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Venetian costumes and Carnival masks

The festival known as Carnival occurs throughout much of the Roman Catholic world. Many foreigners, Catholic or not, have attended the festivities in their Country. But in Venice, Carnival traditions go all the way back to the Renaissance. For a 10-day period before Lent, from the day after Christmas until Shrove Tuesday, the ancient city comes alive with masked revelers enjoying pageants, commedia dell'arte, concerts and balls. Carnival (originally "carnevale"), comes from the Latin for "farewell to meat." This boisterous festival marks the beginning of Lent, the time before Easter when Catholics refrain from eating meat. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, simple, pre-Lenten celebrations evolved into what we know as Carnival. But the tradition of masquerading, for which Carnival has become known, is much older than that. It has its roots in a Roman fertility festival where masks were worn by citizens and slaves alike. 

 The 1700s were the glory days of the Venetian Carnival. In those times, mask-wearing and other unofficial activities continued past Lent, well into the spring. Carnival was a time of nonstop partying, gambling and general irresponsibility for people of all social classes. Jugglers, mimes, acrobats and magicians entertained the crowds.  And noblemen held sumptuous feasts and masked balls like the one where Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet first met. But Carnival had its darker side, too. Masks provided anonymity for aspiring criminals, and drunken revelers made easy targets. Behind a mask, a respectable citizen could flaunt conventional rules of behavior and freely explore hidden desires. 

 The most common Carnival costume (the "baùtta") consisted of a black silk hood, a lace cape and a voluminous cloak. A three-cornered hat and a white mask completely covered the wearer's face. Other masqueraders dressed as historical figures such as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The elaborate Carnival masks, some of which were gilded, were made in a dizzying variety of shapes including grotesque or fanciful faces and the sun and moon. Today, people come from all over the world to attend Venice's private and public masked balls. The music and dancing go on day and night, and there are theatrical performances and an array of ancient games. The Venetian Carnival is a perfect marriage of culture, tradition and wild celebration.




















MAREGA Venice Atelier


In the heart of Venice Atelier Marega means a wide range of costumes and mask : from the typical Venetian ones, the most fanciful and coloured ones, to huge creations used also for smart fittings and fumishings. Mask are made of “paper-machè” accordino to the ancient traditions dated back to the beginning of the XIVth century. Morever, you can rent or buy theatrical and èpoque costumes, accessories, three-cornered hats, manteles and tuxedos.


 Marega is one of the world's leading Venetian custom Atelier producing authentically styled, highly durable, Renaissance, theatrical costumes. We take pride in the fact that our staff of artists is capable of creating the finest customes and masks of any style or period. Please call the Atelier with your customes requests. Click below to search the Marega Catalog.



 Hello and well met! I wish to thank you for sending my bodice so quickly. I am taking part in a Renaissance Fair this summer. I searched the internet for hours looking for a good, authentic, well priced bodice. And I found it at your site. Thank you for my bodice, and thank you for just existing. There are so few places that make good, authentic bodices. I am very happy with my buy. Thank you again. Kathrine


 Hi Silvia! Just thought you'd like to know that our costumes won both second places for Mens and Ladies individual costumes at our local ren faire, (we would have won first, but we both gave way to people who had made their own costumes - ours were handmade, but not by ourselves), but we DID take first in the couples contest, and won a nice Eur 250. Congratulations to our seamstress! Of course we told everyone who made them and how to contact you. Hopefully more business is on your way! Thanks, Thren! YTR 


 Oh my goodness, my bodice is so AWESOME! I am so excited to wear it . . . It fits really well. (Well, with what I could do lacing it myself . . . when I get someone to help it will be even tighter, making me look even thinner! That's cause for celebration, huh?) It looks so much nicer in person; the pictures on your website don't do them justice! You do such great work; next ren faire I'll be going to (sometime in Septemeber) . Anyways, I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with your work! I will definately be ordering from you again sometime in the near future. (I'm thinking about purchasing a black waist cincher) The wait was well worth it! Thank you SOOOO much! Juliett 


 Hello Silvia, I just wanted to let you know I recieved the Doge Hat and it looks great. Thank you very much for getting it to me as fast as you did. I will be ordering more in the future for sure! Sincerely, TW  


 Silvia, I tried everything on last night! I almost cried it was so beautiful! It all fits perfectly! Thank you for this! The flowers came in yesterday and the accent flowers on the head wreaths lean more to the white side, so everyone being in white will be fine! Thank you again! Veronika 


 The doublet and the sleeves are really great. The fit is amazing. It looks as though it was custom made. I am extremely pleased and I will send a picture as soon as I get one. Thanks again, John


Hello, I received my doublet in the mail today, and I just wanted to say ... THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! It was better than many doublets I've seen go for three times the price of yours. I can't thank you enough! LKD 


 This letter is long overdue, but I cannot sing your praises loudly and often enough. The garments that you made exceeded my expectations and are simply stunning pieces of art beyond being mere clothing. ~JK 


 Silvia, Received my bodice and it fits perfectly. Love the blue and the purple. It is just beautiful and I can't thank you enough. You are a brilliant seamstress and I will be ordering a skirt from you in the near future. Thanks, Deborah 


 Hi, Silvia, Received the bodice today. WOW!! It is wonderful! It could not fit any better if I had been there for the measurements. I have it on right now as I type this. Makes me look like I actually have a figure. :-) EEW 


 Silvia. I'm thrilled with it!! Hope I can order more from you in the future. Thanks again...............Virginie


Thank you for the wonderful chemise and bodice which I finally picked up from the post office today. I have now ordered a Renaissance shirt for my fiance. These will be worn for our Carnival Party of MardiGras . I will send you pictures as soon as I have some. Margareth 


 Hi! I just got my order in last week, and I have to tell you how beautiful everything is! I ordered all by Internet, and everything looked even better in person than on the web page. I didn't think it was possible. And I can't tell you how impressed I am with the quality of the materials and the craftswomanship. I'm a little too late for this Carnival, but I'm really looking forward to next year, and finding other opportunities to show off my new clothes! Thanks! Elisabeth


  MDV - Wedding in Venice : Monica Da Venezia, Chief Wedding Planner.

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