Perhaps one of the most popular carnivals in Italy known to tourists takes place in Venice. However, Venice is not the only city celebrating this folkloric festival of masked balls, lights, flash, floats and fireworks.

Carnivale, or “carnem upbeat” in Latin describes the banquet held on the last day prior to the fasting of lent observed by the Christians.

The carnival period today is still celebrated between the Epiphany of January 06 and the period of Lent.

Here in Tuscany the city of Viareggio known as the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea began celebrating its first carnival in 1873. Today local artisans take pride in building ceremonial floats made of wood, plaster and jute. The spectacular parades known to be some of the most beautiful and magnificent in the world stroll along the handsome promenade with the Apuan Alps as the backdrop.

For the month of February until the beginning of March this seaside city of Viareggio vibrantly displays carnival season with parades, events in various districts, and splashy fireworks. From the doldrums of winter the city awakens to the new beginning of the spring season.

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Christina Skal De Marco