Carnival in Viareggio

It's carnival time again in Viareggio, which is one of the best carnivals in Europe - famous for its gigantic floats, some of which are designed by leading artists.  This one is 'Anger', identified by its maker as the most problematic human emotion.

It's hard to convey the sheer joy of the carnival;   every kind of music - from Puccini to Abba - bouncing off the walls, whole families in fancy dress,

people dancing in the street, ankle deep in confetti and streamers.

And the sheer size of the floats - towering many stories above the buildings, and taking up the whole width of the road.

In between the floats, small parades, just as striking.

There's always a satirical theme - this year European politics took another beating.  We had Sarkozy as Napoleon on a horse

with Angela Merkel riding shot gun dressed (or undressed) as a dominatrix.

And it was hard not to connect this float with Captain Schettino of Concordia fame, steering the ship of Italy onto the rocks, a vulture on his shoulder, taking the whole of Europe with him,

though Berlusconi is in a life belt with three nubile mermaids (well, he would be wouldn't he?).

One of the most impressive floats was a visualisation of last year's Japanese Tsunami, with the motto 'On the surface we contemplate Flowers - underneath an Inferno'.  Video Link here.

Surrounded by Geishas with umbrellas and fans dancing out an impeccable choreography, it  was really moving.

I had a fabulous time and the weather stayed fine, temperatures around zero, but no wind or snow.

If you want to know what it sounds and feels like to be there - I found recommend this little video on You Tube filmed at last weekend's parade.  The final parade will be next week, but by then I'll be in England - unexpectedly.  Meanwhile, I've got to go and get the confetti and silly string out of my clothes!


  1. "But, where is the crisis " is my creature with Mario Draghi a president of BCE

  2. Thank you Fabrizio - 'But where is the crisis' was a brilliant float. The detail you included was amazing. I hope you win!


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