“Semel in anno licet insanire” – “Once a year it is permissible to go crazy”. W the Carnival!

“Colombina” by Beatrice Brandini

“It is dust of the sun” by Michelangelo Francesconi

The word Carnival derives from the Latin carmen levare, meaning to eliminate meat, since in ancient times it indicated the banquet that was held on Shrove Tuesday (last day of Carnival) before the fasting period of Lent in which it was forbidden to eat meat.


“The Feast of Fools” by Luca Bertozzi

So this festival has very distant origins, in ancient Rome, from the feasts of the classical Greek period, or even the disguise seems to be born in honor of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

“And so let’s go out and see the stars” by Umberto, Stefano, Michele Cinquini and Silvia Cirri

“To bit or not to bit?” By Alessandro Vanni

Over the centuries it has not changed much its meaning, remaining one of the most popular holidays also because of the possibility of dressing up and therefore entering someone else’s shoes. But if in ancient times masking also meant collecting the energies of the divinities or the forces of nature from which the mask originated, today taking a break from yourself to become a heroine, or whatever you want to be, seems to me a gift, especially in this historical moment in which there is a lot of sadness around us.

“I want a decovised life” by Priscilla Borri

“Vinyago” (Masks) by Michele Canova

In Italy there are many celebrations for Carnival, with famous carnivals famous, such as those of Venice in which beautiful costumes are shown, that of Viareggio, with its famous allegorical floats, that of Acireale or Ivrea with the famous Battle elle Oranges.

“Doctors, doctors and wise men” by Alessandro Avanzini

“Buffalo Biden” by Carlo Lombardi

I have been going to see the Viareggio Carnival since I was a child, first with my grandfather Mario, and now with my son. Historically this Carnival has distant origins, the first parade was celebrated in honor of Mardi Gras in February 1873. Over the years the fame of this event has grown making it very popular, and much of this popularity is mainly due to its floats allegorical that historically were made of wood and jute. The tank masters, as the workers who amaze the world with their imagination every year, have never stopped, not even the world war was able to destroy this event.

“Qui  ora” by Matteo Raciti

Detail of a chariot in Viareggio

However, the real revolution took place in 1925 when some builders thought of perfecting the technique of cast paper, known as papier-mâché, which allowed for majestic and animated constructions. In 1930 Uberto Bonetti, a famous futurist painter, conceived the Burlamacco, the symbolic mask of Viareggio, and in 1931 he was accompanied by the presence of Ondina, a bather, symbol of the summer season. The Viareggio Carnival is not just “folklore” but a true show of art, tradition and culture.

The master builders of Viareggio are the creators of these extraordinary allegorical machines, real traveling theaters, which can also be a chronicle and testimony of what is happening in the world. The tankers yesterday, today and tomorrow have the task of preserving this artistic heritage, an expressive form admired and copied all over the world. As the great artist Alfredo Morescalchi said: “Carnival is a serious thing that tells the feelings of every era.”


The performance of Federico Martelli, already a finalist of Italian’s Got Talent, I must say that as soon as they sang two notes, all singing “BELLO BELLO”

In Venice, the Carnival tradition has much more distant origins. The first document in which Carnival is officially mentioned as a public holiday is an edict of the Senate of the Serenissima, dated 1296, but as early as 1271 there is evidence of craft workshops for the production of masks.

The Burlamacco created by Uberto Bonetti

In the eighteenth century, the Venice Carnival reached its highest apotheosis, acquiring an international resonance that projects it throughout Europe. The suggestion of Venice, and I have been there many times with my dad, is the city itself, already magical, which is transformed into the streets, the calli, into a stage with majestic, mysterious, sometimes even transgressive masks. We especially remember the Bauta, with his black cloak, also called tabarro, a mask resting on a white face and the famous tricorn hat.


In almost all the carnival floats the flag of PACE was praised, an unanimous request from all. Even in Viareggio the covid has wiped out many activities. For tourist cities like this one, the inability to travel, to take vacations, to feel good, has meant a little dying. So why still a war?

I think that the magic of Carnival is expressed precisely by the possibility of masking oneself, breaking down barriers of gender and hierarchies. In one day you can feel like a King or a Hero, a gangster or the Princess of fairy tales, whatever you like or inspire you, dedicating that day to fun, joke and play, just like you did as a child.

Good life to everyone!



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