Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni


(Extraordinary Acceptance)

Toleranza rara” means from the ancient Venetian: "something that can be exceptionally tolerated", not in the normal state of things, but accepted, nevertheless.

It was stated in the law that Fat Thursday had to be celebrated every year starting in 1162 in Venice, and it became Carnival celebrations.

And sometimes in the XVI century Carnival was suspended, because it was becoming too light-hearted, too wild and less of an official celebration.

Wild Carnival behavior went on the same, of course, so it was defined - with a law issued by the Serenissima Government in 1585 - that it was not acceptable to go around town carrying a weapon.

Blades only were accepted to help maintain order - when needed - from wild animals running in the streets or when ugly brawl started, due to the too much animosity of some Carnival participants, and very likely some extra wine.

Watercolor by Giovanni Grevembroch: "Toleranza rara" 18th century
Giovanni Grevembroch: "Toleranza Rara" (Extraordinary Acceptance)
pen, ink & watercolor (18th century) - Museo Correr, Venezia

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