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Carnival of Venice

The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy.
The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.
The festival is world famous for its elaborate masks.

It's said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the "Serenissima Repubblica" against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven in the year 1162. In the honour of this victory, the people started to dance and gather in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started on that period and became official in the Renaissance. In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world. It was very famous during the eighteenth century. It encouraged licence and pleasure, but it was also used to protect Venetians from present and future anguish. However, under the rule of the King of Austria, the festival was outlawed entirely in 1797 and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. It reappeared gradually in the nineteenth century, but only for short periods and above all for private feasts, where it became an occasion for artistic creations.

After a long absence, the Carnival returned in 1979. The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of its efforts. The redevelopment of the masks began as the pursuit of some Venetian college students for the tourist trade. Since then, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival. One of the most important events is the contest for la maschera più bella ("the most beautiful mask") which will be judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers.


People with different occupations wore different masks.

The Colombina (also known as Columbine and as a Colombino) is a half-mask, only covering the wearer's eyes, nose, and upper cheeks. It is often highly decorated with gold, silver, crystals, and feathers. It is held up to the face by a baton or is tied with ribbon as with most other Venetian masks. The Colombina mask is named after a stock character in the Commedia dell'arte: Colombina was a maidservant and soubrette who was an adored part of the Italian theatre for generations. It is said it was designed for an actress because she did not wish to have her beautiful face covered completely. In fact, the Colombina is entirely a modern creation. There are no historic paintings depicting its use on the stage or in social life.

While both men and women now wear this mask, it began as a woman's analog to the bauta.



Artistic Director of the Venice Carnival

Marco Maccapani Direttore Artistico del Carnevale di Venezia
Marco Maccapani is the Artistic Director of the Carnival of Venice 2016-2018

The engagement, according to tradition, was made by the Mayor of Venice and marries a shining professional résumé with a personal sensitivity for Venice and its promotion around the world.

This represents a three-year commitment for Marco Maccapani, who for over 30 years has been a designer and creator of grand events and television and advertising productions.

As artistic director, Marco Maccapani will be responsible for the design and coordination of the programme of the Carnival, defining its theme, its planning, and the common thread that will accompany us through the three weeks of the event.

The Best Masked Costumes

With Friendly Regards,

Curatolo Leonardo, Atene 24/2/2017