Carnival Italian style is a celebration to be experienced at least once in your life.
The costumes, drama, laughter and jokes all make for a rather jolly time; a time when Italians laugh at themselves, and at each other. The most famous Carnevale di Venezia (carnival of Venice) follows the traditional of carnival with costumes and masks, musicians, actors and acrobats showcasing their skills in San Marco Square whilst mingling with visitors in this elegant setting.
Carnevale takes place in the weeks before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. This year from February 12 to March 5 celebrations will take place all over Italy with the grandest celebrations taking place on Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday). Elaborate floats are paraded and people wear paper mache masks or heads depicting politicians or famous people.
In the southern town of Putignano, in the province of Bari, elaborate models depicting film stars or politicians are paraded for two weeks with dance troupes, bands, films and traditional food served throughout the historic centre.
Carnevale was first celebrated in Venice in 1094, celebrations spreading in popularity during the Middle Ages throughout Europe. In the region of Piemonte, the small town of Ivrea celebrates its Carnevale in a unique way. Since the 1600s there has been a masked ball, followed by the Battaglia delle Arance – literally the battle of the oranges, where people pelt one another with more than 400 tons of oranges. It originated as a symbol of uprising against those in power.
There are carnivals all over Italy at this time of year wherever you decide to go you will be guaranteed a flamboyant experience with masks, costumes, floats and music. Book yourself a cheap flight and hotel and go and find the fun.
Don’t miss the following dates throughout Italy:
Venice Carnival – 26 Jan – 12 Feb
Viareggio Carnival – 3, 10, 12, 17 and 24 Feb
Arcireal Carnival in Sicily – 26 Jan – 12 Feb
Cento Carnival in Emilia-Romagna – 27 Jan, 10, 17, 24 Feb and March 3
Putignano Carnival near Bari – 27 Jan, 3-19-12 Feb
Arco Carnival near lake Garda – 2-3 and 9-10 Feb 2013
Bagolino Carnival near Lake Idro 11-12 Feb