COLLINSVILLE - Collinsville's 2015 Italian Fest exhibition ("Exploring Venice and The Veneto") takes visitors to Venice, Italy -- that fascinating city on the water -- and into Venice's biggest pre-Lenten party of Carnevale.  Carnevale is also the theme for this year's Italian Fest.

The display is open now through Sept. 30 at the Collinsville Library, 408 West Main.

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Visitors will be able to see rare Venetian and Veneto pieces -- many brought here from Italy.  The Carnevale mask collection includes beautiful, ornate masks of the type worn at Venice's balls and rare, hand-made, leather masks worn hundreds of years ago during these celebrations.  The leather masks, part of a St. Louis collection, were made by Renzo Antonello, one of today's prominent mask makers in Italy.

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The exhibit then take visitors on a tabletop walk through Veneto's diverse regions -- extending from the Dolomite Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. 

"The ancient wall drawings from the Val d'Assa area are very interesting, " said Annette Graebe, who curated the exhibit with friend Sharon McAley.  "One looks like a person from another world," she said.

Other display items include artisan pieces, Murano glassware, Venetian gondolas, and more.

Free admission.  Hours of the library are Mon. – Thurs. (9 a.m.-8 p.m.), Fri. & Sat. (9a.m.-5 p.m.), Sunday (1-5 p.m.)  The library will be open 1-5 p.m. on Sept. 25.  For more information, call (618) 344-1112.

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