Commedia Dell'Arte and Chow
Beginning February 2nd, the annual festival is of a decidedly stately affair by comparison, but it is certainly an occasion for excess, self-expression, and sensuality. Acting troupes and performers engage in various forms of commedia dell'arte, street theatre and juggling, and epic proportions of traditional Venetian food and wine are consumed.
Bautas, Morettas, and Voltos
Whenever you choose to join in the festivities, you’ll first have to choose a mask. Throughout the festival, revelers conceal their identities with various styles of masks. Bautas are the main type of mask worn, and feature elaborate gilding and a rigid chin line that does not conceal the mouth. Morettas, oval masks made of velvet, are typically worn by women. Voltos and Larvas, very plain, unadorned masks, were the norm for centuries, but have largely fallen out of fashion.
The celebration reaches a fever pitch on the evening before Ash Wednesday and the coming of Lent. The employment of masks has the primary effect of stripping the city of its traditionally rigid set of class distinctions. This has historically had the effect of freeing citizens up to interact on more intimate terms with people outside of their class. With globalization, these distinctions have lessened somewhat, but Carnival remains a unique opportunity for foreigners interested in sampling a cross-section of Venetian society.
Tours & Tickets
If it’s your first time in Venice, see all the highlights of this magical city on a combination walking tour of Venice’s narrow streets and a boat tour on the ... Read more
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
This two-hour walking tour is an absolute must if you're a first-time visitor to Venice! You'll visit St. Mark's Basilica in St Mark's Square and other famous ... Read more
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)