Italy's answer to Mardi Gras
Italy’s very own version of the Mardi Gras turns the seaside jewel of a town that is Viareggio into one long heaving, breathing party every February.
The Carnevale di Viareggio is famous for its elaborate papier-mache floats and masked parades which take over the town’s promenade with joyous abandon over the course of a month.
Many Italian public figures are lampooned at the carnival in the form of papier-mache effigies – but as far as we know, they seem to take the joke in good spirit.
Viareggio’s carnival is something of a phenomenon in Italy, and these days pulls in around 600,000 visitors – yes, you read that correctly – to partake of the party atmosphere.
The history of Carnevale di Viareggio
The carnival began 145 years ago, and remains a highpoint of Viareggio’s cultural life every year.
In fact, there is a terrific museum in the town dedicated to the carnival - Carnevalotto Museum of Contemporary Art - which, as the name suggests, also showcases the work of modern artists.
If you’re in a party mood, in Italy in February, then Viareggio is the place to be, with festivities aplenty from masked balls to music events and more throughout the day and night.