Viareggio Carnival, celebrating 138 years of life and activity under the sign of a vivid tradition such as the long-established European tradition of Carnival festivals, is no doubt one of the best known events in Italy.

Viareggio Carnival, which was born as a popular expression of the town soul, has been acquiring more and more since it was born, a strong tourist value and attracts every year more than one million spectators gathering to attend the magic of the great parades of big floats in papier-maché.

In 2011, the usual five carnival masked parades are planned for February 20th , 27th and March 6th- 8th 13th , on the extraordinary Liberty style staging along the seaside avenues of Viareggio. Every evening, there are carnival celebrations in all of the city’s different quarters.

Viareggio Carnival’s peculiarity consists in giant, allegorical papier-maché floats – the biggest ones weighing about forty tons each – and expresses nowadays the old knowledge going back to the ancient ‘trionfi’ (war-victory feastings) of the Renaissance, adhering even more to the building techniques of the big sailing ships, a pride of Viareggio traditions.

Real travelling theatres – the allegorical papier-maché floats are the product of the unequalled creativity, of the extraordinary sculpture and painting skill of Viareggio ‘magicians’, and are the highest example of this popular art whose language has spread all over the world.

The parades take place in a ring-like circuit 2 km. long, on the seaside avenues of Viareggio, best known as La Passeggiata.

Here the floats move among the spectators, who can attend the show with no barriers, becoming in turn the protagonists of the parade.

During the Carnival period, Viareggio and his Passeggiata change into a true open air Museum where people coming from all over the world meet to enjoy together.

The parades also include folkloristic bands and performers with the most original masks, offering excitement, culture and tradition in a wide programme of entertainment and fun for children and adults.

INFO Ticket office + 39 0584 580755

THE PROGRAMM
VIAREGGIO CARNIVAL 2011
The Carnival Parade

17 big floats, 15 m in length, 4 m wide and between 12 m to 18 m high,
19th February – at 6.00 pm

Opening Ceremony (free entrance) and fireworks
20th February – at 3.00 pm Parade
27th February at 3.00 pm Parade
6th March at 3.00 pm Parade
8th March at 2,50 p.m. Parade in Rai Tv (free entrance just at 17.00 pm)
at 9.30 pm Night Parade and fireworks
13th march at 5.00 pm Night Parade and fireworks

Official website

(Article by dotflorence staff)