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: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

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

Venice: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day

fave-dei-morti
Local Traditions

As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...

View

Top posts

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View