Celebrating the four seasons Venetian style
This article is a guest blog post, written by Justin Angelo Patulli, enthusiast of artisanal goods.
Italy’s culinary treasures have made it a magnet for food lovers worldwide, drawing in millions each year. The Italian people have always had an innate connection with fine cuisine. Food is grown, cultivated and prepared with the utmost respect. From vibrant markets to abundant tables, this relationship has even made its way into art, and the artisans of Venezia Maschere are no exception! They have created several masks that celebrate this land’s relationship with food.
The cold of winter brings an immediate craving for warming dishes. Made of cornmeal, polenta is a go-to choice for the people of Venice and the Veneto region. The Quattro Stagioni Winter mask, which is made of ceramic, incorporates this culinary staple. It features several fruits and vegetables, including cobs of corn. While it’s harvested in summer, this vegetable was traditionally milled into a fine flour consistency and later used to feed Venetians during the cold winter months. This mask has also incorporated citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, which were among the few fruits readily available in the Mediterranean region during the winter season.
If you’re lucky to visit the Veneto region in March and April, you’ll have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful cherry blossoms. This fertile region is one of the few in Italy that is home to these flowers that are admired by so many. If however, you can’t make the trip to this area, the Quattro Stagioni Spring mask can bring the Veneto spring to you! It is adorned with several fruits including the tasty and tangy cherries that are grown in Veneto. There are also strawberries on this mask, which are another telltale sign that springtime in Italy is in full bloom. Both fruits are popular choices for desserts such as la crostata, a jam-filled tart. If you love these flavours or just love what spring embodies—optimism and renewal—you can’t go wrong with this mask.
Summer and Autumn
Wine is one of Italy’s greatest exports, and while Venice may not be associated with the beloved beverage as strongly today, the Venetian Republic was known for its production and export of Malvasia wine. While it was produced in Dalmatia and Istria, remnants of its importance can still be noted if visiting Venice today. Amidst the labyrinth of alleyways, one will stumble upon the Ponte de la Malvasia, a bridge named after this varietal. If one strolls a bit further towards the shore of the Grand Canal, they’ll find the Riva del Vin, once the bustling epicentre of trade and now the home to many posh hotels and restaurants. Given these examples of how the Venetians have paid homage to wine, it’s no surprise that this brand has decided to celebrate grapes in their Quattro Stagioni Summer and Quattro Stagioni Autumn masks. If you have a wine connoisseur in your life, opt out of buying them another bottle of wine and consider either of these masks. They’re sure to make the perfect gift.
Venetian masks to enjoy all year round
Browsing through this website, it’s evident that the artists at Venezia Maschere by La Gioia incorporate symbolism when designing their masks. They’ve managed to take ordinary Carnival masks and reimagine them in a way that celebrate not just the Carnival season, but all of Venice’s treasures. The masks I’ve written about in this article are a prime example of this brand’s ability to create timeless artwork that honours nature and the bounty that each season brings. If you’re on the fence about whether to purchase one, I would encourage you to go ahead and place an order today!
Here are the four seasons celebrated in ceramic:
Quattro Stagioni Winter
Quattro Stagioni Spring
Quattro Stagioni Summer
Quattro Stagioni Autumn