Friday, June 04, 2010

Venetian Masks

I know it looks like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but who says you can't start projecting Carnevale? St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) and the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) may be the first things on the itinerary after traversing the Grand Canal, but if you're specifically headed towards Venice for the greatest, most theatrical, most exciting event of the year, you might want to dress for the occasion. MotH and I attended Venice's carnevale back in 2004 and I really had no idea what to expect. It was miserably cold, raining, people everywhere...but nothing could dampen the bedazzling spectacle of the costumed, masked characters parading through alleys and squares (honestly it was more like they were floating). They were elegant, beguiling - untouchable - a grandiose presence of immortals among mere beings like the rest of us. And I thought it was enough to wear a silly red cape? I knew then and there that if ever there were to be a next time, I'd be going in style and totally vamped.

Vamped, of course, has nothing to do with pale-skinned bloodsuckers and I was impressed with Venetian Masks and the quality and variety of masks which they offer on their website. The company ships from the United States which makes it that much more possible to celebrate Carnevale, italian-style, right in your own hometown. Masquerade balls also came to mind when I saw the more elaborate items. Zanni, Colombina, Arlecchino - the color and details are incredible and you don't even have to fly all the way to Italy (or risk getting ashed out by Eyjafjallajökull) to get them! Here are a few images to give you a small taste of Venetian Masks, but do take a look to see for yourself.


Blogger K and S said...

beautiful, they must cost a fortune too!

1:08 AM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Frizzy and Bird said...

Did you attend any of the Carnivale balls? I know they have a pretty big one on one of the islands. I'm sorry which one is slipping my mind right now. It's pricey but I've been told it's worth every penny or Euro.

1:12 AM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Frizzy and Bird said...

OH! I forgot to say, We have the Dr.'s mask I.E The bottom one. We were told the long nose was to keep him a safe distance from his patients during the plague.

1:13 AM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Brad Farless said...

Those are some really cool looking masks. I didn't realize people still have carnivales that use costumes that elaborate.

Interesting fact Frizzy. I just saw a movie with people wearing masks like the bottom one, but I didn't understand the significance until now.

4:54 AM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Kat - I know that these masks are also collector's items so you definitely pay for quality workmanship. I've seen news reports during Carnevale where people are dressed to the nine's!!! It's as if you're witnessing another period in history with all the opulence being worn.

Frizzy and Bird - we haven't been able to afford one of those balls, so the faster we pay off our mortgage!! I would love to dress up and play the part. Heck you only live once and I say go for it! And about the info on the Dr's nose...I had no idea!! Thank you for sharing that.

Brad - in Venice everything and anything is possible during Carnevale. Being that I know how to sew costumes, the only thing we need are the masks. I hope to tell everyone all about it one day.

10:04 AM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Sophie said...

Lovely Venetian Carnavale masks!

Verry pretty indeed!

3:34 PM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger RONW said...

I dunno why, but they bring to mind images of the Phantom of the Opera.

4:51 PM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

RONW - holy musical flashback! Now I'll have Bach's Toccata e fuga in my head for the rest of the evening.

10:25 PM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Fern Driscoll said...

I dunno - I've always found these masks rather creepy. But seeing Carnivale must have been a fantastic experience.

11:35 PM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Fern - hmmmm....well, you could always dress up as an italian cop?! Love their uniform!

11:44 PM, June 04, 2010  
Blogger Candylei said...

Wow, but wait. Which one are you getting??? Or did you get? :-)

4:21 AM, June 06, 2010  
Blogger Candylei said...

P.s. Don't forget to make costumes for your furry doggy son and daughter! The mask wearing part might be tricky though.

4:24 AM, June 06, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Candylei - I'm getting one of the stick style masks, but from here in Italy. And as for the doggies...I know that the doxie won't like any of it!

8:30 AM, June 07, 2010  

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