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Viareggio Carnival Culture

  • Viareggio is a festive city with a sense of life throughout the year. It’s a resort with the mentality of a proper city and enjoys a confident cultural scene. This is particularly true of its Lenten Carnival, which, ever since 1874, has lit up the winter scene, usually in February. For creativity and craftsmanship, Viareggio Carnival is among the biggest and best in Italy. Expect traditional parades of gigantic papier-maché figures on colourful floats but also a huge sense of fun and subversiveness. For many Italians, Viareggio Carnival is the most flamboyant of all Italian carnivals, justly famous for its scathing political satire. Carefully-engineered floats are designed to reflect the chosen theme and are often spiced up with political sat¬ire, mocking the current leaders in Italy and abroad. The whole town joins in the festivities, with variety shows, masked balls, fire¬works, and even football matches. It turns into one long street party, with the seafront and backstreets lined with food stalls. The partying feels very inclusive, with visitors invited to join the revels.

    The rest of the year craftspeople are hard at work building allegorical floats for the next edition, beavering away in huge hangers in the Carnival complex known as the Cittadella del Carnivale. This `Carnival City’ site also doubles as a Carnival Museum and entertainment centre, including for concerts and dance so you can visit outside Carnival time, too. It’s worth checking if there’s a papier-maché workshop on during your stay.
    Address: La Cittadella del Carnivale
    Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini 22
    55049 Viareggio

    Tel: 0584 58071

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