It’s carnival time once more in Italy. From the toe to the crown of the peninsula the population will be celebrating a final fling of fun before the austere Lenten season begins. Carnevale, in fact, means “farewell to meat.” This clearly won’t affect veggies but since the majority of Italians remain meat eaters there may be some curbing on dietary excesses, although certainly not as strictly in the past when the Catholic Church reigned supreme in the minds of people and Friday was always a day of lean eating with fish as a substitute.
The biggest and most spectacular Carnevale is that of Venice with a great list of events which may be consulted at
I’ve only been for the Carnevale there once but felt a little out of place since I wasn’t wearing a periwig and buckle shoes! Much closer to home there’s nothing to beat the Viareggio carnival with its politically inspired carri (floats) poking serious fun at the lords that govern us from Rome and, indeed, from America too.
The Viareggio Carnevale, which I have always thoroughly enjoyed, lists its events at:
Bagni Di Lucca will have its carnival too! Indeed, BDL was the first place anywhere in Italy to create floats way back at the beginning of the last century. There are photographs showing this pioneering effort. It’s going to be re-created this year by BDL’s schoolchildren under Gilberto Malerbi’s guiding hand!
Since that time the celebration of BDL’s Carnevale has wavered but only a couple of years a big effort was made to re-institute it thanks to the Mammalucco association (Mammalucco = idiot in a nice Ken Dodd kind of way). This year it’s back again as this poster proclaims.
The poster was designed by resident artist of Longoio-Mobbiano, Gilberto, who was inspired by traditional Italian comic strips and futurist graphics like Depero’s. Working with local schoolchildren from the scuola media (equivalent to the first three years of UK’s secondary schools) he has created a special carnival mask and a float will take to BDL’s streets for the first time after a long absence.
Gilberto is always more than willing to carry out new commissions as required.
Regrettably, I’ll have to miss Fornoli’s carnival fun (unless it’s .- hopefully – postponed until the following week-end because of rain) because I’ll be away for personal commitments but I’m sure there will be plenty of people ready to record the event which has already been clearly publicised on this new road sign leading into Fornoli, designed and made up by BDL’s schoolchildren, again under Gilberto’s supervision:
Have fun if you’re there and tell me all about it when I return.
For more information check out BDL Fornoli’s carnival page at: