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Colombina (or Columbine) is the mischievous and charming serving wench of the Commedia dell'arte, a comic character who is not always a mirror of virtue.

She springs from the same kind of popular world as her faithful companion in adventure and, on occasion, her disconsolate lover, Harlequin.

On stage she, is recognisable for her nimbleness, flirting and her typically feminine sharp-wittedness. Hers too is a character that has also had other names, such as Arlecchina, Corallina, Ricciolina, Camilla and Lisetta, up to the more refined, gallicised versions of this character, such as the elegant Marionette of Goldoni's Vedova Scaltra. Her costume is simple.

Sometimes it has multicoloured patches like Harlequin's, and a white apron and cap and on other occasions it is exactly that of an eighteenth century maid. She is very rarely seen in a mask and various dialects are possible, the most common ones being Tuscan and Venetian. Isabella Biancolelli Franchini often played Colombina on the stage, but it was Caterina, the daughter. of the famous Harlequin Domenico Biancolelli, whose masterly interpretation has left its mark on theatrical history.

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