Color, Size and Satire
Preparing the floats for the Carnevale of Viareggio
Based on ancient ship-building techniques and constructed with the highest degree of craftsmanship, the floats of Viareggio’s Carnevale are a pride for builders whose passion is such that it can take them up to a year to prepare one single float. But time does not matter, as far as the goal of impressing people and winning the Carnevale is accomplished.
The idea of creating an open-air parade at Viareggio dates back to 1873. Since then, the Carnevale of Viareggio has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and has been televised to a national and international audience.
At the Carnevale the atmosphere is magic, surreal. Patrons are clothed in fancy dress and armed with silly string and confetti, while vendors sell typical fried sweets called cenci and bombolone. Giants can weigh as much as 40 tonnes and carry moving papier-mâché figures, some up to 20 meters tall, along a two-kilometer circuit on Viareggio’s seafront while music, masked performers and dancers accompany the procession throwing confetti and sweets to the crowds.
Cheeky satire is directly proportional to floats’ sheer size designed upon themes ranging from mythology to international politics, current affairs and Italian or international celebrities. Behind the grinning caricatures competition is fierce as parade winners are announced at the end of the festivities.
A tradition that definitely worths to be explored, the Carnevale festivities in Viareggio begin this year on February 7 with an opening parade and take place every Sunday until Saturday March 5. The final day of festivities closes with the announcement of parade winners and a fireworks display.
From 7 February to 5 March, Viareggio transforms into the factory of fun with parades of giant paper-night parties, fireworks, masked balls, theater, culinary events and big sporting events worldwide.
The triple cannon is the unmistakable signal that the party starts. The giant gargoyles ‘come to life’ between movements, music and dancing.
February, Sunday 7
1st MASKED PARADE
February, Sunday 14
2nd MASKED PARADE
February, Sunday 21
3rd MASKED PARADE
February, Sunday 28
4th MASKED PARADE
February, Saturday 5
5th MASKED PARADE
At the end of the parade winners will be announced
Great Ending Fireworks
Groups ticket (min 25 people)
€ 15,00; every 25 people one free entrance.
Children age 7 – 12
Children age 0 – 7
€ 10,00 – (in addition to entrance ticket)
Children till 7 years old – free entrance
Tickets can be bought the day of each parade at the ticket office or at the main ticket office of the Fondazione Carnevale at the Palazzo delle Muse in Viareggio’s Mazzini Square. Tribune sits must be booked in advance via fax (+39 0584 580771) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and must be paid by bank transfer 20 days before the masked parade that you wish to attend. For more precise information check the website viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/en/.