When you think of a Carnival party, the first place that comes to your mind is Rio and its spectacular parades full of music, sensuality and color. But there are other cities in the world that have truly original carnivals and one of them is Viareggio, in Tuscany.
This carnival has built Viareggio’s fame and is considered one of the most important carnivals in Europe, next to the Venice’s one. Viareggio is a great treat for the senses, while offering locals and visitors fun activities during the entire month. Parties, parades, costumes and dances are the true protagonists of the event.
The Carnival of Viareggio has 139 years of history. This is a beautiful celebration that shows us the Italian world of art at its best. As many great traditions, it began with a modest celebration that gathered the local people. In 1873 a group of bourgeois merchants wore costumes in protest against the constant tax increases. Soon the act became a parade with carnival floats that served as a satire of the problems of the city and society in general.
Viareggio Carnival has its own anthem called “Glass of Champagne”, which was first sang after the first World War when the floats were transformed to become increasingly impressive. The light papier-mâché used to manufacture the floats also allows great freedom of movement, while giving it a unique touch to this interesting parade.
After 2001 a significant change took place. That year the Citadel of Carnival was built, which besides being a beautiful architectural construction, it is the place that hosts the workshops where the carnival floats are built, as well as a museum, art schools and other entertainment spaces. This is a fantastic complex dedicated to a celebration in which creativity and fun are the main elements.
The best thing about this carnival is that the whole city takes part of it, as there are many events and parades in every neighborhood. This year, the biggest events of the Viareggio Carnival will take place on the 3rd, 10th, 12th and 17th of February, as well as on the 3rd of March, date in which many important cultural activities will take place.
Check the official website of the event and find out further details: http://viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/
Don’t miss this beautiful carnival and have a very unique experience feeling, while being part of this explosion of creativity, music and good humor that permeates every corner of this beautiful Italian city. This is definitively an obligatory destination when coming to Italy.
Since the Carnival is celebrated during the entire month; it isn’t a bad idea to visit Viareggio during our vacations in Tuscany. Find accommodation in Florence and get the most out of the Viareggio carnival.