Carnival masks in Venice

venetian masks

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Venice and Carnival, perfect combination. Not only for the centuries of historical importance but this festivity is another reason to come visit the city in winter. Nowadays, during Carnival period you can see people in various costumes and masks strut along the street, from classical attire to characters inspired by movies or video games.  

 

Many make their own lavish and ornate costumes, with preparations that last more than a year (consider an award is given to the most beautiful costume). But the traditional masks of the Venetian Carnival are specific and distinguish themselves from the others.

 

Bauta

If you imagine a Venetian Mask, then this is the one that comes to mind. Black cape and face covered from an impassible and spiny white appendix. The Larva – that’s the name of the pale mask with triangular jawline that conceals facial features – it’s the most evident part of the costume that is worn with a large black cape pointed at the top of the head. This characteristic mask which also allows you to drink and eat without taking it off, was used even for other festivities, theatre and any occasion someone wanted to avoid being recognized, especially for romantic occasions…

 

Gnaga

Is another typical costume that allowed men to easily impersonate the people’s attire with simple garments and a mask with feline features, often matched with a basket of one or more kitties.

 

Moretta

Is the mask called “servetta muta” (silent servant). In fact the black velvet mask is held in place by an internal button kept in your mouth. (Keeping you silent, hence the name). The garments to match (hat) are often very refined.

If you would like to buy an original Venetian mask, there are several Atelier capable and willing to offer a large selection of handmade costumes of prestige but not so cheap either. But you can always opt for a beautiful handmade mask, without having to buy the plastic made in china versions that are found in the touristic stands around Venice.

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