Archivio della categoria: festivity

Venice ,the regatta



The international word ,regatta, comes from the Latin word aurigare – term used with the sense of race, which the venetians used with the sense of racing on boats.Every year,on the first Sunday of September, you can see along
the Grand Canal the regatta of Venice ,who is composed of two distinct phases : the historical parade and competitive regattas.
The first races are related to the “feast of Marie” (tradition says that some pirates kidnapped the young Venetian girls. Were soon chased by men who rowed furiously on their boats ,reached the pirates and free the young girls) .
But is possible that the race had even older roots.



The races

Initially disputed on galleys, peatoni, barges, or agile boats with two or more rowing, today the four competitions are divided by age categories and by type of boat.It starts from the gardens of Santa Elena from the starting cord, called “spaghetti”and continue along the Grand Canal to the trainstation “Saint Lucia” where they turn around a stake driven into the middle of the Grand Canal. Then they return to the “machine”, a floating building situated in front of Ca ‘Foscari palace. In the past, the competition between boats took place in the section between the Lido island and Piazza San Marco.
Lalbo d’oro (the roll of honor) of the race refers to the winners of the competition. The prizes consist of money and flags, which replace the medals: red for first place, White for the second, (in the past it was celestial) for third place green, and blue for last.

The last flag was initially yellow with a pig painted, (considered a very little fast animal) and the quarter place was granted with a pig alive. Its passage between the boats and spectators was a “thermometer of the Venetians to the government of the city”, and when these were not the most satisfying,the pig was acclaimed with whistles and shouts of “here is the mayor, long live the Mayor.” Is replaced  on 2002 with a pig in Murano glass.

regatta the doge

regatta the doge

The historical procession.

Is the parade of multi-colored sixteenth century boats, with gondoliers in period costume, carrying the Doge,the Dogaressa, Caterina Cornaro, and all the magistrates and important people of Venice.

Commemorates the welcome given in 1489 to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, who gave up her throne in favor of Venice.
In 1472 the eighteen year old Catherine goes to Famagusta, on the island of Cyprus, where the lavish wedding were celebrated . A year after the king died leaving pregnant the young widow. The following year his son died of malarial fever. Just twenty years she is crowned Queen of Cyprus. She remains on the island until 1489, when, at the request of the Venetian government, abdicate and return home.

gondolas races

gondolas races

Cyprus remained under the jurisdiction of the republic of Venice .She was awarded the title of “Adopted Daughter of the Republic” .It was appointed lady of Asolo, where he had the same powers as the Doge, calling at court poets and writers of the century: Giorgione, Lorenzo Lotto , Pietro Bembo. She became so famous that Titian painted her in a famous portrait.

Ca ‘Corner della Regina, built by the family of Catherine, is located near the Santa Croce district and overlooks the Grand Canal.

Bissone boat

Bissone boat

Once,the bissone,the boat that open the parade, goes on the back of the boat race. On board, the patricians with bows , shooting balls of clay (balote) to punish the most undisciplined participants of the race.

other items:

The red blooming rose

On the day of the festival ,of Saint Mark ,in the square that houses the church recline numerous market stalls, selling the famous “bocolo”, the red blooming rose  traditionally given by the Venetians ,a romantic tradition that no Venetian male ever think of not keep,to their beloved women: girlfriends, wives and mothers.

the red blooming rose

the red blooming rose

Obviously at the base of the festival  is a legend, that is lost in the mists of time The LEGEND OF BOCOLO (Blooming rose festival on April 25 in Venice) dates back to the times of the Doge Orso I Partecipazio  (864-829), whose daughter Mary became the female protagonist.  Known for her beauty,his daughter, fell in love with a troubadour (perhaps for the sweetness of his words that can make her laugh and dream), but of humble origin, named Tancredi. In the intent to overcome the social class differences, Tancredi goes to war trying to get a military reputation that makes it worthy of a noblewoman. Tancredi left and soon the news of his glorious deeds spread throughout the Christians territories, until arrived to Venice, which now waiting for the return of the young man as a great hero. Perhaps this was the heroic destiny that Mary dreamed for her beloved.

But he was mortally wounded and fell on a bush of white roses. With the last remaining forces seized a blooming rose,  stained with his blood, and begged his companion,a knight, to give the rose to his beloved at Venice.san marco and  bocolo festival

Mary receives the rose on 24 April .Closed in her grief, the young woman retired to his room and the next morning was found dead in her bed, with the bloody rose  on her heart.

Due to this story ,and an other ,the festival of Saint Mark is called also the festival of blooming rose.

If it is true or not, if is an imported tradition, as many traditions that have born who knows were ,and then were imported, is not very important. Beyond the symbol, important is the beauty, and the love,of this Venetian custom .

other items:

The festival of San Marco,and the legends

italy basilica san marcoThe festival of San Marco takes place on April 25, the date of the death of St. Mark, but on the time of the Republic of Venice were also dedicated to St Mark January 31, in remember the translation of the relics in Venice,and June 25, the date of the discovery of the relics in 1094, the place where was been hidden (according to legend, in  pillar).

The Basilica of San Marco, one of the most visited and admired monuments in the world, occupies a privileged place in the heart of Venice because ,in addition to honoring the saint patron , every detail is decorated with sculptures and works of art gained as booty in historic victories of the Republic.

The Life of Saint Mark the Evangelist can be read in the Acts of the Apostles, but his death and the theft of the remains are wrapped in mystery. Disciple of the Apostle Paul, follow Paul and Barnabas (his cousin), in Antioch and also the transfer of the body of San Marco in Venicewanted to accompany them to the return.He follow them even in the journey to Cyprus, but when they had to cross a swampy and inhospitable region of the mountains of Taurus, Mark (also called John by Jews), give up and goes back to Jerusalem.Then follow Paul to Rome where he remained in the service of Peter.

During this period Mark wrote down the Gospel narrate by Peter, and become a disciple of him. He was invited by Peter to  evangelize the northern part of Italy. Arrived to Aquileia, the capital the Venetia et Histria region, he met here a citizen named Ermagora and converting him to Christianity, consecrating him bishop of the city. Thus start the evangelization of the whole area.

Direct to Alexandria in order to convert the heathen of the Egypt, on a dark stormy night, the ship was boarded to seek shelter in one of the few fishermen’s huts on the island “called Rialto” . After a frugal dinner with the fishermen ,the saint ,leaned down, and fell asleep. In his dream an angel appeared in the form of a winged lion, who addressed him thus: “On this island, Mark,in a wonderful day, a great city will rise and in this city your ultimate rest will find peace .“Pax tibi, Marce, Evangelista meus.Hic requiescet corpus tuum. “(Peace to you, Mark, my evangelist. Here your body will rest)”. Mark woke up in the morning and told his dream to the fishermen, before setting sail for the Egypt ,where he died.

The relics were kept in the church erected at Canopus, (the second greek port in the muslim guardsEgypt before Alexandria). They were transferred in Venice in the year 828 by two legendary Venetian merchants: Buono from Malamocco and Rustico from Torcello. The route from Alexandria was full of ups and downs, from the need to hide the remains of the saint under a load of vegetables and pork, “because Muslims would not have dared to inspect a similar load”.

Before arriving in Venice at the Calabrian cites ,at Cropani area, the boat arrived in the middle of a storm.The relics were saved thanks to the intervention of the Cropane’s sailors. For this reason, a piece of the remains of the saint, the patella ,is in the church of Santa Lucia in Cropani, as a symbol of gratitude for the help.

The saint’s relics are now preserved on the altar of the basilica of Saint Mark in Venice . The prestige given by the remains of St. Mark in Venice made possible the greatly increase of Venice’s power and independencethe basket with the spoils of the saint







Similar article:

other items:




April 25, the feast of liberation, the feast of St. Mark and legends

april 25April 25, the feast of liberation, the feast of St. Mark and legends. On April 25, we celebrate the Feast of the liberation of Italy from the occupation by the German army and the fascist government (1945).Men and women of all ages are dead then to grant us the democratic rights of which we enjoy today. Every year in various Italian cities are organized deposition of laurel wreaths at the monument to the fallen, marches and demonstrations to celebrate ,and remember the liberation.

April 25 on a warm spring weather ,in Venice, are organized , from flag-raising ceremony at the “Path of Remembrance”, from the “bòcolo” of love until the military parade in Piazza San Marco, concerts, puppet shows, children’s playground laboratories, trash art, pizzas, lunches and dinners, beers and excellent selection of wines.
About 1200 Venetian participate in the construction of a giant human rose that will decorate St. Marco square.The participants will arrive wearing clothes of red color (which will create the flower), green (stem and leaves.) From the top of the bell tower ,the images taken , will make a highly dramatic effect.

According to one legend, the tradition of the rose “bocolo” evokes an unexpected love between two young people from two enemy families.
A rose , who was born near the tomb of St. Mark, would be donated to a sailor of Giudecca island ,by the name Basil as a reward for his cooperation in stealing the remains of the saint from Alexandria,Egypt. Planted in the garden of his house, the rose became the boundary of the property divided among his sons, after the death of Basil .The time and the nature of human being ,divided into two opposite branches of the Basil family .
Following the breakdown of harmony between the two branches, the plant stopped flowering.
Many years later (an April 25) a love at the first sight was born between a girl from one of the two branches  and a young man from the other branch of the family. The two young people fell in love looking through the rose ground who separated the two gardens.The rose miraculously began to flourish again and the guy take a bushing and gave it to the girl.

In memory of this love, which would restore peace between the two families, the Venetians still offering the red rose bloom “bocoli”to their beloved: girlfriends, wives and mothers.

Due to this tradition ,the feast of St. Mark is also called the Feast of the Blooming Rose (from rosebud)

At the celebration are associated with this some popular legends.
The February 1340, Venice was hit by a terrible storm. The sky remained covered with
the storm clouds, dark as night even though it was the dawn of the day.The intensity of the storm was so strong that threatened seriously the city. To the three at the afternoon the storm suddenly ceased and the waters returned calm .
From this curious meteorological event was born the legend called the fisherman’s ring.

The final episode is depicted in a painting of the sixteenth-century painter Paris Borden, secure in the galleries of the Academy.

(Nobody knows if this story is linked to the Pope’s ring,that it is called “ring of the fisherman,” too,because St. Peter was a fisherman and Jesus made him become a fisher of men.)

the three gentlemens - St Mark mosaicThe story begins on the “Deck of straw” (or below), ahead of the Bridge of Sighs, where the corpses of the drowning people were displayed, to be recognized by the familiars or friends. An humble fisherman, shelter from the storm under the bridge, suddenly saw a man on the bank of the canal leading to the bridge.With a calm tone, but authoritative ordered him to take him to the island of St. George, in front of Piazza San Marco. Spite of the rain and bad weather fisherman accept it, (it was good practice to obey the orders of noblemen if you did not want to go into trouble ). Once they reached on the other side on board ,get, a tall sword-wielding warrior .He turned to the fisherman with the quiet but firm tone ordering him to go to the Lido to the shore of the church of St.Nicholas. The fisherman look at both of them and think, at least i’m not too tired, and if i oar a bit will pass the cold. He could not say no even if he want to say that.
When they reached their destination, a third man, with a religious appearance of a bishop dressed in ceremonial robes, climb aboard, and gave an authoritative command to go to offshore.

But just after they veered towards the sea, a short distance from the entrance of the harbor,  a terrifying vision appear.

A large ship with black sails, full of demons, was preparing for the assault on the city.The Paris Borden- the sailor gives the ring to the dogethree passengers stared at the horrible scene and made the sign of the cross for three times. Immediately after they saw the cursed ship sink between the terrible screams, while the wind and the rain ceased and the sea calmed.The three passengers ordered the fisherman to come back and let every one of them where they had boarded.

At the “Bridge of the straw”, the last passenger give a final order of the scared fisherman : Now go to your prince and you tell truthfully what you saw today. At his doubt that someone will believe him the gentleman handed him a ring and said: Give it to your doge, and ahead of him and his court will say that we have liberated the city from the flood,which was the work of Devil .The person we met at St. Nicholas was right Nicholas the saint, like the one that had boarded to St. George was George the saint, and that I ,who give you this ring ,i am St. Mark the Evangelist, the master of your city.
So saying, he blessed him and he goes. The fisherman went to the Doge’s Palace. No one stopped him when he went in the right direction boardroom, even if he had never been in those place.No one stopped him when he began to speak ahead of the Doge, and the senators, telling his incredible story. San Marco-the treasure
When the fisherman open his hand to confirm what he said, everyone saw the ring that all knew ,and that for centuries sought, the ring belongs at San Marco.
The ring is still preserved in the treasury of the Basilica of San Marco.
As a reward granted to the fisherman, the Doge gave him and his family the exclusive privilege to extract and sell  to his advantage the sand of the beach of Saint Erasmus island where he lived. From the family of fisherman originated the middle ages “sand sellers” of the Grade city.

from Encyclopedia of Fairy Tale.

other items:


By :


Have you ever wondered how much can be for you a good monthly income? What will you do with this extra income? Are you interested to have more free time for yourself, and to be together with your family?   Read more …….




Carnival, Venetian masks

Carnival  Venetian  Masks

pierrot (1)The Venetian masks have a long history of protecting the identity of the wearer during promiscuous or decadent activities .Venetian masks are  Made for centuries in Venice, these distinctive venezian masks were made from paper mache and decorated with fur, fabric , gems, or feathers.The symbol of Carnival in Venice, a street show and exhibition of fantastic characters .  Masked, a servant could be confused with a nobleman,or vice versa. The Inquisitors of State and spies could question citizens without fear that their true identity could be discovered ( citizens could answer without fear of retaliation ) . The morale of the people was maintained through the use of masks, not faces, they all was “only voices”.The gambling continued throughout the day and night in the gambling houses,private homes, even in convents . The woman’s clothes was more striking ; the homosexuality , while was publicly condemned , was embraced by the normal people. Even the nuns and monks of the clergy, wore masks and dressed in disguise to hide their stories , like the majority of their fellow citizens .The following masks are some of the most used Venetian  masks during the carnival,but also well known characters of the theatre of the comedy of the art

Venetian Carnival  Masks:Pantalone

pantaloneFamous Venetian mask was born around the middle of the sixteenth century.Pantalone is a typical merchant: old, rich and stingy, lustful, filthy, hostile to the young and always mocked. Sometimes is a dealer in Vienna. A little silly, lover of the beautiful women and the food , naive, full of temperament,is the butt of all the jokes, some of them very indecent, but forgive everything in the end. It is often presented as the parent of one of the lovers and has some business relationship with the Doctor or the Captain.

His habitude is to wear a large codpiece to advertise his manhood (which everyone around him know that is gone) along with a mask with a long hooked nose, a red vest tight pants and red socks, a long black cloak that covers the red tights ,slippers and a hat without a brim.

It is one of the longest-lived of the Commedia dell’Arte masks. Born suddenly, with the pantalonebirth of the comedy, passed almost unscathed through three centuries. The names Pantalone and Todero, according to some historians of the theater,have a similar derivation, in fact, to the saints San Pantaleon and San Teodoro ,the Venetians have paid a special devotion.


Carnival  Masks   :Pedrolino or Pierrot

pierrotThe character was brought to France , where became part of the repertoire of French companies with the name of Pierrot ,thanks to Joseph Geratoni who introduced him, in 1673 , but the first Pierrot was the Italian one, derived from the characters of the “commedia dell’arte” , one of the first true Venetian mask -Zanni .

Pierrot is a stock figure in the Commedia dell’Arte .Pierrot is usually depicted as cute , charming and polite , to the point of excess , is blamed for bad things he never made and for his trusting nature is often deceived . The remarkable feature of Pierrot is his naivety, he is seen as a fool, always cheated and teased by the others.Despite his suspicions about things , Pierrot always end up trusting people and believing their lies. Pierrot is also seen as a person outside of reality, in a state of unawareness of what is happening around ,is one from who don’t count anything but cheering and playing all the time .
In the French version ,Pierrot lost the characteristics of cunning and duplicity , to become the sad mime in love with the Moon.

As character Pierrot wearing white clothes, which are sometimes too big for him, but more commonly and well-equipped with accessories, sometimes blacks,with a high and pointed, or small and tense hat.His face is sometimes whitened with white powder or flour.
Pierrot is very occasionally depicted with a tear on his face, and usually doesn’t wear a mask, the actor should generally have a wide range of facial expressions. This character is played at least from the begining of the 1600.


Carnival  Masks :Scaramouche , Captain

scaramoucheSkirmish (Scaramouche ) literally means “small , fast melee ” giving the idea of a soldier who does not involve himself too much in the battle , but his way of fighting ,is, a little touch here, a short attack there. His affinity for intrigue often landed him in difficult situations, but he always managed to extricate themselves, usually involving an innocent victim at his place.
Scaramouche was originally a variant of “the Captain” another character of the comedy .
The Captain was a young man of adventure or rather an old sailor , boasting swashbuckling , dressed to kill , feathered hat , high boots , with a sword in his belt , often Spanish ,he was always a prime favorite. He had some amazing stories about how he beat a whole army of Turks and how he took away the beard of the Sultan, but when there was a hint of real danger was the first to escape. This character , of course, is none other than the glorious ” Miles of Plautus” , called in Italian Captain Fear Valley Inferno, or simply  Fright (Spavento).More an women hunter that a soldier , a great friend of Pulcinella , always finds a way to reverse the consequences of his actions on someone else.The captain is sometimes depicted without a mask. When he use a Scaramocchiamask, usually has the color of the skin with a large nose and a mustache that are, or straight and wiry or raised corners. Sometimes in older versions is shown wearing a pair of glasses, even if they are used to compensate for his lack of visibility,the Captain insist that he wore the glasses “to avoid that the brilliant and fierce gleam of his beautiful eyes will outshine the sun”. Usualy wear his military uniform, multi-colored and covered with shiny buttons, but often very worn.




other items:

visit my website

On facebook



The Venezian Carnival masks

The Venezian Carnival masks

maschera-veneziana-zanni-grezzoVenetian carnival masks are the representative objects in Venice, because it shows the spirit of Venice projected towards the transgression and fun. The carnival masks were worn in many occasions and for many months of the year. In the eighteenth century, Venice enjoyed the reputation of having the world’s most famous Carnival, where participated all social classes, and carnival mask representing the trick for the great magic of the collective meetings.The “comedia dell’arte” and carnival masks:

carnival masks -Columbine
columbinaA traditionally character in the historical theater  “Commedia delll arte”, Colombina has become one of the most famous Venetian carnival masks .This mask is completely handmade ,from paper mache , a very light mask ,was perfect to wear , to the masquerade ball and on other carnival festivities.Born in Venice was unique female mask to penetrate in the midst of so many male characters .
As the character of the “commedia dell’arte” Columbine, the clever servant girl, very fond of her mistress, was cheerful and wise , crafty, lovely, lying, mischievous and pungent.She wore a cap of all the colors with some pretty curls comming out , a blue and white dress that stand out from the blue skirt and red stockings . Usualy has an apron with large pockets where she tuck love notes.She has also a blue bow on the buckle of the shoes. colombina e pantalone
On the scene, is often the wife or girlfriend of Harlequin , but she is often the subject of attention from the master Pantalone,or by his friends which provokes jealousy toHarlequin.

Masks for carnival – Jester ,or Jolly ,

is a specific form of clown well known in the Middle Ages. Starting from Italy , Jester moved across Europe , acting in the theater in Spain, Holland , Germany, Austria ,
JollyEngland, and especially in France. Origins of the Jester is suppose to come from the west prehistoric tribal society . Pliny the Elder mentions a royal Jolly ( planus regius) recounting the Apelles’ visit to the royal palace palace of the Hellenistic King Ptolemy I. Jester was a symbolic twin of the king. All the clowns and fools in those days were regarded as special cases whom God had touched with a childlike madness, a gift, or perhaps a curse. People with intellectual disabilities sometimes find employment as behaving in a fun way , doing comical flips and jumps . In the harsh world of medieval Europe , people who may not be able to survive any other way found thus a social niche where they were protected.
Jesters wore typically brightly colored clothing in a motley pattern. Their hats were especially distinctive; made ​​from rags,on the head, they were a floppy with three points, each of which had a bell at the end. The three points of the hat represent the donkey’s ears and the tail worn by earlier jesters . Other things distinctive about the jester were his incessant laughter and the mock scepter, known as a bauble or Marotte.Well known for his witty banter, or his fun personality, the mask Jester reminiscent of the eccentrics jokers who have kept the king and all his men in a cheerful mood,in the Middle Ages.
They were known in the Middle Ages, for their ability to really work with the crowd to “make people laugh” with the most fun tricks.
Carnival masks -Pulcinella

pulcinellaa classic character with the origins in the “Commedia dell’Arte” of the sixteen century . The face mask was black and white ,with a white coat , and his hair loose and disheveled . Comming from Campania ,Pulcinella, expressing the soul of the people of Naples has become a symbol mask in the theater. Its main feature which acquired its name , is his extremely long nose , which resembles with a beak.
Pulcinella name come from the latin word ” pullus gallinaceus” , which led to the word ” Pulliciniello ” and ” Pulcinella “, which means chick , to emphasize the comical tone as a hoarse cackle . Its traditional temperament is to be mean , vicious and cunning : the main mode of defense is to pretend to be too stupid to understand what’s going on , looking for gimmicks to escape the oppression of the powerful,or the greed of the rich men. His secondary mode is to physically beat the people . Is extremely entangled in the maschera-pulcinellamost minute problems of food, basic necessities that sharpen his wits and his imagination . Little desire to work and a lot of fun , it is always busy looking for solutions to accomplish this his goal. Like many others, characters is a servant in all the spectacles.

In the eighteenth century it was transformed into a puppet . In 1600 Pulcinella was “adopted” by the British under the name of Punch, the English variation of the Punch and Judy.


Carnival masks – Zanni,
zani 1A venetian word ,is a version of the name John ( also called Gianni,Zan , Zane , Zuane ) ,a very common name in the Lombardy,the Venetian countryside ,from where came most of the Lombard ancestors emigrated to Venice to work as servants,for the nobles  and wealthy Venetian merchants .Zanni is the archetype of the comic servant characters of the Commedia dell’Arte . Opposed to the Magnificent ( the teacher, the old name of the Venetian mask of Pantalone ), the role of Zanni is very variable : silly zani, naive, and vulgar, doubling in the two types of smart and silly servant , Zanni was a character in its own right and who lived his own life . But once inside the city environment, Zanni becomes crafty , cunning , and bold .Strongly tied to the land , to the rural life , the symbol par excellence of the crude and vulgar character of the peasant,but often remains poor , constantly hungry . Zanni ‘s costume is a white coat and pants,a normally dress worn by peasants during the work in the fields , a particular hat off around the head , but especially with a long visor , a bit like that of goliards college a few decades ago. He wore a black mask that resembles his more popular descendant , Arlecchino .




other items:

visit my website:

On facebook : venice venezia





Venice carnival masks

Venice carnival masks
MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAVenetian carnival masks have a long history . The Venetians have always had the habitude of wearing carnival masks and fancy clothes ,  not just during the Carnival period , but also on many other occasions during the year. .Of course the reason that made them dress up and hide their faces with carnival masks in particular times and places was obvious ;they did not want to be recognized.The women disguised themselves  with carnival masks not only to not be recognized , but also to have a better conspicuousness They disguise themself when they gambling at “Ridotto”gambling house,because they wouldn’t be recognized by their creditors who gave them no respite.


the Bauta
carnevale di venezia BautaThe term derives from the verb ” behuten “,a German word seems : to protect the wearer ,or from the esclamation ” bau ” (or ” bogey” ) , a typical Italian representation of the monster, beast or bad ,used by adults to frighten the childrens.The  mask have a black veil ( also white or blue and even scarlet ) called ‘ cloak ‘ or ‘ little cloak ‘ , which, starting from the neck covers the shoulders . It is the same type of dress for everyone , easy to confuse the different social classes.The cloak or mantle was a little dress owned by everyone from the poor to the aristocrats, weared by strangers but also by the robbers. The mask was completed by a black tricorn hat and a white mask enlarged and protruding upper lip under a protruding nose like a beak. The projection of the nose and cheekbones ” pointed” on the sides were also a convenient way to remove the mask ,and to keep it on hand.That kind of conformation became a soundboard, changing the timbre of the voice , thus making the wearer unrecognizable. SAM_0402
The white mask was called ” larva “, perhaps derived from the same Latin word whose meaning like a shadow / ghost.In the past the ” larva ” masks were made by famous craftsmen from those days, it was made ​​from stucco, papier-mâché or leather .The sizes had been in accordance with the comforts and the features of the face , but at the same time had to be in ” standard “, maintaining the constancy in the forms and colors, to be confused with other carnival masks.

You could eat and drink without removing it , thus maintaining the anonymity.After all this, it was the custom to wear a long black cloak that covered half of the body . During the Carnival , the Venetians used the bauta to maintain their anonymity ( granting any transgression ) and let them enjoy the fun.

The Bauta mask ,was used both by men and women on different occasions : it was even obligatory for the married women who went to the theater while it was forbidden to the young girls at the ” age of marriage”.Even the priests and the nuns used that kind of mask to hide their forbidden love stories .

It was introduced in theater by Carlo Goldoni in 1748.In many buildings with frescoes by Tiepolo you can recognize pictures in which appear the old bauta masks.

The Gnaga ,(the cat)
SAM_4110 Gnata is a Traditional Venice Carnival mask , a disguise as a woman for men , easy to implement and with fairly common use. It was made ​​up of women’s clothing in common use, a white cap and a mask with the likeness to a cat, accompanied by a basket ,on the arm ,that usually contained a kitten. The character is posing as a commoner small woman , uttering shrill sounds mocking and meows . Sometimes they wore garments of mercy , accompanied by other men dressed as children .

That kind of mask ,have a funny venetian story:

The cats were so scarce in Venice that have become the subject of the wide discution .
Legend tells us that a man who owned nothing that his old cat came to Venice from China.
The man became rich when the cat free,the Doge’s Palace from all its mice. When he returned home , rewarded by the Doge himself, his rich neighbor, full of envy , rushed to Venice with its most precious silks, thinking that if a simple cat did the other man rich , he would be greatly rewarded for all these precious objects. In fact , the Duke had promised , his most precious possession in exchange for objects and gifts … and the cunning neighbor came home with the …precious cat!

This mask offered the opportunity to hide the nature, of many young boys ,who went around dressed as Gnaga , to cover up their homosexuality. The behavior was very common among the young people (monitored by the state inquisitors .) The government attributed the bad habit to the influence of other peoples , especially the Turks, who were famous for this bad habit.From that mask derived an Venetians expression “ti ga na vose da Gnaga ” to indicate the tone of a shrill voice .

“On May 4, 1740 during a “regatta” held in honor of Frederick, King of Saxony, a boy Gnatamasked as Gnaga, from a boat, began to teasing of the Turks who were leaning out the windows on the place called the “turkish fundament” : these , irritated, began to react first with words , then , at the inceasing insults , uncovering the roof and stoning Gnaga with tiles,dropping off the entire cover of the building ” .

Moretta,(dark-skinned lady),
morrettaan oval mask of black velvet that was usually worn by women visiting the convents.Over the mask usualy ,could put a veil.This mask ,a traditional Venetian mask, could be worn by women throughout all the year. Used mainly by young women, the oval black mask, was accompanied by a poor dress ,like a simple servant who hid the identity of a noble woman in search of transgressions. The mask was devoid of the hole of the mouth , and was supported by a button placed inside with the teeth .The mask forced to not speak , which in those days was recommended to a not accompanied lady. dama veneziaInvented in France the mask quickly became popular in Venice, showing the beauty and the femininity of a  lady.The strange thing is that the mask was preferred by many men .

Dr.Peste (plague)

doctor pesteDr. peste is a modern Venetian Carnival Mask . This mask had a very peculiar story: On of the worst scourges of the city of Venice was undoubtedly the plague that struck the city on several occasions. Because of this plague, this strange costume was used as a disguise to recognize physicians who came to visit the sick patients,the strange dress was of French invention,and at the time represented the maximum prevention.The dress consisted of the doctor’s hat ,to show that the man was a doctor, a mask to protect the face, including” the crystal” eyes to protect the wearer’s eyes and a beak stuffed with spices or herbs to purify the air that the doctor breathed.The costume was completed with a wooden stick to push away the victims who get too close to him , a pair of leather gloves to protect his hands , a gown waxed from the outside, and long boots.

Dama mask, (lady)

dama carnevalethe mask has many variants correspond to the elegant ladies of the sixteenth century covered in jewels, expensive clothes and processed headgears .Le ladies used to wear white wigs high hairstyles with very elaborate or elegant hairstyle with curls and braids, with a hat of the same shade of gown embellished with colorate feathers. The extremely elaborate dress, with the skirt very wideand large,the quality fabric,colorful and full of lace and decorations aroused the admiration of all who watched.

The mask , in tune with thedama whole costume have a holder to keep it before the face and hide  to the anonymous. In our days,this is probably the most popular type of mask, with the most beautiful effect, used during the Carnival of Venice.

next article:


other items:

visit my website :

On facebook : venice venezia

Venice – Carnival, Mary’s feast days



Venice – Carnival, Mary’s  feast  days


mary's feast

mary’s feast

The  Mary’s feast days “Festa delle Marie” was born at the beginning of the ninth century ,( on February 2 of each year) , to thank to the Virgin Mary for her intercession and to commemorate the victory over the pirates.The Mary’s feast days  seems to have been introduced in the year 943 and being continued during the Carnival  .

Originally,on February 2,the  blessing day, was celebrated the marriages of twelve poor and beautiful girls (two for each district, renamed for the occasion Mary  “marie”) , at Saint Peter’s Basilica of Castello. The ceremony, had been set up to help those who were in financial need and to increase the marriages in a town with few inhabitants.

The marriages were possible thanks to the donation made ​by the nobles of Venice and the Doge’s kindess  .It was an well known the custom that the Doge lend to the girls beautiful jewelery and gold from the treasury of the city. The gifts were brought in the specially built wooden boxes called “arcelle” or “capsellae”.The “Marie” went in the procession , marching in thele marie festaembellished boats  ( also well known Bucintoro,the doge’s boat ),ran through the canals of the city, attended religious services in the principal churches in Venice ,participating to the dance,music and refreshments organized by  the citizen.The doge , followed by the nobles accompanied the brides in St. Mark’s Square, here he handed them “the blessed candles “and invited them to a banquet in the Palazzo Ducale (the Doge palace).The ability to get close to Marie was considered a good omen , as well as an opportunity to Venetians and foreigners to see wonderful women , wearing beautiful clothes with rare and highly prized ornaments .le marie

On the year 943 , during the  celebration of ,the marriage of the girls, the Istrian-Dalmatian pirates, kidnapped them ,with the intention to reduce them to slavery, and to steal the “arcelle” with the precious jewels .
After the initial disbelief and the general confusion,a squad of armed Venetians leaded by the Doge Pietro III Candiano goes to chasing the pirates. They reach the pirates at Caorle , attacked and killed them all,their bodies were thrown into the sea.The twelve girls and their precious gold were rescued . The Doge also decided that the place where this happened this bloody episode was called “Port of Damsels” ,(young girl) a name that still remains.

As a reward for those who have helped the doge to defeat the pirates,the ” caselleri” ( mainly craftsmen who build houses ) , who had established their school craft and the altar of the devotion to in the church of Santa Maria Formosa, asked the Doge to visit their parish and the Church of Santa Maria Formosa ,annually, at the same day to the memory of this kidnapping .The request was granted and maintained for centuries and the visit to Santa Maria Formosa church was included in the Doge’s calendar of the public visits .

Over the years the number of the Marie has changed several times .

mary's feastHowever, along the time the Mary’s feast days, also created quite a stir : it often happened that the girls about to get married were courted , and raped by men who came to see them.Starting from 1343 the twelve beautiful maidens in ” flesh and bones ” were only twelve wooden silhouettes painted  the Mary of wood “Marie de tola ”  to which the people often challenged to throwing stones and garbage.For this reason in 1349 was passed a law who prohibiting to throw objects towards the wooden silhouettes ( the punishment was jail ) .The term “tola” in the venetian dialect became similar with a flat women without breasts.The term ” marionete ” puppet comes from small puppets called ” Marie Wood ” (or ” Marion ” when larger) , names inspired by “Marie de tola” term. .

In 1379 the Celebration of Marie was suppressed , to be resumed ( after seven centuries ) in 1999, with some variations .

Nowdays the Venice carnival opens each year with the parade of the  Mary’s  feast  days. In the penultimate day of the carnival in a public contest is choice the most beautiful girl from the 12 girls , and the next day will be proclaimed the ” mary of the year ” .The winner will be the protagonist of the ” angel flight ” at the next carnival.




other items:




Venice – carnival, the Angel Flight

Venice – the Angel Flight

volo” Angel Flight .The name come from an real fly during the carnival in 1500 when a young turkish acrobat , was the protagonist of an action never seen before in Venice. From a boat anchored on the quay of the Piazzetta (San Marco), the acrobat was able to get up to the belfry of the  San Marco bell tower, walking only on a rope . This strange performance took place on Maundy Thursday , the first day of the carnival ,with the Piazza San Marco crowded in the presence of the Doge and the nobilty.
This spectacular feat , was immediately called the “turkish flight” (Svolo del turco) ,and the event was scheduled as official ceremony for subsequent editions” .The flight (Svolo ) was always repeated by professional acrobats , until , some ” Arsenalotti ” ( the workers of the shipyards of the Arsenale ) wanted to prove themselves , traning so hard to become, over the centuries, the specialized team in that undertaking.
For many years the show, keeping the same name , was performed only by professional artists ,but was challenged also by young Venetians , demonstrating skill and courage with many variations on the theme .venezia_carnevale-di-venezia-volo-dellangelo
The artist had to climb the rope from the quay, up to the bell tower ;get down with spins up to the loggia of the Palazzo Ducale where the Doge , along with all political power and foreign ambassadors , receive from his hands a bunch of flowers or cards with the sonnets ; and finally return to the bell tower.
Often in exchange for the bouquet of flowers , the Doge rewarded the ” Turkish ” with a sum of money .Decades later, the acrobats who wrestled on that enterprise were replaced with an artist,who , “hanging on to the rope with rings , was brought down at great speed along the rope,with a pair of wings on his back “.

Thus was born the Angel Flight , a practice abandoned in 1759 when the show turned into tragedy ” Nane Bailo , a member of a famous Venezian family, crashed on the ground into the crowd in horror .” It was probably because of these incidents , the flight ,was forbidden and the acrobat was replaced by a large wooden dove , descending , and scattered flowers and confetti over the crowd .In that way the accidents on the rope were eliminated ,( not bode well for the acrobat ); was born the belief that a flight without incident is a good omen for the carnival , and a new name name :the
Flight of the Dove .
ITALY-VENICE-CARNIVAL-FESTIVAL-ANGELIn modern Venice Carnival , it was decided to re-insert the Angel Flight ,in the version of the Flight of the Dove .It is held on the first Sunday of the carnival,and is one of the main events : a mechanical bird drops down from the Campanile di San Marco to the Palazzo Ducale. Halfway a trapdoor from the belly, opened and free candy and confetti ,down over the crowd.

This tradition has continued to this day , but since 2001 it has returned  to the old formula of the Angel Flight , the Colombina is replaced by a real woman who makes the descent from the bell tower to the square firmly secured to a metal cable .
The artist makes his descent from the belfry of the tower sliding slowly toward the ground,
Festa delle Marie 2008suspended in the air above the crowd that fills the space below .
The ” Angel flight” have the protagonist the winner of the Mary contest from the previous year, is generally played at noon on the first Sunday of celebration and opens the most important week of Carnival.



other items:

visit my website

On facebook


Venice festivals – Shrove Thursday

Venice-Shrove Thursday

At the begining of each Carnival  is set the date for the start of the official celebrations.( Shrove Thursday )

carnevale-venezia-s-marco-22That begins on the first Saturday before Shrove Thursday and ends at Shrove Tuesday for a total of only eleven days.During the Carnival the business and affairs of the Venetians passed into the background, and they conceded every day of their time to the festivities, jokes, entertainment and events that were set up throughout the city, especially in Piazza San Marco ,along the Riva degli Schiavoni, in all the major “fields” of Venice.

Ancient,…and strange …origin of the festival celebrate a major victory of the Venetian Republic against the Patriarch of Udine , Ulrich,(or Volrico or Vodolrico, which was nominated by Frederick Barbarossa in 1161)
All starts in 1026 when Conrad II Emperor of the West,  forced Pope John XIX to a new
synod of bishops to confirm the supremacy of Popone, the Cardinal of Aquileia against the patriarchy of Grade city ,a region, where Venice and Bisanzio had many interests .On 1028 the same Emperor gives to the Patriarch of Aquileia,Popone,a part of Friuli region.

In 1162 Ulrich,an other patriarch of Aquileia with some feudal vassals (to renew the giov grasexploits of his ancestor), taking advantage of the ongoing war between Venice and the city of Padua and Ferrara, aided by the feudal lords of Carinthia and Friuli, attacked the town of Grado, forcing the patriarch Enrico Dandolo to take refuge in Venezia.The patriarch Dandolo with military aid from the Doge Vitale Michieli II defeats the enemy, regaining the city, and captures the Ulrich with twelve of his canonicals, and leads them ,in triumph, to Venice.

To break free from the prison they had to promise to pay an  annual tribute to the Venetians:twelve loaves of bread, twelve pigs and a bull . The animals were then greeted as prisoners in the Ducal Palace. From that day,  the ” Shrove Thursday “, the anniversary of the victory , the pigs and the bull who came to Venice were sentenced to death by beheading in a real  process and the judgment was publicly performed in St. Mark’s Square . The meat of the “criminals” were then distributed among the senators of the Republic, while the loaves were distributed in the prisons.

ITALY-VENICE-CARNIVAL-FESTIVAL-ANGELThis honor was given to the guild of blacksmiths , assisted by that of the butchers ( Becheri ) ,who  slaughtered the pigs and offered the meat to all the Venetian people.

The Venetian said :” To cut the bull’s head ” (which means getting rid of the obstacles, ending up problem in a definitive way), because with the cut of the bull’s head was placed the end of the show ,comes from here .

The intention of the Doge , was to perpetuate the memory of the victorious warlike deeds ,as well as a warning to the enemies , to inspire the pride of the Venetian force to the future generations; because it was clear that the obligation of the offer was not intended to Grado city but to Venice

The Doge and the main representatives of the State , were protagonists of another singular ceremony : in a hall of the ducal palace were put on,the little wood models of castles in change of the originals of the feudal lords of Ulrich ,and armed with maces enjoyed smashing everything … an eternal reminder of the victory inflicted to Friuli

This story, however, has a bad impact to the people of Udine, in the Shrove Thursday  of the year 1511 and was called:
Cruel Shrove Tuesday.

250px-Antonio__a_Udine_nel_1511The Venetian government had never considered Friuli region at the same rank as the other domains  but had interest to keep its dominance to keep as far as they can from Venice the Turkish and the (holy Roman) imperial army .
This attitude is also reflected in the policy characterized by the lack of measures to improve the condition of the population ( mainly rural ) on the social and economic development. The nobility , deprived of its ancient power by the government of Venice , tried to maintain his social status by exploiting the few remaining rights and the services owed ​​by farmers bringing to exasperation the feudal relations between subordinate ( farmer ) – sir (noble ) .Because of that the farmers gathered in ( a kind of party) of Zamberlani (çambarlans); the nobles also formed the party called the STRUMIERI

The day of ” Shrove Thursday “( February 27, 1511 ) Antonio Savorgnan , (the general commandant of the “cernide”,the armed militias of farmers who were called up in the case of war) staged an “Imperial” attack against Udine (actually ” the imperial army” was soldiers commanded by Alvise da Porto , his nephew ) . In the midst of the chaos created by the failure of the attack, the Savorgnans capitans stirred up the armed population , to the looting of the dwellings of the cities (lands of the noble family called “della Torre” )
which followed in the wake of lust booty, those of all the nobility of Udine (except for the palace of the Savorgnans,the true head of the revolt ) .
Meanwhile, in the wake of the violence spread like wildfire to the territories of Udine and
La--un-temposlowly  throughout all the region. The villagers , mostly farmers , armed as to go into battle besieged  the nearby castles inhabited by the nobility .
The Venetian government set up a special tribunal that condemned to death the major leaders of the revolt ,without hitting the real architect , Antonio Savorgnans .
Revenge , however, is not long late because “the strumieri” organized a conspiracy to murder him.That occurred on March 27, 1512 at the exit of the cathedral of Villach ,being killed by two Udinese nobles.

The tradition of the bulls and pigs continued until 1420 (the end of the temporal power of the patriarchs of Aquileia,when the Friuli region came under the domination of Venice), but despite the fact that the tribute was no more paid, the state continued to provide pigs and bulls for popular fun with the money from the  Republic’s Treasury .That “playful tribute” gives rise to the much curious folk festivals.After the execution of the animals the celebrations followed which the “forces of Hercules”, stunts such as ” the turkish fly” and
dances such as the “Moorish” (warrior dance),the theme of the future articles.



other items:

visit my website

On facebook