Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, Italy. The masks are typically worn during the Carnival (Carnival of Venice), but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status. The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.
Masks in Venice were therefore a symbol of freedom, a way to get rid of social rules and to conceal the masked personâ€™s identity and social status, not only during Carnival, but also in the everyday life.
Source: http://themascherade.com/contents/en-us/d5_Page_5.html, http://www.camacana.com/a-brief-history-of-venetian-masks/#.WOxiQUWGPIU