Photo Walk during Venice Carnival 2019

Carnival in Venice

This year the Venice Carnival will be from the 16th February to the 5th March 2019

The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest.

This congregation of masked people, called Venice Carnival, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century! During those years one of the first laws made by the Serenissima was that masks cannot be used around the city at night.

Later, Venice Carnival attracted foreigners - including princes - from all over Europe, who came to enjoy the wild festivities while spending fortunes.

DSC_3323 copy.jpg

During the ten days of Carnival leading up to Mardi Gras, Venice is a hive of activity and entertainment, from improvised street entertainment to performances put on by the organizers. A central idea is chosen each year that is taken from various cultural or show-biz themes. Saint Mark’s Square remains the heart of Carnival, with its huge stage, although other events take place throughout the city, helping to avoid an excessive build-up of people in pedestrianized Venice.

During this period I will offer with my team a Carnival Workshop where during the first  2 hours we will take pictures of the Masks and Costumes in St Mark’s Square and then we will head after a coffee break for the Venice Tour. 4h Tour Price is €500 Max 3 people or 2 adults + 2 Teens  – Extra persons MAX 2  € 70 per person.


Book here and choose 4h  then specify Carnival in Notes

Venice Carnival 2013 ...the start

The last week end saw the beginning of the 2013 Venice Carnival, despite the official opening being on the 2nd of February.The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday.

It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima", Venice's previous name, against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico in the year 1162. In the honor of this victory, the people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently, this festival started on that period and become official in the renaissance. The festival declined during the 18th century.

After a long absence, the Carnival returned to operate in 1979. The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of their efforts. Today, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for Carnivals. One of the most important events is the contest for the best mask, placed at the last weekend of the Carnival. A jury of international costume and fashion designers votes for "La Maschera più bella".

Masks on display inside the workshop of Mascareri in Venice. Artisans, masks and costumes makers are getting ready ahead of Venice Carnival 2013 (Marco Secchi)

Masks have always been a main feature of the Venetian carnival. Traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen's Day, December 26) and the start of the carnival season and midnight of Shrove Tuesday. They have always been around Venice. As masks were also allowed on Ascension and from October 5 to Christmas, people could spend a large portion of the year in disguise. Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild.

Venetian masks can be made in leather, porcelain or with the original glass technique. The original masks were rather simple in design, decoration, and often had a symbolic and practical function. Nowadays, most of them are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf and are all hand-painted using natural feathers and gems to decorate.

Today saw the opening of the Venetian Carnival, which runs till February 12th. Members of  French theatre company, Ilotopie,performed on the Cannaregio Canal and along its banks (Marco Secchi)

There is very little evidence explaining the motive for the earliest mask wearing in Venice. One scholar argues that covering the face in public was a uniquely Venetian response to one of the most rigid class hierarchies in European history.[1]

The first documented sources mentioning the use of masks in Venice can be found as far back as the 13th century. The Great Council made it a crime to throw scented eggs.The document decrees that masked persons were forbidden to gamble.

Another law in 1339 forbade Venetians from wearing vulgar disguises and visiting nun's convents while masked. The law also prohibits painting one's face, or wearing false beards or wigs.

Near the end of the Republic, the wearing of masks in daily life was severely restricted. By the 18th century, it was limited only to about three months from December 26. The masks were traditionally worn with decorative beads matching in color.

Today saw the second day of the Venetian Carnival, which runs till February 12th. A water procession took place on the Grand Canal (Marco Secchi)

Avere una Bella Cera at Fortuny

The exhibition at Museum Fortuny in Venice opens tomorrow 10th March until June 25 and is the world's first exhibition on wax portraits analizing a field that has been studied very little by art historians.The world’s first exhibition on wax portraits will analyse a field that has been studied very little by art historians: that of life-size wax figures. This fascinating subject has recently attracted the attention of numerous contemporary artists, but has never had a specific exhibition devoted to it.

VENICE, ITALY - MARCH 09:  Few portraits of criminals modelled in the late 19th century by Lorenzo Tenchini, a pupil of Cesare Lombroso are seen at the press preview of "Avere Una Bella Cera - Wax Portraits Exhibition" at Palazzo Fortuny on March 9, 2012 in Venice, Italy.   The exhibition open until June 25 is the world's first exhibition on wax portraits analizing a field that has been studied very little by art historians. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

The project was inspired by two fortunate coincidences, the existence of a series of life- size wax portraits in Venice’s public collections and churches, and the centenary of the publication of Geschichte der Porträtbildnerei in Wachs (“History of Portraiture in Wax”), written by the famous Viennese art historian Julius von Schlosser and the first work devoted to the history of wax portraits. A superb Italian translation of Schlosser’s work by Andrea Daninos has recently been published, complete with an extensive and detailed critical commentary.

The Venetian exhibition is the outcome of more than three years of research and, for the first time, it brings together nearly all of the extant sculptures in Italy, most of which unpublished or never displayed before.

Diana Vreeland at Fortuny

Press preview today of this great exhibition of such style and fashion icon.This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to Diana Vreeland. Open until June 25th at Palazzo Fortuny it will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking.

VENICE, ITALY - MARCH 09:  One of the exhibits seen during the press preview of "Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland" at Palazzo Fortuny on March 9, 2012 in Venice, Italy. This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to Diana Vreeland. Open until June 25th it will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to the extraordinary and complex Diana Vreeland (Paris, 1903 – New York, 1989). It will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking.

The title stresses the need today to decontextualise the many facets that go to make up her kaleidoscopic career and to reconnect them in a new reading of the multiple meanings underlying her now legendary professional and human experience.

The exhibition will not limit itself to displaying some garments, although it will indeed be possible to admire many and extraordinary items; it will instead ‘short-circuit’ time, the articles on show and their ‘aura’, showing how fashion is both a complex phenomenon and the perfect observatory for interpreting the tastes and trends of contemporary society. The aim being to restore a sense of the “magnificent gait” with which Diana Vreeland processed through fashion of the 20th century, initially during her years at “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Vogue”, and then in her role as Special Consultant for the Costume Institute at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Sior Rioba

QUESTA IMMAGINE E' DISPONIBILE GRATUITAMENTE SOLO PER LA PRIMA PUBBLICAZIONE NON PUO@ ESSERE NE VENDUTA NE DISTRIBUITA..Do not resell this image  for info or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright.. (Marco Secchi)



Sior Rioba has last night spoken, when few hundred posters appeared overnight on statues, bridges and lamp posts in Venice aheadof a national mobilization of Italian women which will take place in cities across the country on February 13 for the Giornata Nazionale di Mobilitazione delle Donne

Mr. Rioba is portrayed in a corner of the Campo dei Mori, originally he came from Morea along with his two brothers, Sandi and Afan. They arrived in Venice around 1112 and were traders of spices. Signor Antonio Rioba, spokesman of the Venetians in the satire against the Republic, was for a long time for Venice what Marforio and Pasquino were for Rome,


VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 16: A vaporetto (waterbus) travels slowly under thick fog on January 16, 2011 in Venice, Italy. Transports in the lagoon has been affected by today's fog.  ) (Marco Secchi)


When you walk in the winter fog, there seems to be no division between water and embankment, life and death, love and hate. You feel that you can walk through walls, through sky, through time.

My Venice is the Venice of winter, the Venice of Cannaregio, the Venice of fog. Walking down the Fte Novein la nebbia, wearing rubber boots against the high water, it is hard to tell where terra firma leaves off and sky and water begin. The city seems to hang in the air like a mirage. Sounds bounce off the waters and deceive you with their closeness or farness. Figures appear and disappear around corners. The past beckons. It is quite possible to believe that it can take you and never give you back.

Related articles

Must stop moaning

Casa del Tintoretto
Image by ophelyee via Flickr

I have complained before about the so called Artist Block at least here and just few days ago . Today I realized that I must stop moaning, at least for the time being, and here are few of the  reasons:

  • I am lucky enough, in this period of my life, to leave in one of the most beautiful and inspiring places of the world: Venice.
  • I live very close to the sea, probably 20 meters and I believe the sea is very inspiring
  • I live about 100mt from where Tintoretto used to live and work, there are so many of his works close to me that is unbelievable.
  • Venice is so rich of libraries, galleries,  museums that is so easy to get inspiration.
  • Life here is relaxed and at a different pace, so you do not get stressed and have all the time you need to get inspired.
  • In Venice lived just to mention some Italian Artists  Canova, Canaletto, Vasari, Giorgione, Mantegna, Titian....

No more excuses then!