Feb 27, 2013

Carnevale di Viareggio

Carnevale came early this year and wound down this past weekend. We didn’t have a chance to venture over to the seaside city of Viareggio (actually, it’s just been really cold), but last year it was later (and thus warmer) and we got lucky with a beautiful day for an adventure. So 11 months late, consider this my ode to the spectacle that is Carnevale.

What is Carnevale, you eagerly ask? (Or maybe not, just go with it).

It’s when people walk around dressed like this.

And create papier-mâché floats like this.

[We be like "wait, what?"]
And onlookers stand around staring like this. 

[Even B made an appearance]
And the caricature floats poke fun at politicians and famous people and give us all a little comic relief.

In Viareggio, in particular, the parade route runs along the seaside avenue, parallel to the beach and spectators weave in and out, becoming a part of the parade. (...especially with so many people dressed like it's Halloween -- don't they know that's in October??)

[A happy little family of Teletubbies]
There is a contest to be the best, and in this case, bigger can oftentimes mean better. The largest floats weigh in around 40 tons each, decked out in lights and electrical movements and music and people dancing.

There's even choreography for large groups of dancers that lead the floats.

And people throw confetti to their hearts content, on the street, in the bars and stores, from balconies...

And after a long, eventful, entertaining day, it happily ends with a trip to the beach...

Have you ever been to Carnevale?? Was it in Italy or somewhere else in Europe?? Did you love it?

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