries suffered and dispel old grudges. At that time, during celebrations, the Rollate masks were preceded by clowns (pajazn) who wore colourful outfits with a cone-shaped hat and would hop around them. After the clowns disappeared, Rollate took over their role in entertaining children.

In the past, as a rule, Carnival was forbidden for children and was a ritual reserved for adults only: if the kids got too close to the masked figures, they would get frightened and chased! In Sappada not only weren’t they allowed to wear masks and join the carnival alongside adults, but they were also threatened by the masks.

The Rollate, in particular, had the specific task of threatening and frightening children who, when they heard the sound of rolln approaching threateningly, ran up to the top floor of their houses or, terrified, looked for safe spaces.

If you want to participate in the lively carnival of Sappada just book your transfer online! We will take you to the heart of the Dolomites to let you take part in one of the oldest and most festive local events!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

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

Venice: What happened on April 19 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saint of the Day is St. Leo (Pope St. Leo IX), a church in Castello is dedicated to ...

View

Venice: What happened on April 18 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, today is San Perfetto’s Day.   - April 18, 1001: Doge Pietro Orseolo II secretly ...

View

Venice: What happened on April 17 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saint of the Day is St. Anicetus.   - April 17, 887: after being invalided Doge...

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