“The Mask” is one of the Venice’s symbols: synonymous with culture and tradition. Its history dates back to almost 1.000 years and hides questions and secrets still today. Nobody knows when or why the tradition of wearing masks started, but there are a lot of assumptions. Many scholars believe the tradition of wearing masks began in the 13th century, some think that there are evidences of their use as early as 1094.
During the 18th century you could wear from the 26th December until Shrove Tuesday. In 1797 Napoleon conquered Venice and for this reason the tradition of wearing masks came to an end and it throve again in the 1970s. What was the purpose of wearing them? Overcoming the social barriers: an instrument of equality for a certain period during the year, preventing the lower classes from getting too angry with high society. Moreover, some used a mask for “illegal” or frowned activities.