ABC & Mini Courses

Since 1989 we have been holding intensive courses and conferences on Venetian masks to groups of all types, ages and sizes.
Since 2011 we began to offer mini-courses both for families and private bookings.
These mini-courses are both fun and culturally stimulating. It is possible for you to read reviews of our mini-courses on Tripadvisor:…



Duration: 2 hours
Languages: English, French and Italian
Maximum number of participants: 9 People
Masks to be decorated: 2 per person, chosen from 45 different models, all hand-made out of papier-mâché
Decoration techniques used: 8 different techniques to choose from, including the chance to add feathers and sequins to finish off the mask.


  • To explain the ancient technique of making a Venetian papier-mâché mask
  • To provide important historical information on the use of masks in Venice during past centuries.
  • To freely decorate two papier-mâché masks with our expert guidance



Every family and small group we have on our courses are different.
We can therefore tailor our course to meet the requirements of specific groups.
For example, if there are young children in a group, the theory can be introduced concurrently with the practical work, to create an active learning experience.
By the end, we guarantee to have taught you about the fascinating role Masks have played in Venetian life in an entertaining and immersive way.

  1. Explanation of the creation of a typical Venetian mask and the ancient techniques used to make it.
    All of the masks that you can choose from are made using this method.
    It is a technique that has been used for 800 years!
    The participant is able to see each phase of the work needed to create the mask, from the clay sculpture up to the white mask that is ready to be decorated.

  3. A description of the use of masks in Venice with an explanation of the most significant model, the “Bautta” and the second most important, the “Moretta”.

    The story of Venetian Masks is totally unique, they began life at the fringes of the Carnival but then proceeded to become a major part of everyday life for the residents who would wear them for more than 6 months a year!
    The ‘Bautta’ was even used in front of the Doge and at other important events in the political and social life of Venetians!

    As well as the ‘Bautta’, there is another influential symbol of the city, we call it the ‘Moretta’.
    It has a totally different meaning, it is much more playful and was used as a charming instrument of seduction.

    This introduction is enough to give you an idea of the strange, diverse and wonderful world that Venice once was.

    Furthermore, members of the Ca’ Macana team dress up in the Bauta, Volto and Tricorno and explain their traits in depth.
    Additionally, we show a real example of a Moretta whilst explaining its original use and the context behind it.
    Alongside this, we show the participants images from old Venetian paintings, depicting the Bautte and the Morette walking around Venice, in cafés, on the streets and in the Palazzo Ducale.
    It is like taking a trip into an incredible world.



  1. Participants choose two masks and their preferred decoration technique.

    Choice of a model:
    There are 50 models to choose from. There are many categories for people to choose: from traditional Venetian to fantasy, from the theatre to Carnival, for children or for adults to masks that can be hung on the wall.
    All of the masks are hand-made out of papier-mâché.

    Choice of technique :
    In the workshop we have different examples of finished masks created using each technique.
    For each example there are pictures of all the stages of production.
    However, throughout the course, each phase is demonstrated on the spot by a member of our team.

    There are 8 techniques available, each of which is very different.
    We chose these techniques from our range
    because they give the participant the time to modify and change their design up until the point they have finished.
    We control the technique, rather than letting it control us.
    This is an important point, as it means that if a participant is unhappy with their design and wants to change it, with our help they can without any difficulty.


  3. Each individual is then able to decorate their own mask
    however they wish.

    The participant can re-produce the examples seen in the workshop or create a new design for their mask.

    Acrylic tempera paints are used, metallic colours such as gold, silver and copper can be added for a bit of sparkle and various types of wax can also be used to create a finishing touch. At each stage, participants can make choices that correspond to different characters or expressions in their piece.

    Everyone has a great deal of freedom and can totally express him/herself.

    It is also possible to combine two different techniques.
    Participants who would like to recreate one of our designs can do so with the guidance of one of the members of our team.

    Finally participants can add feathers and sequins to their mask, this is especially appreciated by children.

    Last but not least, the participants choose from a number of different coloured ribbons to match their mask.

    At the end of the course, the participants are able to take their decorated mask at home.

THE MINI COURSE FOR DECORATION OF TWO PAPIER-MACHE MASKS is private; therefore it is necessary to book it in advance and pay a deposit of 50 Euro.
Credit/debit cards are not accepted for the final payment.



Languages: Italian, Russian on request
Duration: 1 hour
Masks to be decorated: 1 per person, chosen from 45 different models, all hand-made out of papier-mâché
Decoration techniques used: 8 different techniques to choose from, including the chance to add feathers and sequins to finish off the mask.


  • To freely decorate one papier-mâché mask with our expert guidance

The instructors are our best decorators, with more than 25 years experience.
They will show you on he spot each fase of the work painting an exemplar mask

Instead of a theoretical explanation, we provide the participant with a copy of our book “ Maschere a Venezia” (Masks in Venice), which offers an exhaustive explanation about how masks are made and their role in the ancient Venetian life.
The book is in English, French, German and Italian.
For a description of the book see:

In the practical part, the participants are able to choose a mask of their choice to be decorated in our workshop. At the end of the hour, they will be able to take their final product at home.

The “ABC” COURSE is not a private course, therefore it is not necessary to book it in advance, or to pay a deposit.
The workshop is open from Monday till Saturday, from 10 a.m. till 12 a.m. (last entrance) and from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. (last entrance).
It is recommended to give us notice before arrival in order to guarantee you a place on the course.
Our team will provide all the necessary information in English at (+39) 0415203229 from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m.
Credit/debit cards are not accepted for the payment.

Click here for Booking Enquires or read the FAQ

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