Mask Shops

It ‘impossible to leave without buying in Venice a famous Venetian mask. The first evidence of their use dates back to the ’200, but it was not until 1700 that the custom is a very broad range in Venetian society, with the explosion of the Carnival. Born, so, the shops of “maschereri”, creating handmade items for the rich with valuable material, both for ordinary people with simple paper mache. Among the most popular masks: “Baute”, which leaves the mouth free, “Moreta” reserved for women, “Gnaga,” the cat’s snout used by men to disguise himself as a woman, and the plague doctor mask in whose long nose 500 Place aromas of physicians to mitigate the smell of the plague. Of course, the masks were also used in theatrical performances, especially in the commedia dell’arte of Carlo Goldoni. Today, masks are made by skilled artisans, using everyday materials like clay and papier-mâché, all the decorations are hand-made, sometimes using Swarowski, feathers and other embellishments.