Viareggio Carnival: A Colorful Celebration of Italian Culture


The Viareggio Carnival, the second most important carnival in Italy after Venice, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The carnival, which has been held annually since 1873, attracts up to 500,000 people, but due to the pandemic, attendance has been limited this year.

Giant Papier-Mâché Puppets

The Viareggio Carnival is famous for its giant papier-mâché puppets, some of which are up to 20 meters tall and weigh up to 40 tons. The puppets are made by carpenters, engineers, blacksmiths, and artists, who work year-round to create these impressive figures. The puppets are made of metal structures with mechanisms, covered in papier-mâché, and are usually caricatures of politicians or other famous people. Some creations are dedicated to important events or issues.

Carnival Mood

The carnival is considered a people’s festival that involves both performers and spectators. According to carnival participant Alessandro Servieri, one must immerse themselves in the carnival mood by participating in the performance to truly understand what is going on. Letizia Liguori, another carnival participant, expects the puppets to reflect some of the events of the past year so that people can reduce their negative influence or think about them, making the carnival more than just fun.

Continued Festivities

The Viareggio Carnival will continue through Feb. 25 and includes colorful processions, masquerade balls, and other entertainment events. Carnival participant Francesco Delle Mura hopes that the next parades will continue to entertain people, create a festive atmosphere, and bring people together by conveying important messages about the past, present, and future.

In conclusion, the Viareggio Carnival is a cultural event that celebrates its 150th anniversary with impressive giant puppets, made by skilled artisans throughout the year. Despite the pandemic, the carnival continues to bring people together, creating a festive atmosphere while also conveying important messages about current events.