Mary Ann's Blog

Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras or Martedi Grasso as it is known in Italian is here and traditionally, the last day to really party like they do in New Orleans before the austere season of Lent kicks in. That brings to mind, Venice where the day before Lent is beyond opulent and anything goes from elaborate costumes to gorgeous Venetian masks, tricks played on people and well, anything goes, especially eating and drinking to past satisfaction. If I could be anywhere on Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, I would be in Saint Mark's Square in Venice in an elaborate costume, which I once rented and literally become someone else in a flash and that was the point of being in costume, both rich and not so rich could become anything they wanted, say anything they wanted and do anything they wanted.

Many years ago, I went to a ball in the Palazzo Morosini, arriving by a gondola ride and walked up the grand staircase of the palace lit by gold candelabra and could just begin to imagine what it must have been like to live here in the days of the Serenissima, when Venice ruled the seas. Today, this tradition continues and the richness of the costumes is even more intriguing. Many tourists buy a maschera (mask) and some are truly works of art. If you ever do, be careful and buy from a reputable artisan mask maker because there is an incredible amount of fake masks out there claiming to be made in Venice.

What would you eat on Martedi Grasso? Whatever you like.  But be sure to try these Lenten cookies:


  1. Jerry Finzi's avatar

    Jerry Finzi

    Looking good, Mary Ann... it IS Mary Ann, isn't it? Buon Carnevale!

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!