Hidden treasures

The Moretta, the mask of seduction

Local Traditions
La-Moretta-maschera

The Moretta, the mask of seduction

The Moretta was a small mask covered with black velvet (hence the name 'Moretta' because, in Venetian dialect, 'moro' means dark, black) of French origin and reserved exclusively for women. Initially it was used by the ladies when they went to visit nuns in respectful silence: the Moretta, in fact, did not allow the wearer to speak because it was held close to the face without the use of laces, but by biting a button on the inside, positioned at the level of the mouth ... From this surprising detail comes the second name of this unique female accessory: the Muta.

La Moretta or Muta became very common among Venetian women especially between the 17th and 18th centuries because hiding the face was considered a way to make themselves more attractive and mysterious. At the same time, however, the ladies were rather uninhibited in showing their bodies: the time’s fashion in fact featured a very generous but veiled 'Venetian' décolleté, which clearly revealed the shape of the breast. The face was therefore the true treasure of a woman and regarded as a mirror of her inner world, her feelings and intentions.

This frivolous but practical mask was considered one of the fundamental tools in the complicated game of seduction played across Venice: the suitor had to be so skilled to convince the beloved woman to remove the mask! Obviously, it was the lady herself who held the power, deciding how long to remain anonymous and silent before responding to the suitor's advances. Women were aware that by hiding behind the mask, in addition to becoming mischievously seductive, they also became incredibly desirable ... When the lady finally decided to remove the Moretta, in addition to the sight of her face, she also offered the sound of her voice, equally considered an expression of her personality.

Take advantage of the forthcoming Venice Carnival to hide behind a Moretta and reenact this fascinating game of seduction! On our portal you can find many parties and themed dinners to relive the magic of this ancient festival whilst wearing traditional Venetian clothes and masks!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Bussolà, typical Easter biscuit of Burano Island

bussola
Local Traditions

‘Bussolà’ (plural bussolai) is a traditional Venetian biscuit which derives its name from the word ‘busa’ which means ‘hole...

View

Venice: Easter in the Serenissima Republic of Venice

pasqua-serenissima
Local Traditions

Easter is one of the most important celebrations for Christianity as it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus but over the centuries, ...

View

Padua: Giotto’s Vices and Virtues in the Scrovegni Chapel

Carità-e-Invidia
Historical Curiosities

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua contains one of the most significant masterpieces of all time: the great fresco cycle by Giotto. Among th...

View

Venice: Stalin, the bell-ringer of San Lazzaro degli Armeni

armeni
Big Names

There are many great artistic, literary and political figures who have walked the streets of Venice over the centuries ... Among these,...

View

Top posts

Venice: Titian's paintings in the Sacristy of the Basilica della Salute

tiziano-salute-venezia
Big Names

The Basilica della Salute is one of the most important religious places in Venice ... it was constructed to commemorate the end of the ...

View

Padua: The ancient Jewish cemetery of Padua in Via Weil

cimitero-ebraico-padova
Historical Curiosities

Padua boasts one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in 1222 and open to everyone. Between the 13th and the 14th century, ...

View

Vicenza: The legend of the Dwarves of Villa Valmarana ai Nani

Villa_Valmarana_ai_Nani
Mysteries & Legends

Villa Valmarana ai Nani in Vicenza, Italy, is one of the best known and most visited villas in the Veneto region thanks to the frescoes...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View