Despite the great popularity of the Venetian Carnival, mask-making is sadly a dying art in the city. The large majority of masks for sale in the shops and kiosks of Venice are kitsch made in Asia and have little (if any) relationship to the popular local tradition. A shining exception to this sorry situation is Sergio and Massimo Boldrin's Bottega dei Mascareri. Staunch traditionalists, the Boldrin brothers recreate beautiful and historically accurate versions of the masks
of the Venetian Commedia dell'Arte. They have also carefully extended their repertoire to include masks inspired by characters in Tiepolo's paintings, thereby inventing new masks while remaining true to the spirit of 18th-century Carnevale. A mask from Bottega is about as close to the "real thing" as you can get.