Home > carnival in venice - masks
Carnevale Di Venezia was first recorded in 1268.
Masks have always been a central feature of the Venetian carnival; traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen´s Day, December 26) at the start of the carnival season and midnight of Shrove Tuesday. They have always been around Venice. As masks were also allowed during Ascension and from October 5 to Christmas, people could spend a large proportion of the year in disguise . Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild.
In 1797 Venice became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio. The Austrians took control of the city on January 18, 1798 and it fell into a decline which also effectively brought carnival celebrations to a halt for almost two centuries.
Carnival was outlawed by the fascist government in the 1930s. It was not until a modern mask shop was founded in the 1980s that Carnival enjoyed a revival. 
Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday.