Cari Amici, dear Friends –

Venice has always been a fascinating place.  Now as in the past, people have flocked to her wonderful Carnival to admire those spectacular masks and partake in the fun. Some people would travel there from all over the world just to be spectators of such a unique event.  Others would get into the carnival spirit and participate as another beautifully dressed mask. For the fun and for the experience.

There are intriguing tales about ancient Venice and her culture of masks.  Did you know, for instance, that since the 1100’s Venetians wore masks in their daily lives?  That custom lasted for several centuries. So, we will talk briefly about the reasons why the concealment of identity in daily life had become so important to Venetians; What wearing a mask meant to them; What were the consequences to their society; Finally, how did it all end.

We will then focus on the individual masks with funny and interesting tales.  Finally, we will end the presentation with a wonderful short video of contemporary Venetian masks from the 2017 Venice Carnival.

I hope to see you there.  Arrivederci a presto,  Gabriella


Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
La Cumbre Country Club
4015 Via Laguna, Santa Barbara

12:00 Noon Luncheon
Followed by Gabriella Schooley’s presentation

Cost: $38 per person

Dress code:  No denim of any type/color

Reservations are required and the payment must accompany your reservation.

Deadline to reserve is Monday October 29th, 2018

Questions?  Feel free to call me at 805-969-1018.

How to reserve and pay:

BY CHECK:  please click on this link for a downloadable and printable RSVP form;

BY CREDIT CARD:  please click on the yellow button and then follow directions:




The Most Serene Republic of Venice, La Serenissima, was a sovereign city-state and a maritime republic  which existed for a millennium between the 8th and the 18th centuries. It was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages  and the  Renaissance.

In its early years, it prospered on the salt trade. In subsequent centuries, the city-state established a thalassocracy  (a maritime power with some land territory). It dominated trade on the Mediterranean Sea, including the commerce between Europe and North Africa, as well as Asia. The Venetian navy was used in the Crusades most notably in the Fourth Crusade. Venice achieved territorial conquests along the Adriatic Sea. As a result, the city became home to a class of extremely wealthy merchants who were influential financiers in contemporary Europe.

With a level of social wealth unequaled since, the citizens of Venice  developed a unique culture, the culture of masks—one in which the concealing of the identity in daily life became paramount.

As a result of the concealment of identity, however, people naturally found themselves taking advantage of the situation with the result that Venice fell into a state of luxury, indolence and moral decay.  The Carnival was one of the manifestations of such a lifestyle as it allowed three months of carousing every year.

All that came to an end in 1797 when La Serenissima lost its independence.  The wearing of masks was forbidden and the Venetian carnival was abolished.

Such prohibition continued for 182 years.

The Carnival came back to life in 1979.

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