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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: THE CARNEVALE DI VIAREGGIO FROM ITALY!!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

THE CARNEVALE DI VIAREGGIO FROM ITALY!!!




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    The Viareggio Carnival was established in 1873 when some of the local "signori" decided to organize a Sunday a little different from the rest, by inventing a procession of decorated floats which travelled up and down the main street of the city. On the occasion , a masked protest was also organized by a number of citizens, as they were forced to pay too many taxes and as a result the chief tax collector was certainly made fun of!! The parade was liked alot, not only by the patrons but also by the citizens and the idea of making floats that interpreted humor and dissatisfaction of the people and the events that came about in that year.
   Carnival of Viareggio celebrating 139 years of life and activity under the sign of a vivid tradition such as the long – established European tradition of Carnival festivals, is no doubt one of the best known events in Italy.
    Carnival of Viareggio since it was born it has been acquiring a strong touristic value and attracts every year more than one million spectators gathering to attend the magic of the great parade of big floats in papier – maché.
    In 2018, the usual five carnival masked parades are planned for  Jan 27, 2018 – Feb 17, 2018 on the extraordinary Liberty style staging along the seaside avenues of Viareggio. Every evening, there are carnival celebrations in all of the city's different quarters.







             Real travelling theatres - the allegorical papier-maché floats are the product of the unequalled creativity, of the extraordinary sculpture and painting skill of Viareggio ‘magicians’, and are the highest example of this popular art whose language has spread all over the world.
The parades take place in a ring-like circuit 2 km. long, on the seaside avenues of Viareggio, best known as La Passeggiata.
    Here the floats move among the spectators, who can attend the show with no barriers, becoming in turn the protagonists of the parade.
    During the Carnival period, Viareggio and his Passeggiata change into a true open air Museum where people coming from all over the world meet to enjoy together.
The parades also include folkloristic bands and performers with the most original masks, offering excitement, culture and tradition in a wide programme of entertainment and fun for children and adults








Viareggio

   The popular seaside town of Viareggio is situated on the Tuscany coast. Viareggio and the resorts "Torre del Lago Puccini", "Lido di Camaiore", "Marina di Pietrasanta" makeup about 20 kilometers of the Versilian Riviera (or Riviera della Versilia).
Viareggio has most of the usual attractions of a typical Italian seaside resort.
    The town's symbol, heart of its history, is the “Torre Matilde”, built by the Senate of Lucca in 1550. In 1601 Viareggio, that was already a township, was declared a free port, and in 1617 it became the chieftown in the Vicaria del Litorale (the coastal viacariate).
    The birth of the first bathing establishment dates back to 1823. We owe the building of Viale dei Tigli to Maria Borbone, through which she could reach the centre, leaving from her villa situated in the East pinewood. In fact, the touristic activity began in Viareggio right in this period. Many men of culture stopped for a time in this area: the poet Percy B.Shelley, Lord Byron, Manzoni, Puccini and D'Annunzio.
    The city is 23.76 miles to Pisa, 17.67 miles to Massa, 29.87 miles to Livorno, and 59.5 miles to Firenze.
    The 3 Km modern promenade, where the parade takes place, is one of the focal point of the city, characterized by shops, cafes, refreshment points and Liberty style buildings.
Viareggio is now a tourist seaside resort with beaches and hotels boast ancient tradition.





    Since then Viareggio has become the home of the Italian Carnival, with its masked parades characterized by allegorical floats in papermache'. These floats are true works of art to which the local float makers dedicate an entire year of workmanship to. There is not one politician, entertainer, or intellectual that has not been a target (protagonist) of one of these floats, which almost comes to life during the parade by the moving arms, opening and closing mouths and rolling eyes. On every float, young people and children find a place from which to throw confetti and shooting stars to the crowd. During the entire period, masked balls and parties in the various "rioni" (quarters, districts) are organized as well as numerous sport and cultural events.








    The official Viareggio Carnival mask is the "Burlamacco", a clown which wears clothes. Checkered overalls, taken form the Harlequin's costume, a white ponpon stolen from Pierrot's big puffy blouse, a white gorget-"Captain Scary" style, a red headband and a black mantle. The name Burlamacco derives from Buffaimacco a Florentine painter and a character in the "Decamerone".However, it is also said to be linked to the Lucchese surname Burlamacchi.

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