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Carnival 2023: when it starts, where it is celebrated, float parades

Carnival around Italy


Carnival 2023 starts on Sunday 5 February, runs from Shrove Thursday on 16 February and ends on 21 February with Mardi Gras. In Italy, many cities are taking action to celebrate Carnival in joy, with masked parades and floats.

Starting in the north, the famous Viareggio Carnival will move floats and masks along the waterfront boulevards on 4, 12, 16, 19, 21 and 25 February.

From 4 to 25 February 2023, parades of giant allegorical floats, shows, vigils, district parties, historical re-enactments, art events, cultural, musical and theatre events will be the protagonists of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the event. Alongside the traditional events, there will also be a specially created game for smartphones, “Burlarace 150 CC”, a car race at full speed through routes characterised by surreal atmospheres totally inspired by the places and iconography of the Viareggio Carnival.

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Un post condiviso da Carnevale di Viareggio (@carnevaleviareggio)

In the centre, we stop in Fano, where there will be three weekends of events, organised to enhance the parades of the large floats, the throwing of sweets, the children's carnival and the “fat” Tuesdays and Thursdays. From this year, the “Carnival Off” will feature shows and events throughout the weekend, with Saturday dedicated to families and young people and Friday to live entertainment. On 5, 12 and 19 February, there will be the float parades, and to attend these you pay an entrance fee of EUR 18. The throwing of sweets is the highlight of the Fano Carnival, with about 180 quintals of candies and chocolates thrown from the giant floats.

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Un post condiviso da Carnevale di Fano dal 1347 (@carnevaledifano)

In the south, the Carnival of Putignano, where floats will parade on 4, 12, 19, 21, and 25 February, shines for the richness of its programme. To attend the parades, adults will have to pay a ticket, while children from 0 to 6 years old can enter for free. Various concerts and theatrical performances are also planned during the Carnival, as well as more or less unique events, such as the “married men's Thursday” and the “cutting of the horns”, the setting up of the Marzipan House and the Carnival Circus.

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Un post condiviso da Carnevale Di Putignano (@carnevalediputignano)

As for the islands, in Tempio Pausania (Sardinia), from 16 to 21 February, there is Lu Carrasciali Timpiesu. The opening parade will be as per tradition on Shrove Thursday, with the entry into town of His Majesty King George and the float show, while Shrove Tuesday will close the festivities with the trial of King George, his condemnation at the stake, and the fireworks display.

“The most beautiful carnival in Sicily”, as Acireale's is called, will be lit from 4 to 21 February. In addition to the parade of the Allegorical Grotesque Floats and the Carri Infiorati (on the weekends) there will be concerts, performances by historical bands and a cosplay contest.

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Un post condiviso da Carnevale di Acireale official (@carnevaleacireale)

Image Gian Pietro Dragoni on Unsplash