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The Masks of Venice

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

I was in Venice in 2007, when at the end of a 12 day Mediterranean cruise I spent two wonderful nights at the Venice The Westin Europa & Regina. The modern key was hung with a very antique looking large tassel, with the accommodations richly detailed with marble in the bathroom and white linens on the bed.

However, Venice was spectacular for many reasons. I bought an amazing marionette that had a tall pointed princess hat and a lovely fantasy gown. I walked the paved streets and watched as the pigeons rose just like they did in the movies in the heart of St. Marks Square. What really fascinated me, however, were the plethora of little shops selling these wonderfully detailed masks, made of metal, paper mache, and leather. These were not your average Halloween fair.

The masks in Venice are exquisite and richly detailed. The tradition of the mask is back centuries into history as it was a means of protecting the identity of an individual who wanted to participate in hedonism and do things that their unmasked self would never do. The streets of Venice boast shops that have names like Prada and Fendi, but also in the alleyways and in some of the most interesting niches, small shops exist with hundred of unique, exquisite masks that have details that are beyond imagining. Walking in Venice is like walking into a magic corridor, tiny alleyways where you could almost reach from side to side lined with gorgeous displays in shop windows that are unlike any you will ever see anywhere else.

Venice has canals, it has St. Mark's Square, and it is one of the richest cities on earth in terms of the abundance of culture. You see the beauty of Venice on television, walking through the square as pigeons fly off and onto the tall buildings that surround the square. The romance of the gondolas is not overstated. Couples lounge as the small boats move through the canals, an experience that seems a dream out of an artist's imagination. There is no doubt that Venice is for lovers and the romance of the exquisite, detailed masks is more proof than needed that this great city not only has beautiful architecture and interesting history as it floats, but it is filled with magical essence that does not compare to any other city on earth.

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