March is coming and Carnival is just days away. Let’s find out more about the history of the masks of the Commedia dell’arte beginning from Pulcinella.
Pulcinella is probably the most popular and ancient mask, emblem of Naples and its people, including all the contradictions.
The mask has really ancient origins, dating back to the theatre of the ancient Rome, but the actor Silvio Fiorillo officially invents it with the Commedia dell’arte. The mask is based on the Puccio D’Aniello, a farmer with a sun-tanned face and a long nose, portrayed by the painter Annibali Caracci. But Antonio Petito is going to define the modern costume: Pulcinella wears a big and white tunic tied at the waist by a black belt, which is kept low on a pair of white and big trousers, completed by black shoes. The mask is black with a hooked nose that defines the piercing tone of the voice.
Pulcinella plays the role of the first Zanni: the servant is always hungry and willing to do whatever like lying or hurting to get a dish of macaroni. It is an impudent mask, talkative and incapable of keeping secrets, but mostly ironic. The irony is his weapon against the adversities of the world. Pulcinella represents the ambivalent soul of Naples. This ambivalence is also interpreted in terms of hermaphroditism: the top of the mask is masculine, while the bottom (belly, buttock and breast) is feminine. Pulcinella is a dualistic figure: he embodies the couples man-woman, city-countryside, comic-tragic, stupid-clever and the pagan-Christian culture of Naples.
During Carnival it is possible to meet a Pulcinella in piazza San Marco. Enjoy the festivity and come to Marciana Restaurant for a good meal.
Do not forget to book a table calling the number: +39 041 5206524
We’re open from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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