Carnevale di Viareggio

Considered one of the most well known carnivals in Italy and Europe, the Carnevale di Viareggio takes place every year in the Tuscan village of Viareggio

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.