VENICE CARNIVAL 2015 AMAZING COMPETITION and BOOK SPOTLIGHT
Authentic Arts: VENICE Travel Guide – Book Competition
Take your chances and win a set of books by Laura Morelli as well as two authentic Carnival masks from Venice Carnival 2015
Carnival in Venice 2015 is in full swing, the streets start to fill up with stunning masks and costumes, the smell of Frittelle and Galani (the typical Venetian sweet for this event) is impregnating any little corner of the city and on the pavements and canals you can spot small pieces of coloured paper rounds, called confetti, thrown everywhere by children and adult alike.
Yes, Carnival is finally here again! A period of laughter, amusement and delight for the eyes!
But as people come to Venice hoping to get a glimpse of a spectacular event and maybe take part in some incredible and breathtaking Grand Ball, they are also here to visit the city’s amazing sites and to discover the little corners of Venice, as well as its world famous artisans for glass, bead and lace making.
Understanding if you are in front of an original piece of craftsmanship or just a simple industrial fake, is not so easy, but with the help of the author of ” The Gondola Maker “, Laura Morelli, the search for authentic Venetian artwork is never been simpler!
I had the pleasure of interviewing her, so in this article you will be able to discover all about her two new books on Venetian Artisans and Arts, how not to get swindled in buying a fake item as well as finding out about her as an author! And to top it all off, Laura is giving away a set of her two new books plus two original Carnival masks. So, what are you waiting for? Read all about it and then enter this brand new Carnival Competition!
Book Description for Authentic Arts: Venice Travel Guide
Every traveller to Venice wants to go home with a special souvenir – a carnival mask, a piece of Murano glass, a hand-crafted piece of lace. But selecting which mask or which goblet to buy can be an intimidating experience. How do you know if you’re buying something authentic, something made in Venice, something made in a traditional way? How do you gauge how much you should pay, and how do you know if you’re being ripped off? How do you determine if you have fallen prey to one of the city’s many tourist traps?
Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of the city’s most traditional arts: Murano glass, carnival masks, gondolas, lace, paper, and more. This indispensable guide includes practical tips for locating the most authentic goods in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world. Packed with useful information on pricing, quality, and value, and with a comprehensive resource guide, Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice is the perfect guide for anyone wanting to bring home the unique traditions of Venice.
Artisans of Venice is the companion to Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts: Venice, A Travel Guide to Murano Glass, Carnival Masks, Gondolas, Lace, Paper, & More. Put both books together and you will be the most knowledgeable traveller in Venice!
Book Description for Artisans of Venice: Companion to the Travel Guide
Going to Venice? Don’t buy anything in Venice until you read this book!
Buyer Beware: Venice is full of tourist traps and mass-produced souvenirs passed off as authentic. Do you know how to tell the treasures from the trash?
In Venice, it’s not easy to tell the treasures from the trash. This is true now more than ever before, as increasing numbers of carnival masks, glass, and other souvenirs flood into Venice, imported from overseas and passed off as authentic. There is no substitute for an educated buyer. Laura Morelli helps you locate the city’s most authentic artisans–those practising centuries-old trades of mask making, glass blowing, wood turning, silk spinning, and other traditions. Wouldn’t you rather support authentic Venetian master artisans than importers looking to turn a quick profit without any connection to Venice at all?
Venice boasts some of the most accomplished master artisans in the world. Here is how you can find them.
Laura Morelli leads you beyond the souvenir shops for an immersive cultural experience that you won’t find in any other guidebook. Artisans of Venice brings you inside the workshops of the most accomplished makers of Venetian fabrics, Murano glass and millefiori, carnival masks and masquerade costumes, gondolas, Burano lace, mirrors, marbleized paper, hand-carved frames, and other treasures. This book leads you to the multi-generational studios of some 75 authentic master artisans. If you’re reading on your Kindle device, tablet, or smart-phone, you can click directly on their street addresses for an interactive map, and link to their web sites and email addresses directly from the guide. A cross-referenced resource guide also offers listings by neighbourhood.
Laura Morelli, an art historian and trusted guide in the world of cultural travel and authentic shopping, leads you to the best of Venice’s most traditional arts. Laura Morelli’s Authentic Arts series is the only travel guide series on the market that takes you beyond the museums and tourist traps to make you an educated buyer – maybe even a connoisseur – of Florentine leather, ceramics of the Amalfi Coast, Parisian hats, Venetian glass, the handmade quilts of Provence, and more treasures.
Bring Laura Morelli’s guides to Venice with you, and you’ll be sure to come home with the best of Venice in your suitcase.
Interview with Laura Morelli
1. What kind of research did you carry out in order to be able to write this VENICE Travel Guide?
I am traditionally trained as an art historian, and studied the great artists of the past: Michelangelo, da Vinci, and many others. However, once I realized the importance of living artisanal traditions within Italian culture, I was riveted; I wanted to know everything! It was the beginning of a journey that would take me from the Alps to Palermo, and become my obsession for more than a decade. Over the course of my fieldwork, it was the stories and the people behind these great traditions that captivated me, that kept me moving forward, digging deeper. The contemporary Italian artisans I interviewed, one after another, told me how important it was to them to pass on the torch of tradition to the next generation. In Venice, artisanal traditions like Murano glass, gondolas, and carnival masks are virtually synonymous with the city itself.
2. Who are the readers who you think will benefit the most from reading your VENICE Travel Guide?
For international travellers, shopping in Venice can be intimidating. All of us want to come home from La Serenissima with a special souvenir, but selecting which Carnival mask or which piece of Murano glass to buy can be an overwhelming experience. How do you know if youre buying something authentic, something made locally and in a traditional way? How do you gauge how much you should pay, and how do you know if youre being ripped off? How do you determine if you have fallen prey to one of the citys many tourist traps? In Venice, its not easy to tell the treasure from the trash. This is true now more than ever before, as increasing numbers of carnival masks, glass, and other souvenirs flood into Venice, imported from overseas and passed off as authentic. There is no substitute for a knowledgeable buyer. If you know what you are buying, you can put your money where it counts: back into the pockets of Venetian makers and not into those of importers looking to make a quick profit without any connection to Venice at all.
3. What message is VENICE Travel Guide giving?
When you make a connection with the person who made your Venetian carnival mask or picture frame, it will become part of an immersive travel experience that you will carry with you forever. A truly authentic souvenir does not have to be expensive, but it may end up being the most valuable thing you bring home from your trip to Venice.
4. Why are you so fascinated by Italy and its arts and artisans?
The medieval craft guilds may be long gone, but the techniques, the skill, the forms, the knowledge, the spirit of Italian tradition is still intact in world-class objects like Murano glass, Florentine leather, Majolica ceramics, even Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Grappa. These traditions are kept alive in the hands individual artisans who take pride in their regional specialities, so ingrained that even in the twenty-first century the products of their labour are recognized around the world as a benchmark of quality.
5. You have set a novel in Venice, the Gondola Maker, and now this book: what is the connection between you and Venice?
I lived in northern Italy for four years and spent a lot of time in Venice. The inspiration for The Gondola Maker came as I was researching another book called Made in Italy. I travelled all over Italy, from the Alps to the islands, talking with contemporary artisans who still practice centuries-old traditions like Murano glass, Florentine leather, Sicilian ceramics, Roman goldsmithing, and of course, Venetian gondolas. Over and over, the extraordinary people I met told me how important it was to pass their craft on to the next generation. I began to wonder what would happen – especially centuries ago – if the successor were not able… or willing. The character of the gondola maker and his son began to take shape in my head. As I began to work on The Gondola Maker in earnest, it was an opportunity to take a deeper dive into the primary historical sources about the history of the gondola, the world of the guilds or arti, and the role and reputation of boatmen in Renaissance Venice.
6. What is your next project?
The Venice guides are part of a larger series called Laura Morellis Authentic Arts, which leads travellers beyond the museums and souvenir shops for an immersive cultural experience in various cities and regions of Italy. Im looking forward to returning to historical fiction later this year. So many stories behind the worlds works of artwhether true or imaginedremain to be told.
Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called The Genuine Article and contributes pieces about authentic travel to national magazines and newspapers. Laura has been featured on CNN Radio, Travel Today with Peter Greenberg, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, House & Garden Magazine, Traditional Home, the Denver Post, Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, and other media. Recently her art history lesson, Whats the difference between art and craft? was produced and distributed by TED-Ed.
Laura has taught college-level art history at Trinity College in Rome, as well as at Northeastern University, Merrimack College, St. Joseph College, and the College of Coastal Georgia. Laura has lived in five countries, including four years in Italy and four years in France.
Laura Morelli is the author of the guidebook series that includes Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, all published by Rizzoli / Universe. The Gondola Maker, a historical coming-of-age story about the heir to a gondola boatyard in 16th-century Venice, is her first work of fiction.
And now a little intro about the masks which you could be winning!
The baùta or baùtta
The baùta is the quintessential Venetian mask, worn historically not only at Carnival time but any time a Venetian citizen wished to remain anonymous, such as when he may have been involved in important law-making or political processes in the city. The simplest of the traditional Venetian mask types, the baùta is a stark faceplate traditionally paired with a full-length black or red hooded cloak called a tabàro (or tabàrro), and a tricorn hat, as depicted in paintings and prints by the Venetian artist Pietro Longhi. Most baùte were made of waxed papier-mâché and covered most of the face. The most prominent feature is a distinctive aquiline nose and no mouth. The lower part of the mask protruded outward to allow the mask wearer to breathe, talk, and eat while remaining disguised.
In the Commedia dellArte, Colombina played the role of maidservant. The Colombina is a half-mask that covers the forehead down to the cheeks, but leaves the mouth revealed. Originally, it would have been held up to the face by a baton in the hand. The Colombina is often decorated with more feminine flourishes, from gilding to gems and feathers, but both men and women may wear it.
Click the link to Italy Book Tour Schedule for Authentic Arts: VENICE Travel Guide
Where to buy the book:
Laura Morelli is giving away a set of these books along with two authentic Carnival masks (one male Bauta style and one female Colombina style) – so how can you win?
Well just click on the below and follow the instrucions! Good luck and Happy Carnival time to you all!
If you liked the books and want others to know about it, feel free to cross post your review on Amazon and Goodreads and make mention of it on any of your social media sites, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter. This would greatly help the author.
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