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Shrove Tuesday, Carnevale in Venezia

9 Feb

Although the high today will reach about 20°, Benita invited Len and me to join her for pazcki, the Polish deep-fried donut that signals the coming of Lent. We headed to Firecakes Donuts in Lincoln Park, where we tried the raspberry ones, then took a lemon for later. Definitely worth the calories!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Eating the pazcki reminded me of Venice’s Carnevale, the huge winter festival celebrated with  parades, masquerade balls, musicians, music, and parties. Although today is Shrove Tuesday, the official date of Carnevale, Italians like others have been celebrating for weeks.

It’s thought that the Carnival of Venice was started as part of a victory celebration in 1162. Over the years, Carnevale took on various meanings, and was outlawed completely in 1797 under the rule of the King of Austria. In the 19th century, it gradually reappeared and in 1979, the Italian government brought it back as a means of highlighting the history and culture of Venice.

Today, approximately 3 million people attend Carnevale annually. They are awed, not only by Venice’s buildings, bridges, gondolas and canals, but also by the incredible attention to detail that goes into the costumes and pageantry. On the last weekend of Carnevale, a competition is held to determine la maschera più bella  or “the most beautiful mask”. The contest is judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers, and when you see the incredible artistry, you’ll understand why.

Many thanks to my dear friends Marco and Mario for allowing me to share their amazing photos.

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Mario in Venetian Mask Shop©Blogginginitaly.com

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Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

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Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Macro/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

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Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

Marco/Mario©Blogginginitaly.com

So glad I didn’t have to choose a favorite – tough work for the judges!

Ciao,
Judy

Carnevale in Venezia – 2013

5 Mar

This year, the Carnival of Venice, or Carnevale, was held from January 26 – February 12. About three million people participated in the festivities. While Venice is such a popular destination any time of year, the few weeks before lent offer something extra special.

My friends Mario and Marco, who just returned from an amazing trip, were fortunate enough to be among those participating in the 2013 festivities. Although the weather included some flooding and snow, none were deterred. The amazing pictures that follow were taken by their friends Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro.

Photo: Anthony Guida  and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro.

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro.

The word for masks in Italian is maschere, and in Venice, some of the most popular ones include the Bauta, a mask that covers the entire face; the Columbina, a half-face mask that is either tied in back or held by hand with a baton; and the Medico della Peste, meaning The Plague Doctor, symbolized by a long beak.

Photo: Anthony Guida andRaffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida andRaffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Masks are abundant in the shops in Venice. They are made by hand by Mascherari and have long played a part in Venetian culture and history.

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photos: Anthony Guida & Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

A panel of international costume and fashion designers shared the task of selecting “La Maschera piu bella”  – the most beautiful mask.

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Hard to pick a favorite – they are all so beautiful.

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

And just in case you have the itch, next year’s dates are February 15-March 4. Be sure to make your reservations early and remember to rent your costume in advance.

Photo: Anthony Guida and  Raffaella Spilotro

Photo: Anthony Guida and Raffaella Spilotro

See you there…well, I can hope too!

Grazie molto Marco, Mario, Anthony and Raffaella for sharing these incredible photographs! And many thanks to the Venetians for putting on such a remarkable show!

Ciao,

Judy

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