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A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale in Venice and Viareggio

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Anything goes at Carnevale!

 

With Ash Wednesday soon approaching, Italy is celebrating Carnevale, its final party before Lent begins. Also known as Mardi Gras, Carnevale is celebrated 40 days before Easter in numerous cities around the world. In Italy, Venice is most famous for Carnevale, but Viareggio, a coast town in Tuscany, has a unique tradition that is becoming extremely popular with tourists and locals.

 

In Venice, Carnevale is a huge winter festival that includes parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties. People from all over the world line the streets with their maschere, or masks, to take part in the celebration that lasts throughout the evening. These masks are an essential part of Carnevale and they range from simple to elaborate, often with people dressing up in embellished costumes. It is a sight you do not want to miss! Venice's Carnival season starts about 2 weeks before the date of Carnevale. Events and entertainment are held nightly throughout Venice.

 

A few hours south of Venice in Tuscany, Viareggio holds a grand parade with giant, allegorical paper maché floats used in the parades on the Sundays preceding Ash Wednesday, and of course, Fat Tuesday. Like Venice, festivals, cultural events, concerts, and masked balls take place in Viareggio and nearby and restaurants have special carnevale menus. For more information, go to http://www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/.