Hidden treasures

The Masks of the Venice Carnival

Local Traditions

The Masks of the Venice Carnival

In shop windows or stalls along the streets of Venice you can see  a myriad of masks  with different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately the ancient tradition of the masks is now almost completely disappeared: the masks we see today in Venice are almost all produced abroad, and there are only a few traditional workshops left!

Only in these rare workshops can we really understand the ancient meaning and origin of the Venetian Carnival masks: a way to abandon the rational life and follow the primordial instincts. For this reason the traditional masks of the Venice Carnival are not shiny and colourful, but simple, almost surreal, because they served to represent our lower instincts. In the past, during the Carnival in Venice, Italy, everything was legitimate: the casinos were open 24 hours a day, the theatres hosted bawdy comedies every night and in every building noble families competed in organizing the most sumptuous parties. The carnival lasted several months, from Christmas to Easter, and then there was the chance to vent the lowest instincts!

The mask allowed anyone to be able to turn freely around the city without being recognized: privacy was assured! How many love affairs were consumed during the carnival? There were never enough prostitutes and the local prostitutes were forced to call colleagues from the mainland!

Among the Carnival 'adventurers', the most famous is Giacomo Casanova! The most famous libertine in Venice loved the Carnival and all the vices connected to it. To learn about the history and places of his love affairs or to discover the most secret and most vices of Venice we suggest two fascinating and original tours: Seductive Venice private walking tour: discover ancient Venetian vices and secrets and Venice Casanova Tour: Private tour to discover Casanova sites in Venice. To discover the two itineraries and request the one you prefer please contact us!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano

Did you know that...

Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...


Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...


Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...


Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...


Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di 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,...


Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

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...