Il Ballo del Doge 2020

Il Ballo del Doge 2020 will be my new challenge to express the essence of the Carnival of Venice through the symbolism of rhapsody, that in its musical meaning represents the freedom of interpreting a theme, without established patterns, a succession of mixed ideas and rhythms that express for everyone the possibility of experimenting and improvising while telling a story.

The title of Il Ballo del Doge 2020, taking place the Saturday close to the climax of the festivities of the Carnival of Venice, February 22nd 2020, tells it all about the yearly theme:



Provocation as a question:

Carnival is real life, or real life is nothing but a Carnival?

Thinking of this new edition, and looking at the contemporaneity of our lives nowadays, there is another question riding the wave of my thoughts and my inspiration.

Do we really know where real life begins?

The provocative answer:

Let’s break free from our comfort zone!

In the years there is surely one thing I am certain about, regarding myself and all the Guests that Il Ballo del Doge has seen during the years: Il Ballo del Doge makes us get rid of all the things we are sure about, going away from what is predictable in the daily life, and wear, with a mask and a costume, also a new identity, maybe the one better representing our true self.

Sometimes you just need to forgive yourself and simply be happy!

And if you are not able to do it alone, Il Ballo del Doge can help us look further, absolving you from all your fears and guilt for one night, providing us with the greatest luxury:

To be ourselves, wearing a costume and living in peace with our human imperfections.


I know, we need a miracle, you may think!

Every year, shortly before the opening of the gates of Il Ballo del Doge, is exactly what I try to tell myself, because providence, regardless of our religion, is a stable ingredient of our lives.

We do our best, we are committed, we try to take into consideration all the details, we want perfection in all we do, but we cannot help hoping in the divine intervention, to overcome our limits.

Because things happen, yes our action are determinant, but the exceptional events that we experience, give that sense of marvel, that must be lived at least for one night.

Program and cast

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February 2020
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Palazzo Pisani Moretta

Palazzo Pisani Moretta is a palace situated along the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy (in the sestiere of San Polo) between Palazzo Tiepolo and Palazzo Barbarigo della Terrazza.


Built in the second half of the 15th Century by the Bembo family, the palace soon became the residence of a branch of the noble Pisani family (the Pisani Moretta branch). The palace was renovated, modified and extended over the following centuries, finally taking on its current aspect in the 18th Century. In fact many of the valuable interior decorations date back to the 18th Century. Past guests to the palace included important historic figures such as Tsar Paul I of Russia, Joséphine de Beauharnais and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Palazzo Pisani Moretta remained in the Pisani family until it died out in 1880 but the building is still owned privately.

The interior rooms were decorated by Baroque artists such as Tiepolo, Jacopo Guarana, Gaspare Diziani and Giuseppe Angeli. The palace once housed, among other things, Paolo Veronese's monumental painting The Family of Darius before Alexander, which was viewed here by Goethe in 1786 (diary entry from October 8 of that year) and acquired by the National Gallery, London, in 1857, where it now hangs. The palace is said to have housed a ceiling painting called, The Chariots of Aurora by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675-1741), which was restored and installed in the Library of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.

It hosts an annual masquerade ball Il Ballo del Doge, held during the Carnival period.


The façade of Palazzo Pisani Moretta is an example of Venetian Gothic floral style with its two floors of six-light mullioned windows with ogival arches, similar to those found in the loggia of the Doge’s Palace flanked by two single windows. The ground floor has two central pointed arched doorways opening on to the canal.

(c) Didier Descouens
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