This is our third year heading to Viareggio’s Carnevale celebration and each time, the floats and costumes never cease to amaze us. The parade of Carnevale 2014 presented 15 floats, with some reaching heights as tall as 20 meters (over 65 feet)! Over 1,000 people in 25 different artisan firms worked an entire year to create these giant floats made from paper mâché and their work definitely paid off. At 15 Euro per ticket, the Viareggio Carnevale was able to bring in roughly 3 million dollars over the course of 5 different parade days.
This is the second year we’ve traveled to Viareggio, on Tuscany’s Mediterranean coast, for Carnevale. The city is celebrating its 140th year for the parade this year, and it expects more than one million spectators to visit in its two week duration. Viareggio’s Carnevale is known for the satirical papier-mâché floats, highlighting political figures from Europe and America. Each float can take up to a year to design and build!
Every February, Italy hosts several festivals for Carnevale, the second largest being in Viareggio, on the western cost (just north of Pisa.) We were graciously invited by Lou and Karin Frketic (OSC ’10 in Bologna) to check out the festivities, along with Paul Rogers (OSC ’11 in Lyon) and two other friends, Alexis and Mike. Because the big parade for Carnevale didn’t kick-off until Sunday afternoon, we decided to meet in Montalcino, a small Tuscan city known worldwide for its Brunello wine. While waiting on the others to arrive, Bobby and I also visited Grosseto, another southern Tuscan town and the Maremma Natural Park nearby…. [Read More]