Carnivals in Italy: the most famous and beautiful in 2021

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Joel Fulleda

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Every man lies, but give him a mask and he will be sincere.
- Oscar Wilde It will certainly not be the celebration of sincerity, but in some ways it is the celebration of holidays.
This year the Carnival starts on February 20th (Fat Thursday) and ends on February 25th (Fat Tuesday).
Rich in tradition and history, it has its roots in the Greek Dionysian or in the Roman Saturnalia, and today it takes on always different connotations in each country. But what are the most famous carnival parties in Italy? Which are the most beautiful carnivals? He tells you ...

14 - Carnival of Sciacca, Sicily

Historical Carnival in Sicily, among the oldest on the island, it is characterized by a production of allegorical floats surprising in number, manufacture and size. From the initial parades of wagons with cattle, over the years there has been a sharp political satire. Between celebrations and parades of floats, from Saturday to Tuesday, the previous Thursday starts with the delivery of the keys to the Carnival King, represented here by Peppe Nappa. On the day that the carnival closes, the mask, which parades around the city distributing sausage and wine, is burned in the square.

  • Mask: Peppe Nappa
  • Main events: Fire of Peppe Nappa and Carnival Concert
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per night -

13 - Carnival of Ronciglione, Lazio

Considered among the most beautiful carnivals in Lazio, that of Ronciglione, a town in Tuscia, is full of events, parades and traditions. It starts with the Ride of the Hussars, which evoke the defense by these knights of the Papal State; continue with the "Corse dei Barberi", also called "It ran empty"as it is horse racing without jockeys; finally, among the various celebrations, the" Pilatata dei Nasi Rossi "stands out. Red Noses they are masks that represent the devotees to Bacchus, god of wine, irreverent figures who, in the pilatata, praise songs in favor of wine, of the table and of insane life. And to engage the audience, they offer steaming macaroni ... inside a chamber pot!

  • Mask: Hussars and Red Noses
  • Main events: cavalcade of the hussars, corse of the barberi, the pilatata
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 30,00 per night -

12 - Carnival of Tricarico, Basilicata

Respecting the peasant traditions, the "Transhumance of masks" takes place in Tricarico. Yes, because here the masks have the shape of Bulls and Heifers, all with a cowbell around their neck and guided by the "Vaccaro". The herd in transhumance crosses the country, the nobles join the procession, and everything ends with the parade of floats, in which the puppet Carnival it is burned and "Quaremma" (Lent) mourns its death.

  • Mask: Bulls and Heifers
  • Main events: transhumance of masks, destruction of the carnival and tears of Quaremma
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per night -

11 - Carnival of the Coumba Freida, Val d'Aosta

In the San Bernardo Valley the municipalities celebrate the Coumba Freida Carnival, literally "of the cold valley", where the passage of soldiers following Napoleon is recalled. The masks are the "Landzette", with uniforms reminiscent of the Napoleonic ones of the 1800s and wooden masks. They also hold a horsehair and a bell in their belt.

  • Mask: Landzette
  • Main events: traditional Benda parade, where the "Landzette" parade
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per night -

10 - Carnival of Cento, Emilia Romagna

Twinned with the Most beautiful carnival in the world, that of Rio de Janeiro, is characterized by allegorical floats that are hoisted over 20 meters in height! But the real feature is the tradition of revenue, which has little or nothing to do with the fiscal one, and which instead consists in the throwing, by the extras who are on the moving wagons, of objects and gadgets such as balls, soft toys, etc.

  • Mask: Tasi, a Cento character from the 800s, a lover of good wine
  • Main events:
    - parade and the procession of wagons with the "revenue
    - "Rogo di Tasi", which after opening the fashion shows dressed in tails and accompanied by a fox, is burned on the last day
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per night -

9 - Carnival of Fano, Marche

And the Oldest Carnival in Italy as well as one of the oldest of the "Old Continent": the first document dates back to no less than 1347.
Here too, as in Cento, the characteristic is the "jet", one rain of sweets, chocolates and candies that are launched from the floats on the public.
Entrance to the perimeter of the delimited area for the carnival may be subject to a fee.

  • Mask: the baby "Vulon"
  • Main events:
    - The concert of the "Musica Arabita" band, which plays objects such as tin cans, jugs, coffee pots, etc .;
    - the parade of the Grand Masked Courses, with allegorical floats, folkloric groups and musical performances
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 30,00 per night -

8 - Carnival of Madonna di Campiglio, Trentino Alto Adige

Magical and other times atmospheres in Habsburg Carnival, which transforms Madonna di Campiglio from ski capital to city of Princely Carnival. More than a nineteenth-century side dish, a real dive into the past with the imperial couple formed by Princess Sissi and his wife Francesco Giuseppe parade with a procession of ladies and knights.

  • Mask: Princess Sissi and Francesco Giuseppe
  • Main events:
    - Inaugural procession with the arrival of the imperial couple;
    - Grand Ball of the Emperor at the Hofer hall of the Hotel Des Alpes
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per night -
  • Booking: / +39 0465 447501

7 - Ambrosian Carnival in Milan, Lombardy

Il Carnival of Sant'Ambrogio it has a somewhat original development, in the sense that when all carnivals end ... here it begins! The Shrove Tuesday in fact it does not sanction here the end of the carnival, which is postponed by a week. This is because on one occasion, at the time of Sant'Ambrogio, before starting the Lenten rites, they wanted to wait for the bishop of Milan who was returning from a pilgrimage.

  • Mask: Meneghino
  • Main events: Procession and party in Piazza Duomo
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 80,00 per night -

6 - Carnival of Mamoiada, Sardinia

A carnival in full Sardinian style that of Mamoiada, with the more than characteristic masks of the Issohadores and Mamuthones. What are these masks characterized by? Well, the Issohadores wear red bodices, white masks, berets and a small shawl, and escort the Mamuthones wearing sheepskin, wooden masks and wearing "sa carriga" on their backs, nothing less than 30 kg of cowbells!

  • Mask: the Mamuthones and the Issohadores
  • Main events: The dressing and the procession of the Mamuthones. It seems that these rites date back to the age of the nuraghi and symbolize respect and veneration for animals, and serve to propitiate abundant crops and drive away malevolent spirits.
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 29,00 per night -

5 - Carnival of Acireale, Sicily

Probably the most beautiful carnival in Sicily, is characterized by an apotheosis of colors and music.
The carnival period here is full of gastronomic events, musical, in the exclusive baroque setting of the town.

  • Mask: the Abbatazzu
  • Main events: parades of allegorical floats and flowered floats; Shrove Tuesday with fireworks and the burning of the King Carnival
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per night -

4 - Carnival of Viareggio, Tuscany

Among the oldest, most famous and spectacular in Italy, the Viareggio Carnival is characterized by huge allegorical floats and for a school of papier-mâché masters made up of over 25 companies more than 1.000 workers! More than wagons, they are real theaters on the way.

  • Mask: Burlamacco
  • Main events: the Corso Mascherato parade, with a competition among the most spectacular allegorical floats at the end of which the winner is declared!
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 65,00 per night -

3 - Carnival of Putignano, Puglia

In Putignano we work in the "Factory of the Paper Giants", with the papier-mâché masters who fight to establish the Putignano school, known all over the world. The carnival of Putignano is also considered one of the oldest in Europe!
According to tradition, starting from January 17th, on the occasion of the feast of Sant'Antonio Abate, every Thursday is dedicated to a category of social stratum, between satire and entertainment. We start with the Thursday of the Monsignors, and then those of Priests, Nuns, Widows, Crazy people, Wives and finally the Thursday of the Horned. On this last occasion, particularly nice is the rite of cutting horns.

  • Mask: Farinella
  • Main events:
    - Carnival Thursdays;
    - the Macaroni Bell: the rite provides that, in Piazza Plebiscito, a large papier-mâché bell will ring 365 strokes (through an amplification system), to symbolize the end of the celebrations and the beginning of penance. In the hour before midnight, macaroni with tomato and sausage are eaten and dance.
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per night -

2 - Carnival of Ivrea, Piedmont

We are in Piedmont, to celebrate an absolutely original Carnival. In fact, here the revolt of the people against the tyrant, fought revolt ... to the sound of oranges! The Battle of the Oranges, in fact, which takes place on Shrove Tuesday, sees the "walking orangers", who represent the people, chase away the "wrestlers" on horse-drawn chariots which instead represent the Tyrant, who in the Middle Ages claimed the jus prime noctis on the daughter of a miller, who rebelled by igniting the revolt.

  • Mask: the Tyrant and Violetta the miller
  • Main events:
    - the Battle of the Oranges;
    - the Abbruciamento dello Scarlo, a bonfire during which, in the square, a large pole covered with dry heather is set on fire: this symbolizes the expulsion of negativity and the regeneration of the earth in view of good harvests
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 55,00 per night -

1 - Carnival of Venice, Veneto

Perhaps the most famous in Italy and among the most famous in the world, with very ancient origins, the setting of the events already justify their position and value. There most beautiful city in Italy it gives rise to boat parades among the romantic canals, masks that animate Piazza San Marco, music and concerts in every corner of the city, in every alley, in every heart that populates the city in those days.

  • Mask: the Baùta
  • Main events:
    - the Festa delle Marie, a procession that recalls the tradition according to which the Doge of the Serenissima used to pay homage to twelve humble and beautiful girls of Venice;
    - the Flight of the Angel from the Campanile of San Marco and the Flight of the Donkey from the Tower of Mestre;
    - the Svolo del Leon, which concludes the holidays of Shrove Tuesday, with the tribute to the Winged Lion of San Marco, symbol of Venice.
  • hotel and b & b starting from € 90,00 per night -

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