written by Behind Venice, pics by Behind Venice


Today we bring you “virtually” in a workshop placed a few steps from the Rialto Bridge: Rugadoro.  It is the masks atelier owned by Sarah Zanarella, a girl originally from Vicenza.

The exact address is Ruga Rialto n. 1035.

Adopted by Venice more than fifteen years ago, Sarah decided to embrace tradition working in a workshop a few steps from her home.

After graduating in set design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Sarah began to dedicate her life to masks, first as an intern at a famous atelier of Venetian masks and costumes, then deciding to open her own business.

mask venice

Rugadoro was created in 2007, in Ruga Rialto and it is precisely her love for Ruga, the road that welcomed her in Venice, that led her to name the workshop like that.

Rugadoro, however, also refers to the type of decoration she makes on her masks: she uses the trimming, a line, a golden wrinkle between fabrics.

art mask

In her masks you can also recognize patchwork, murrinas, Murano glass and feathers.

Each mask is unique.

For instance, during the quarantine period and combining her passion for animals, Sarah has created such original masks: a frog and a crocodile.

venice carnival

All in papier mache, decorated with a laborious process that involves the application of thin strips of fabrics and a hand-cut leather inlay. The eyes of the frog are made with millefiori murrine, original Murano glass and crystals.

Some details have been hand-colored to donate more light and shade to the decoration.

mask venice

Least but not last, Sarah now creates also specials cats, such as Pierrot Cat, Burgundy Venetian Cat and Sky Blue Cat. You can find them in her e-store. All of them are made in papier mache, decorated with a laborious process, that involves the use of fabrics and trimmings and of course, very rich Murano glass details.

history venice