Cultural Travels from Home: The Castello District of Venice and the Art of Mask-Making

Tuesday 30th January 11.00AM GMT


In our series of online webinars, we visit artists, art historians and guides in cultural cities around the world and enjoy an hour’s guided tour, museum visit or demonstration. The visits are live and interactive, allowing you to ask questions. These webinars will enable you to gain special access to sites, studios and galleries whilst at the same time providing a wonderful opportunity to travel virtually from home, no matter your location.

Today we are delighted to join our dear colleague Dr Luisella Romeo for a livestream tour, broadcast direct from the Castello district in Venice. Dr Romeo is one of the city’s most authoritative and popular guides.


In the “sestiere” di Castello we will start our tour in one of the most important squares in Venice, Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Dominated by a splendid bell tower and the more austere church façade designed by Mauro Codussi, it is also home to magnificent palaces such as the Palazzo Malipiero-Trevisan and Palazzo Querini Stampalia, now an important art museum. Once the setting of a very important festivity — Candlemas, on February 2nd — the square will help us understand how open spaces in Venice were once the stage for theatrical events.

Nearby, during the 1970s, the craftsman Stefano Gottardo started to create hand-made masks at a time when no other mask shops in Venice were to be found. Today his atelier, which he runs with his wife Eliana Giordano and his sister Emanuela Gottardo, is a true place of artistry and extraordinary craftsmanship. The family specialises in both recreations of traditional Venetian masks as well as more modern interpretations, although always made entirely in papier-mâché. Join us as we learn about the expertise and creativity which lies behind this unique and beloved Venetian craft.

The tour is interactive, so you will be able to put questions to our guide throughout the visit. Our events use the most up-to-date technology to provide you with the best possible virtual experience. All bookings will include a donation to the workshop or “virtual entrance ticket”.


This is a live event starting at 11.00am (UK time).  It will last approximately one hour including interactive Q&A. Tune in live from anywhere in the world, or if you cannot participate live, you will automatically be sent a recording soon after the end of the session enabling you to watch later that day or during the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Booking closes the day before the event is streamed. Please refer to the Further Information panel below.

Art History in Focus is proud to have initiated the concept of online tours in many major European museums and historic sites. We are delighted to have developed these collaborations which continue to raise important funds for the galleries and cultural sites as well as those working in the cultural sector.

Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button, fill in the online booking form and pay online. You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

Please ensure you enter your email address correctly, as your Zoom link will be sent to this address, thank you.

The participation fee is £13 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses and book them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked – please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. Zoom works best when using Google Chrome.


You will receive an email approximately 24-48 hours in advance of the event asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will automatically receive the Zoom log in link both on your screen and by email, please keep this safe.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items’ and ‘junk mail’ folders or click here for advice.


Join the lecture up to ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch the lecture at the time it is live-streamed, you can watch on catch up. Just book online as normal and you will be contacted soon after the event with instructions on how to access the recording. This will be available to watch on catch up later that evening and for the following 2 days. You do not need to advise us if you can’t participate live, don’t worry! Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed

Bookings close the day before the lecture is streamed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each lecture that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the lecture link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don’t worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recording link.

Image: Papier Mache’ Di Gottardo Stefano & C. Snc. © Luisella Romeo