The start of the Carnival season…
When: February 3rd to March 3rd 2013.
Where: VIareggio, Italy.
The spectacular Viareggio Carnival takes place every year in the beautiful seaside town of Viareggio on the Italian Riviera in Tuscany. It is famous worldwide for its incredible floats and huge puppets operated by several people inside them.
On various days throughout the carnival period each float is paraded through the town carrying about 200 people in costume as well as a dozen people operating the giant papier-mache puppet (usually a caricature of some famous or political figure). Each parade finishes with gastronomic feasts and a massive fireworks display.
During the whole crazy carnival season people play practical jokes, throw confetti and brandish soft rubber truncheons and other foam weapons.
The Viareggio Carnival started in 1873 when some local residents decided to have a procession of decorated floats through the city streets. A masked protest against taxes also happened to be going on on the same day day and as a result the chief tax collector was made fun of. The combined parade and protest became an annual event and a way to show political dissatisfaction through humour.
When is the Viareggio Carnival?
The carnival season runs during the whole of the period running up to lent with a parade taking place every weekend.
For more information on the events and dates take a look at the official Viareggio Carnival website. (Mostly in Italian, but there is some basic information in English too).
Look out for the typical seasonal sweets – crispy frittelle and chiacchiere. Eat the best Pizza and heavenly pastas and risottos. Try our tasty Italian Risotto recipe. Drink Pinot Grigio.
Travel to Italy
Dates / venues may be subject to change or cancellation. Distances may be straight-line estimates. Please verify information before booking.
Enjoy your trip! And when you’re home we’d love you to come back and tell us all about it!