Il Carnevale di Venezia was mentioned for the fist time in an official document in 1094, and declared a public feast in 1296 by the Senato della Repubblica.
The people all around Venice used to wear masks and costumes in order to hide their identity, breaking any social/gender/religious barrier
The typical characters of the Commedia dell’arte became popular carnival costumes: the stupid servant Zanni, the wise one Arlecchino, the old greedy man Pantalone, the arrogant doctor Balanzone, the beautiful maid Colombina…
Saluti da Venezia
(See also “I miss Carnevale – 1 – 2 – 3