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20 February 2012


  Capitan Spaventa   

that in English can be translate in Captain scares is a mask from Liguria and is one of the oldest masks of the Commedia dell'Arte. Initially this mask impersonates several characters and other names, but then it arrived in the Italian theatre in '500 thanks to the theatrical performer Francesco Andreini, this character with his own personality.
Capitan Spaventa real origin is in '900 and his complete name is

and is from Val d'Inferno, he is a intrepid swordsman inspired to Spanish soldiers.

This name come from his creator, in fact Captain Spaventa was the artistic name of Francesco Andreini.

Capitan Spaventa is a superb soldier, ambitious and boaster, vainglorious; in fact he is a swordsman that prefers to fight more with words that sward., but he is also a dreamer with high feelings and souled , but he often confuses reality with fantasy.


The Capitan looks thin and has an imposing voice, he wears a dress prevalently yellow and orange similar the one of Spanish soldiers at that time, but he has also ribbons and trinkets hanging. He wear a big hat with plumes, has got big moustaches and a bad nose. He has a long sword that makes noise at each step and it is the element that distinguish him.

In many pictures he has an helmet with an emblem depicting an hedgehog in memory of the siege of Trebisonda in which his armor was pierced by the enemy so as to seem an hedgehog.

Italian Glossary


Italian Carnival masks

Graziella Multari

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