We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Countdown to Christmas 2016, Venice Style - Day 9

Advent Calendar for Day #9 of the Countdown to Christmas 2016, Venice Style collection

Ciao, tutti! 

This just might be my favorite Advent calendar this year. I've been thinking about what I might put in each of those drawers. Don't laugh, but I'd put Hersey's kisses in them, the same number in each box as the number on it. So, 1 kiss for Dec 1, 2 for Dec 2 and so on. December 24 would be like a winning the lottery- especially since we cannot find Hersey's kisses over here. Having them would be such a treat! Any thoughts on what you'd load those drawers with? 

Today I'm taking you to one of my all time favorite shops in Venice, to meet a very special artisan. This is one of the very first places I visited on my first trip to Venice, I returned every year, and now I pop in several times a week. Ca Del Sole mask shop is just a few minutes from St. Mark's square, on Fondamenta Osmarin in the district of Castello. 

At the front door of Ca del Sole, one of Venice's most famous mask shops

Hamid Bandar, owner and mask maker at Ca Del Sole since 1986

Meet the man behind the masks, Hamid Bandar.  Hamid opened his shop in 1986 and was one of the first artisans to create a revival of the traditional Venetian mask. I caught Hamid mid-lecture in his workshop the other day, doing something he loves - sharing the story of Venetian masks.

Scary collection of plague doctor masks at Ca Del Sole

Inside his shop you'll find a wide assortment of masks, ranging from the Plague Doctor to fancy, elegant creations perfect for a Las Vegas showgirl. All individually made from paper mache and decorated with gorgeous accessories such as beads, gold leaf and feathers. 

Vast array of handmade masks at Ca Del Sole

Exquisitely decorated masks at Ca Del Sole

Doges hat and masks at Ca Del Sole

Each mask is made of paper mache lining a plaster mold of a face at Ca Del Sole

A handmade Venetian mask is a work of art which takes days to construct from start to finish, beginning with strips of blue paper mache and glue in the plaster mold. Recreating the traditional masks worn in Venice is a labor of love for Hamid and his assistants. 

Handmade Carnevale costumes available for rent at Ca Del Sole

Ca del Sole not only sells Venetian masks, but also rents handmade costumes for Carnevale masquerade balls. 

Hope you will put Hamid's shop on your list of Must-finds next time you are visiting Venice. It's definitely one of Venice's gems. 

You can visit Ca del Sole at Castello, 4964, Fondamenta Osmarin
www. cadelsolemascherevenezia.com

Here's the link to the Countdown to Christmas 2014 post Just click here!

Today's Advent calendar thanks to imaginifnz.blogspot.co.nz


Unknown said...

One of my favorite souvenirs is or mask from this shop. I think of you and Mike and Venice every time I look at it.

karen said...

Oh, Sue, you don't know how good your comment made me feel. I have great memories of you, Ed and the whole family here in Venice. Will treasure that few days for the rest of my life. And how special that you have one of Hamid's masks! thanks for sharing that with me today!

Unknown said...

Oh I think if I was. Ring very naughty Choc Mi t Biscuits would go in the draws. So bad. It sooooo good!!! Love the masks. We bought a beautiful plumed one on our last visit it hangs on the wall in our guest room. Just love it. Xx

Teri Schnepp said...

I'd put an Italian candy,Baci, in each drawer!

karen said...

Teri, that's the perfect choice! Thanks for sharing your idea, I just LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your Countdown to Christmas series. So much fun! Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Paulio said...

Was sad to see these stop--hope all is well!

Unknown said...

I must have visited this shop when I was in Venice. I think I went into ever shop within easy walking distance of St. Mark's. I would have loved to have taken home a few dozen styles.

Paulio said...

Have been worried that the posts stopped here. Did something happen?

karen said...

Paulio-- short answer, yes.
But nothing horrible. I guess I'm just going to have to blog about it all.
Thanks for caring. I'm very grateful.


Nancy said...

I have also been checking every week for a post. I have really enjoyed your story and have vicariously lived through your blog since I absolutely love Venice and would love to live there someday. Please keep your readers posted on how you are doing. Thanks!