- The first thing that pops up in my head when I think of Venice is masks and gondolas. We (FIT in Florence) recently took an academic trip to Venice where we had the opportunity to make our very own masks! Buying a mask is great, but I think making your own mask is even more special. We ended our second day in Venice at Ca’ Macana Mask Studio, where we learned about the history of Venetian masks, then FITSA (FIT Student Activities) organized an event to participate in the actual mask making!
Wouldn’t it be a great idea to go back to wearing masks on a daily basis and doing whatever you wanted, without anyone knowing you did it? These masks didn’t only hide your identity and social status, but gave you freedom! The anonymity that these masks offered, allowed for interactions within different societies without judgments being made. Think about all the criminal and immoral activities that people probably engaged in, which is why these masks are only worn during Carnivale now. But now we have original masks to take to Carnivale next semester (Spring 2012) for those wanting to participate! I’ll definitely be making my way back for sure!
In one of the last hurrahs of the season, FIT in Florence took its last academic field trip of the semester to Venice Italy. After arriving by private coach in the in the morning, and checking into our hotel, our first stop was a tour of St. Marks Basilica. This cathedral contained beautiful gilded walls and domes. After, we continued to the Fortuny Museum, which is an important and very respectable art museum in Venice. The museum contains fashion, paintings, and the infamous Fortuny lamps.
The next day was by far my favorite. We started in Murano, and were given a very interesting demonstration on how Murano Glass is blown. The pieces were beautiful, and I purchased quite a few as souvenirs. After a short lunch, we continued to Nicalao Atellier, where we were able to view many of the costumes produced for movies, as well as get an introduction to Renaissance Venetian dress. For a relaxing end to a long day, we finished by going to a FIT Student Activities (FITSA) event at the Ca’ Macana Mask Studio. We were first taught about the history of masks, and then allowed to decorate our own, something I found quite rewarding.
Our trip concluded with a trip to the Biennele Art Exhibition. This museum contained art featured in “pavilions” set up by different countries. In a way it reminded me of a cross between Epcot and the MOMA, but was still one of the best sights of the trip. Overall, I found our trip to Venice to be excellent mid-semester relaxation while still allowing me to feel like I saw the important sights of the city. I will absolutely be back for the Venetian Carnevale.