Viareggio Carnevale 2014

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.

Berlusconi as Highlander (with Renzi as the Devil)

Berlusconi as Highlander (with Renzi as the Devil behind him)

Renzi il Magnifico

Renzi il Magnifico

Despicable Me characters

Despicable Me characters

Italia a Rotoli

“Italia a Rotoli” – Italy’s falling apart

On the last day of the Carnevale celebration in Viareggio, there is a drag queen contest.  We didn’t make it in time to see the show, but we did get to see one of the contestants.  :)

Drag Queen contestant

Drag Queen contestant

Carnevale

Enjoying the beautiful day at Carnevale

He who laughs last, laughs best!

“Ride Bene chi Ride Ultimo” – He who laughs last, laughs best!

"Ride Bene chi Ride Ultimo"

“Ride Bene chi Ride Ultimo”

One of our favorite floats was the “Happy Tank.”  As it turns the corner of the parade route, you can see that the brightly painted tank is all closed up.

The Happy Tank

The Happy Tank

Then the clown pops out, tongue wagging, and dancers flank the sides.  Instead of ammunition, it shoots confetti.  How fun is that?

The Happy Tank

The Happy Tank

Clowns

Some of the other clowns joining the Happy Tank

Happy Tank 2.0

Happy Tank 2.0

Confetti

It’s raining confetti, hallelujah!

It's a good look

It’s a good look

Bobby and the parrot lady

Bobby and the parrot lady

I didn’t get a photo of the entire float called “Se ci credi….auguri!” but this one has all your favorite political figures from around the globe.  It features the 9 reindeer, with Merkel at the reigns of Rudolph.

Merkel at the reigns

Merkel at the reigns

Former Prime Minister of Italy (before his party fell apart) Letta is playing Santa.  Don’t forget President Obama and Putin as gift bearers, both carrying peace flags…..

"Se ci credi, auguri!"

“Se ci credi…. auguri!” – If you believe it….good luck!

…..oh and of course there are appearances by the Syrians and Chinese.

Se ci credi... auguri

“Se ci credi…auguri!” If you believe it….good luck!

The Dream Catcher

“L’acchiappasogni” or The Dream Catcher

Another one of our favorite floats was John Lennon.  At first, his hands were closed in front of him with the word “Help” written across his fingers.  As his famous song “Imagine” started to play, his hands moved away his face and his fingers swayed with the music.  Dancers in front of him were dressed in bright red and green outfits with giant hearts on their heads.  Entitled “Revolution,” with the letters “evol” inverted to spell “love,” it was one of the more inspirational positive floats in the parade.

John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon and dancers

John Lennon and dancers

This float was a giant voodoo doll, with Italy being the doll and things like the mafia and European debt “killing” the country.

Voodoo doll

Voodoo doll

Berlusconi was hanging from the back of the Voodoo doll float and on his tombstone was written:

Fu un uomo buono e giusto, dolce e forte

In English, it says “he was a good and just man, sweet and strong.”  Most of us find this quite amusing, but what is even funnier about this is the fact that it was actually written by his mother after a night of joking about the qualities she’d like her son to have.  She said she’d like this to be written on his tombstone.

Oh and Berlusconi was hanging from the back

Berlusconi

This guy was impressive

This guy was impressive

His wings opened up, stretching the entire width of the large road

His wings opened up, stretching the entire width of the large road

Pretty cool

Pretty cool

Music makers

Music makers

Painted Faces

Painted Faces

More painted faces

More painted faces

This next group of people took part in the “Ancestral Masks” parts of the parade.  The costumes and make-up were absolutely breathtaking.

Check out these costumes

Check out these costumes

Doll-like

Doll-like

More beautiful costumes

More beautiful costumes

I want a headdress and those eyelashes

I want that headdress and those eyelashes

Color explosion

Color explosion

Lady from the sea

Lady from the sea

I didn’t get a photo of this entire float either because we were stuck behind hoards of people, but we found this particularly disturbing.  I got a parting shot (literally) of Matteo Renzi (now Prime Minister of Italy and former Florence mayor) climbing Florence’s bell tower.  Money shot!

Yikes!

Yikes!

Comments

  1. Daisy McConnell says:

    The blue of the sky is unreal! This parade always wows, impressive how much goes into it each year. I’m sorry it’s your last one!