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Beloved Italian fairytale character Pinocchio is the theme of this colorful float at the Carnevale of Fano.

3 Best Places to Experience Carnevale in Italy

Venice is by no means the only place to experience Carnevale in Italy, although everyone should experience it there at least once, well, to be honest, as often as you can. Here are three other cities with long histories and colorful parades.

Viareggio, Tuscany

The City of Viareggio, a renowned seaside town in Tuscany, is rich in Art Deco architecture. The Fondazione Carnevale di Viareggio was conceived in the town in 1873, as a masquerade event for its wealthiest residents to show their displeasure at having to pay high taxes. Through the course of time, though, its principal characteristic has become its enormous, animated parade floats with caricatures of the political, cultural and show business personalities. The Carnevale of Viareggio fills a whole month of daytime and nighttime festivities with parades of floats, local parties, masked balls and festivals of all kinds.

Fano, Marche

The first documents of the Carnevale of Fano date back to 1347. This festival is ideal for spectators with a sweet tooth, as they are showered with chocolates and candy from the floats. Visitors should also look out for Musica Arabita, a show with music played on pots, pans and an assortment of other household items and musical instruments. The parade wagons take four months to prepare with sculptors, craftsmen and mechanics using steel, wood, iron and especially papier-mache, the main element for the construction of allegorical floats.

Acireale, Sicily

The Carnevale of Acireale takes place in a magnificent Baroque city in the province of Catania and is considered one of Sicily’s most beautiful events. Acireale’s Carnevale boasts a centuries-long tradition, having begun during the late Italian Renaissance. In the 19th century, the “cassariata” came on the scene, a parade of distinguished, horse-led carriages from which nobles launch sprays of candy and confetti at spectators. In the 1930s, papier-mache masks entered into the picture, along with floats led by steers and accompanied by various characters and satirical groups in constant movement. It has become so popular that it is repeated again every August!