Hidden treasures

The Moretta, the mask of seduction

Local Traditions

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

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