Our trip to Venice comprised of three elements. First, we wanted to explore the dark side of the city and learn about the crimes of Venetians and the horrific punishments associated with them (a great way to come up with murder mystery game ideas! :) From there we would be off to find the perfect Venetian mask, and of course last but not least, a quintessential Gondola ride through the back waterways of this most mysterious and beautiful city.
As luck would have it, the Palazzo Zaguri on the Campo San Maurizio had an amazing exhibit entitled "Venice Secrets" and it allowed us "to get to know the cruelest and goriest side of Venetian history"... just what we were looking for.
Hundreds of original items used to execute thousands of people. Crimes, justice and the death penalty at the time of the Serenissima Republic. There were four sections of the exhibit, the first section: Justice and torture; second section: Prisons and prisoners; third section: The capital executions rite; fourth section: Inquisition and Holy Office.
What I wasn't expecting was a gruesome display of real body parts in the "Antropologia Criminale" section.
Based on the Criminal anthropology (a combination of the study of the human species and the study of criminals) it is a field of crime profiles, based on the perceived connections between the nature of a crime and the personality or physical appearance of the author of the crime. It is considered a pseudoscience also inspired by phrenology.
A bit intense, but none the less...inspiring for a new Murder Mystery Game!
Venetian masks have always fascinated me, and they are an important feature of the Venetian carnival. In the past, people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen's Day, December 26) and the end of the carnival season at midnight of Shrove Tuesday.
Many Masks were beautiful, but some had distorted facial features and grotesque expressions.
The Gondola ride without a doubt was a highlight of our trip. The gentle swaying of the boat in the early hours of the morning couldn't have been more enjoyable way to spend our last day.
After 3 days of searching, I found the perfect Venetian mask to bring back to Canada.
There was only one thing left to do, find a great restaurant for lunch...
A Venetian cicchetti seafood platter and a mountain
of spaghetti carbonara really hit the spot!
Great food and a wonderful trip!