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Now in its 144th edition, the Viareggio Carnival is considered among the most important in Europe and in the world. The event, which attracts many tourists every year, is characterized by large allegorical floats, among the largest and liveliest in the world. The allegorical works, taking advantage of a satirical language, bring to the stage the main themes typical of current affairs: from national and international politics, to social and environmental issues.


This year, the big festival of the Viareggio Carnival will start on Saturday 1st February, to end on Tuesday 25 of the same month, on the occasion of "Dhrove Tuesday".


A jump into the past


Since 1987, the Carnival Foundation has been the body that organizes and manages the entire event, even if the first edition of the parade of wagons dates back to the previous century, precisely in 1873. Tradition has it that the idea of ​​giving life to this celebration in great style, was organized at the tables of the historic Caffè Casinò, by some young people from Viareggio well then. The First World War led to a forced break of the demonstration, which was resumed in 1921 when, for the first time, the wagons paraded on the two avenues to the sea. The idea of ​​creating the "Burlamacco" was born in 1930, the mask which, over the years, has become the symbol of the Viareggio Carnival, whose name contains a reference to the "prank" typical of the Carnival itself. The following year he appeared on the poster for the Carnival of Viareggio together with a young bather in costume called "Ondina", a symbolic image of the same bathers during the summer season. 1971 is the first edition of the local carnival in the famous "Darsena"; the local festivals are the most popular part of the city's Carnival. Nowadays, throughout its duration, the Viareggio Carnival attracts around 600,000 spectators each edition.


Carnival of Viareggio, the program


Throughout the month of February Viareggio will be animated by parades of wagons, fireworks, gastronomic events and night parties. As anticipated before, the Carnival will start on February 1st with the ritual ceremony (marked by the triple shot of cannon fired from the sea), the flag-raising and the first Masquerade Course. The other parades of allegorical floats will be held on Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Thursday 20, Sunday 23 and Tuesday 25 February, as part of which they will parade on the Viali a Mare, as is customary. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 25 February, the closing day of the event, followed by a fireworks display for the grand finale. This year, for the first time, a night parade is also scheduled on Thursday 20, to celebrate "Fat Thursday". Also on this occasion, a fireworks display is planned.


The show of the local festivals


The parties that characterize the districts during the carnival are the most popular part of the Viareggio Carnival and have always enjoyed a large audience of participants. Whole neighborhoods, on weekends and beyond, are transformed into open-air discos where you can freely dance in masks, perhaps delighting yourself with the typical dishes of the tasty Viareggio culinary tradition. Among the various districts, the Rioni Marco Polo and Darsena stand out for their ability to organize night parties. To get a detailed view of the neighborhood festival program, click here.


An explosion of colors will animate the city of Viareggio during the Carnival: do not miss the opportunity to visit it during one of the festivals considered, of its kind, among the most important in the world.

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