Was most facetious in the days of yore,
For dance, and song, and serenade, and ball,
And masque, and mime, and mystery, and more
Than I have time to tell now, or at all,
Venice the bell from every city bore,~
And at the moment when I fix my story,
That sea-born city was in all her glory.
(From "Beppo", by Lord Byron, 1818.)
And other things which may be had for asking. ("Beppo")
An antique calling card, on the verso of an early playing card
Giggling with all the gallants who beset her;
And there are songs and quavers, roaring, humming,
Guitars, and every other sort of strumming. ("Beppo")
The Carnival in Venice was a popular stop on the nineteenth century Grand Tour. Tourists and the crown heads of Europe alike, cavorted at parades, masque balls and street parties in Piazza San Marco, the Piazzetta, and in the courtyard of the Ducal Place.
Oh mirth and innocence!
P.S. The color headpiece at the top of this post showing Carnival revelers, is an antique print by Tolmer et cie, Paris. For three generations Maison Tolmer was known for their exquisite designs and printing for French couturiers and parfumeries.