Literally! Venice is one of the most famous cities in the world. Its endless bridges and canals connecting the islands of a city born from a marsh draw visitors from all over the world. The art and architecture of the region are rich, and the sea food is legendary. But when people think of Venice, they find themselves thinking of Carnevale, which is one of the worldâ€™s most noted festivals. The symbol of the citywide party? A mask, or â€œuna maschera.â€
The masks of Venice are some of the most beautiful in the world. Many of them are still made by artisans in their shops that go back generations. Masks can cost anywhere between 2 euro (about $3) to thousands of euro, depending on the quality and decoration. Of course, I am in Italy during February, so I made sure to visit Carnevale in Venice the last weekend that it was going on, and these masks and the costumes that often went with them were breathtakingly beautiful. I doubt most people have ever seen anything like them. Pictures donâ€™t even begin to compare, but here are some anyway.
Whatâ€™s really amazing about these masks and the costumes is that they are handmade by artisans in their shops. Some sit in the windows making masks for everyone to see. You can watch as they tear and peel and press anything from papier-mÃ¢chÃ© to actual gold leaf. They make traditional carnevale masks, animals, and sometimes even characters and actors. Visiting these shops is sort of like visiting art museums. You arenâ€™t allowed to have cameras inside, you have to be careful when walking around the store, and you have to by quiet. But it is totally worth it, because some of them are masks that you wonâ€™t see anywhere else in the world. Itâ€™s easy to copy the traditional Venetian masks if you have hot glue, sequins, and feathers, but the original ones and the richer ones are unique to shops and artists in Venice.
Knowing that these masks would cost hundreds of euro, I decided on one of the roadside stands and my friends and I purchased these masks.
I walked around the entire night jingling because of the bells on my joker mask. It was sort of difficult to eat or drink, but it was so worth it to where that awesome masks and get all those looks of jealousy. How much did it cost you ask? 15 euro! So cheap compared to what I thought it would cost.
Iâ€™m so glad I finally got to go somewhere and see some live art, because Iâ€™ve been writing about that art fair for way too long. But next week Iâ€™ll probably be back on the art fair. Venice kind of went over budget L Thanks so much for reading! Like I said before, if you have any ideas of where in Italy or Europe I should go or what I should write about, leave a comment! Everything is only a train ride away here! Itâ€™s so convenient. America needs to catch up with public transportation.
Your Wolverine Abroad Blogger
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