|ITALY NEWS # 42 – January 18, 2008|
|Carnival of Venice|
|Venice – January 25th – February 5th
The celebrations for the world renowned Venice Carnival starts on Friday, January 25th. The title of the 2008 edition is Sensation! 6 Senses for 6 Neighborhoods. And Venice guarantees that all your senses: hearing, sight, taste, touch, smell and the most mysterious one, the sixth, will be stimulated when you come to celebrate Carnival not only in its legendary St. Mark’s Square, but in all the narrow streets, little piazzas, foot bridges, and palazzi of its neighborhoods.
There will plenty of traditional and inspirational events to help you get in touch with all your senses; the Volo dell’Angelo (Flight of the Angel), the Festa delle Marie (Celebration of the Marie), the Gran Corteo Storico (Great Historic Parade) and the Sfilata delle Maschere (Mask Procession), along with lots of parties and star quality entertainment during Carnival week!
|Carnival of Viareggio|
|Viareggio – Lucca – January 20th – February 5th
Peace, Love and Solidarity is the theme of the 135th year edition of the Carnival of Viareggio. This world famous venue attracts hundreds of thousands of people from the four corners of the world to join in its fabulous Carnival celebrations every year. The highlight of Viareggio’s carnival has always been the creative, huge papier-mâché floats, puppets and masks, satirizing public and political figures, and social issues, which parade along the wide seaside boulevards.
This year a special non-competing experimental float “Hurry Up It’s Late”, designed by cartoonist Michael Stuart and dedicated to increasing the awareness of global warming and the exploitation of the Earth’s resources, will also take part in the parades. The parades, which also include many folkloristic bands and world famous performers, will take place on January 20th and 27th, February 3rd, 5th, and 10th. There are loads of spectacular events, musical comedies, sports competitions, and food and wine tasting all of which will offer everyone an unforgettable Carnival celebration in Viareggio this year.
|Carnival of Acireale|
|Acireale – Catania – January 26th – February 5th
One of the most famous Sicilian carnivals is hosted in the beautiful historic center of Acireale amidst its magnificent Baroque buildings and Cathedral. The colorful allegorical floats, which are made with paper-mâché and flowers, parade through the streets and the onlookers are invited to join in and actively participate in the merrymaking.
This edition will again give visitors the opportunity to marvel at the magnificent floats created by the outstanding float builders Parlato Brothers and Coco/Scalia, and discover who will receive the Best Float Award for 2008. There is a rich program of events to assure everyone has a memorable Carnival time in Acireale. The Carnival of Acireale is closely related with the Carnival of Viareggio.
|The Great Carnival of Busseto|
|Busseto – Parma – January 20th – February 10th
The Great Carnival of Busseto, in the province of Parma, will start this year on Sunday, January 20th. To mark the 127th edition, two new costume competitions have been organized: The “Don Camillo and Peppone Look-a-Like Prize” to be awarded to the couple for the best re-creation of the much loved Italian literary/film characters Don Camillo and Peppone; and “The King of Laughter Prize” to be given to the person with the funniest Carnival costume. There will be lots of activities and events to watch and take part in during the weekends: costume parades, marching bands, parades with various themed floats, musical performances, and gastronomic stands with delicious traditional local food and wines. The Great Carnival of Busseto is not only for people of all ages, but it’s also for caravans. In fact, on January 27th, there will be a Carnival caravan rally in Busseto and a prize will be awarded to the caravan for the best “costume”.
|The Carnival of Mamoiada|
|Mamoiada – Nuoro – February 3rd – February 5th
The Carnival of Mamoiada is one of the oldest folkloristic events in Sardinia. This three day Carnival celebration offers the occasion for the entire community of Mamoiada to gather together in the village main square and to dance and wear the traditional Sardinian masks, the Mamuthoes and Issohadores. On Fat Tuesday, the last day of Carnival, the mask of Juvanne Martis Sero, which symbolizes the death of Carnival, is tied to a cart and drawn through the streets by the village men. As the cart passes, the crowds cry and sing songs of consolation to mourn the ending of Carnival. At the end of the mask’s journey, everybody feasts on the traditional Sardinian dishes and local wines.
|The Carnival of the Children of Bocco|
|Castiglion Fibocchi – Arezzo – January 27th and February 3rd
The twelfth edition of the Carnival of the Children of Bocco will take place in the beautiful medieval Tuscan Hill town of Castiglion Fibocchi on Sunday January 27th and Sunday February 3rd. The magnificent night parades, magic shows in the town’s square, Baroque masks, fireworks and gastronomic stands all add to the excitement of the town’s celebration of King Bocco. This year on February 3rd, the winners of the 1st Photography Competition “The Children of Bocco and Castiglion Fibocchi” will be announced and the Queen of Masks will be elected.
|The Children’s Carnival of San’t Eraclio|
| Sant’Eraclio – Foligno – January 27th – February 13th
The small village of Sant’Eraclio, in the province of Foligno in Umbria, is the stage for the Children’s Carnival. Beginning on February 3rd to the last Sunday of Carnival right up until the last day of Carnival, Fat Tuesday, this picturesque town transforms itself into the “Town of Carnival”. The height of the celebrations will be when the allegorical floats, along with jugglers, fire eaters, and hundreds of people in masks parade through the streets on January 27th, February 6th and February 13th.
Among the many things to do and see in the “Town of Carnival” are stopping in at the Carnival Tavern to have some fun and taste the wonderful local food and drinks, and watching the volleyball teams compete for the 2nd Children’s Carnival Trophy.
|The Carnival of Offida|
|Offida – Ascoli Piceno – January 17th – February 5th
The Carnival of Offida goes back to the 1700s and still today two folklore traditions continue to highlight the Carnival celebrations in this lovely hilltop town in the Marche Region. The first tradition is called Lu Bov Fint (The Ox Hunt) and it takes place on Friday afternoon, the day after Fat Thursday. The tradition calls for a group of young people, dressed up in traditional costumes, to franticly run through the streets of the village and catch a fake ox. The second is the Vlurd (The Procession of the Burning Sheaves) held on the night of Fat Tuesday. All the townspeople, who are dressed in traditional local costume, walk in a single file procession through the village streets carrying burning sheaves to a bonfire in the main square. This procession, which resembles a snake on fire, marks the end of Carnival.
|Cento Carnival of Europe|
|Cento – Ferrara – January 20th – February 24th
For five consecutive Sundays, January 20th, 27th, February 10th, 17th, and 24th, the Carnival of Europe will be held in the city of Cento. The spectacular allegorical papier-mâché floats are the prime attraction of the celebration. The competition to build the best float amongst the Cento float builders is stiff; every year the various associations of float builders construct an array of extraordinary floats, in hope of winning the coveted Best Float Award.
Carnival celebrations have been taking place in Cento since the 1600s. In 1993, the Carnival of Cento became associated with the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and now features the participation of dazzling samba dancers from one of the most important Carioca samba schools, giving an even more lively and electrifying atmosphere to Carnival.
|The Historic Carnival of Ivrea|
|Ivrea – Turin – January 6th – February 5th
The Historic Carnival of Ivrea marks its 201st year of celebration this year. And once again, the traditional march of the pipe and drum band, through the piazzas and the streets, officially opened the Carnival season on January 6th. This year’s program is filled with numerous celebrations, events and cultural initiatives. But the highlight of the Ivrea Carnival is always “The Battle of the Oranges”, the re-enactment of the medieval revolt led by the townsfolk to overthrow its despotic ruler Count Ranieri. This goliardic orange throwing battle represents for the people of Ivrea the liberation of their ancestors and is considered one of the most famous Carnival happenings in the world.