Carlo Goldoni, a famous playwright and writer from Venice, was born on 25 February 1707 at Ca’ Centanni. It is a Gothic palace that has become one of the Civic Museums of Venice. Today, it is a house-museum where you can discover the life and works of this Venetian author. In the three internal rooms, visitors can relive the atmosphere of Venice in the Eighteenth century by diving into the main scenes of Goldoni’s theatre through the furniture, antiques and illustrations. One room is where the marionette theatre from the Grimani ai Servi family collection was rebuilt. It is the most famous Venetian marionette theatre of the Eighteenth century.
On Mardi Gras, February 25, all day long, Carlo Goldoni’s birthday is celebrated with special guided tours of his birthplace. The visit and entrance to the museum are free, reservations are required.
What to do to experience the Carnival as it was in the eighteenth century, at the time of Goldoni, the golden age of the Venetian Carnival? First of all, wear the mask: the baùta, the most classic disguise, consisting of a cloak, a tricorn and a “larva”. The “larva” is a white beaky mask, which completely covers the face and alters the voice, without preventing those who wear it from eating or drinking. It was mostly used by men, while women preferred the morètta, a small oval mask made of black velvet. To make it stick to the face, a button had to be tightened between the teeth, so that it was impossible to speak.
Enjoy a coffee or a hot chocolate with frittelle and galani (sweet fritters) in one of the many historic cafés. In fact, the tradition of coffee was born in Venice, and it was then spread to the rest of Italy. The first coffee shop was opened in St Mark’s Square in 1683: in 1759 the city had 206 coffee shops.