The Carnival in Bologna has its roots in 1953, when Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro established the Children’s Carnival: the event was to be held on Shrove Tuesday and the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday.
The most famous mask of Emilia-Romagna is the Bolognese one of Dr. Balanzone: a pedantic and presumptuous professor.
He belongs to the ranks of the “old men” of the commedia dell’arte, sometimes he is called Doctor Graziano or simply the Doctor.
A native of Emilia, where he studied, he is the classic “serious” character, pedantic and presumptuous who often engages in discussions enriching them with redundant pseudo-Latin-like quotations.
A handsome man, he gesticulates a lot and in a gaudy and pompous way.
He wears a mask that covers part of his face, always wears black and has a big belly; he wears the gown of the professors of the University of Bologna, the so-called toga, black, with a white collar and cuffs, large hat, jacket and cloak.
He is always ready to find any excuse to start one of his endless rants “learned” about him but without sense.
Always ready to brag about his titles, he says he knows every field of human science: law, medicine, astrology, philosophy.
He enjoys great esteem among the other masks and if he is asked for help – for example on a medical opinion – he does not hold back, rather he begins to rant without meaning and without effective remedy.