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A Glimpse at the History of Venetian Masks

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Any visit to Venice is filled with ornately painted masks. These are more than just colorful souvenirs — they come with a story. Throughout the centuries, these masks have always been a big part of Carnevale celebrations, the weeks-long Mardi Gras festivities leading up to Lent — and high-class people have traditionally put them on to hide their faces while they are out and about, doing less-than-respectable things.
Join me now at a mask shop in the heart of Venice for a peek at the history of these masks — from the 17th century, when doctors used them to treat victims of the plague, all the way to the 1970s, when local hippies incorporated them into their wild outfits.   
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I’m in here in Venice to do some guidebook research. If you’re heading this way too, you can pick up the latest edition of my guidebook at . Happy travels!
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Travel
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