Venice Carnival – Masks and Malvasia

Venice at the time was dear,
The pleasant position of all festivity,
The revel from the earth, the masque of Italy.
~Lord Byron

History
Venice (Venezia), typically identified as probably the most passionate city during the environment, was one among the good powers during the eighteenth century. That period marked the zenith in the Carnival celebrations. Rich nobles, from throughout Europe, manufactured their way to the canal-filled metropolis to partake in the grandest occasion to the continent. With its karnevalové kostýmy custom of masks and costumes, Venice Carnival was an opportunity to have interaction inside the forbidden liberties on the time. Carnival, February 13-24, 2009, is a opportunity for travelers to get involved in a unprecedented ritual.

Masks & Misbehavior
Venetians of various social classes used the festival to intermingle with those who were off limits in traditional society. Participants were able to have interaction in gambling, sexual favors, or mocking of the powerful. Italian mascarei (craftsmen) created elegant masks that protected the identity of each reveller. It remains a booming industry with thousands of locals and tourists attending the Carnival every year. The masks for Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut were created by a local artisan.

Those attending the festivities will need to dress the part. No costume equals no fun. Consider buying either abauta, moretta, or larva (volto) mask. The bauta is quite possibly the most widely-worn mask. Locals spend countless Euros for the mask, which covers the whole face with no mouth. It’s considered ideal for those who want to protect their identity. The moretta is an oval mask of black velvet that was usually worn by women visiting convents. It traditionally included a veil. A third historic mask to consider, larva, is mainly white. It’s worn with a tricorn and cloak.

Happenings
Venice Carnival 2009 will be crammed with parties, musical theater, gala dinners, and concerts. The Carnival opening will take location at the Luna Hotel Baglioni at 8:00pm (February 13). It begins with a welcome cocktail consisting of Venetian Canapés and local drinks. The night also includes dancing and a comedy show. It runs 230,00 Euro per person (VAT and Wine from Canova Selection included). For Carnival’s full schedule of events, review their website.

Throughout the festivities, be sure to munch on many with the local delicacies. Veneto was the birthplace of tiramisu (below). It’s a dessert created by dipping savoiardi (ladyfingers) into espresso and layering them with mascarpone cheese and zabaglione. Another option is dunking freshly-made biscuits (bussolai or baicoli) in Malvasia wine.

For lunch, consider a few resident favorites including slices of Sopressa Vincenina with Asiago or Grana Padano cheese. Wash it down with the regional Soave wine. Dinner options are numerous as the city is crammed with some of your best Northern Italian restaurants. Grand Canal Restaurant or Al Covo are the right choices for those looking for the best from the best.