Another colourful Italian carnival for your travel bucket list!
During any other time of the year, Viareggio is a normal city tucked away in Tuscany, Italy. But during February to March it becomes host to a riot of colours and pomp as it celebrates the Carnevale Di Viareggio! during the month long period before Lent begins. The festival is an international attraction with lavish parades and city-wide celebrations that include performances, plays and film festivals.
The carnival takes place on the February 7, 14 and 28 and the March 5. It has its roots in a 130 year old tradition that people of the city adopted to mock the elected politicians of the city. As it is part of the celebratory period of Carnival, people from all over the world flock to the city to let their hair down and witness the insane sights.
The city starts indulging in the festivities as soon as five weekends before Ash Tuesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Though you can see parades and performances happening all around the city right from the first week of February, they all seem like a feeble trailer of the Mardi Gras parade that occurs on Ash Tuesday, which falls on the March 5 this year. Massive, glamorous and downright beautiful the parade is filled with elaborate costumes, over the top floats and some very, very fun people. The parade is one of the major highlights of the festivals. Bring out your crazy with twist by sporting an outrageous costume and you’ll fit right in.
One of the reasons the Carnival has reached such great heights is the beautiful city of Viareggio itself. With its exotic beaches and pleasant weather, it makes for the perfect destination where you can kick back and let loose. The Carnival owes its eclectic taste to the people of the city. Each year, the city puts its best foot forward for the Carnival. As a matter of fact, there is a saying in Italian “A carnevale ogni scherzo vale“, i.e. “during carnival every joke is fair” or “at carnival everything goes”. What gives the Carnival an unique flavor is that it is still very local. It is the perfect way to blend in with the friendly locals and immerse yourself in their culture!
The local beach serves as the perfect spot for late night strolls and quiet dinners. It is also a hotspot for local parties during the carnival as the locals as well as the tourists flock to the waters to relax after a merry day in the city. The food shops around the beach are specially known for their Italian delicacies.