Carnival is a festivity celebrated in catholic countries.

The period of Carnival corresponds with the days before the Lent, and it finishes on the the Mardi Grass.

In Italy there is a long tradition about Carnival and every city has its own parades.

Let’s see together the most famous!

The Carnival of Venezia: known all around the world, it starts eleven days before the Mardi Grass.

You can take part to different parades, parties and events.

Typical of Venezia is the “Festa delle Marie“: on the first Saturday of the festivity, 12 girls walk from the church of San Pietro di Castello to San Marco’s Square, followed by a huge parade of musicians and damsels.

They are all dressed up in the traditional venetian costumes.

The day after, they do the same waiting for the election of the “Mary of the year“.

Another tradition is called “Il  volo dell’Angelo” (The Angel’s flight). From the bell tower of San Marco, the Mary of the year before flies over the square reaching the ground with all the people looking at her!!

The Carnival of Acireale: typical of this Carnival are the floats’ parades in the historical centre of the city during all the period of the festivity.

The floats are of two different kinds: floral or made of papier-maché.

This latter, usually represents satire or social habits.

People of Acireale prepare the floats all year long!

The Carnival of Viareggio: this is considered the most important Carnival in the world.

The massive floats parade along the seafront of Viareggio: a huge number of people go to Viareggio only to take part to it!

Usually the theme of the floats, made of papier-maché, is political and social.

During all the Carnival several parties “in maschera” (dressed up) are organised to enjoy the atmosphere and have fun.

The Carnival of Putignano: the features of this Carnival are “I Giovedì del Carnevale” (The Thursdays of Carnival), when you can watch the best floats’ parades and enjoy many parties and “La Campana dei Maccheroni” (The Maccheroni’s Bell).

The day before Mardi Grass, in Plebiscito square, in front of Mother Church, a huge bell made of papier-maché is set so that people can listen to the 365 bell’s rings before midnight.

People eat maccheroni with sausages and tomato sauce and dance until the end of the Carnival.

The Carnival of Ivrea: the reason why this carnival is so famous is “La Battaglia delle Arance” (The oranges’ battle).

In the last three days of Carnival, during the parade in the city centre, people start throwing oranges to each other.

This battle comes from a very ancient tradition and represents the fight of the population against the dictator.

In theory tourists are protected by nets, and people that don’t want to be hit by oranges have to wear a red hat…hoping not to be hurt!

Now you have a rough idea of the importance of the Carnival in Italy…so which celebration attracts you the most?

And if you are curious about the famous Italian carnival sweets, have a look here!