This article, written by Silvia Donati, appears on Italy Magazine.
Carnival of Venice
The star of Italian Carnival celebrations! The first official record declaring Carnival a public celebration in Venice dates to 1296, when the Senate of La Serenissima made the day before Lent a holiday of fun and merrymaking. In this respect, masks have always been a central component of the Venetian carnival, used to temporarily erase any distinction of social class, gender or religion. Mask makers were highly regarded, and gathered in a guild with their own laws. When Venice fell under the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia in 1797, Carnival celebrations, due to their subversive nature, were suspended. It was not until the 1970s that a revival of old traditions began with the opening of a modern mask shop. Events, parades and a special festive atmosphere dominate the calli and piazzas of Venice in the weeks of Carnival celebrations, while masquerade balls take place in the elegant palazzi, recreating the same atmospheres of times gone by. Visitors from Italy and abroad flock to the city. Read about more festivities at Italy Magazine…
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