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Masks, Venice

Venice, Italy, Europe: Shops selling Carnevale paraphernalia line the main tourist drags around San Marco
Italy's insider take:

The rebirth of Venice's carnevale in the 1970s brought a resurgence of the ornately decorated papier-mâché masks worn for the festival centuries earlier. And though many of the mask shops you'll see in the city sell dodgy, Asian–made wares, there are some true mascarei (mask-makers), too. Ca' Macana and Mondonovo have the full range of traditional commedia dell'arte faces, from Harlequin to Pantalone and Pierrot, as well as the eerie blank-faced masks once favored by anonymity-seeking unfaithful husbands and nuns on the lam. At Papier Mâché, on the other hand, masks are inspired by the work of artists from Vittore Carpaccio to Kandinsky.

3172 Dorsoduro
Calle delle Botteghe
Tel: 39 041 277 6142

3063 Dorsoduro
Rio Terà Canal
Tel: 39 041 528 7344

5175 Castello
Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa
Tel: 39 041 522 9995

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.