Carnival of Viareggio: Burlamacco invites you all to the party!

The new Viareggio Carnival edition is just around the corner: the Versilia’s city is getting ready to welcome again thousands of visitors coming from all around the world to marvel at the famous ornamental floats that will parade along seafront streets, leaving the hangar situated in Cittadella del Carnevale, the place where carts are built by the skilled masters.

Born in the second half of 19th century, such a Carnival completely absorbs the inhabitants in organizing activities and active participation, rending it the main city of Viareggio-associated event. Nowadays, the Carnival doesn’t bring only confetti and celebrating floats, but also a lot of fringe events, sporting and cultural ones.

On Saturday February, 19th a fireworks display from 18:00 will be the starter shot to this 2011 edition, setting free ebullient costumes that were previously carried out by   impatient kids that couldn’t wait.

Maskers will take the center stage both in Carnival parades and quarter parties, during which they walk down the streets showing their colors and the jollity of the celebration.

The most famous and the longest quarter party, from March, 4th to 8th from 18:00 to 00:00, is no doubt the Darsena Quarter one, place also called Baccanale, located in the pier area, where, beyond the stalls decorating the whole city, it’s possible to have fish menu dinners. Come back on Saturday, March, 5th from 14:30 to 18:30 for CarnevalPolpettino dedicated to younger people.

There are three others main quarters organizing parties: in Torre del Lago Puccini Quarter on February, 19th and 20th, Saturday and Sunday, from 18:00 to 00:00, together with Schools’ Carnival on Monday, from 9:00 to 13:00, in Marco Polo Quarter the next week-end, from February, 25th to 27th from 18:00 to 00:00, and Croce Verde Quarter on March, 11th to 13th at the same hour. The latter gives also the possibility to eat low-cost in Croce Verde and Misericordia stands.

The Carnival parades on sea promenades will be this year on February, 20th and 27th and March, 6th, 8th and 13th: for the first three Sundays of the celebration the parades will start at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, while Tuesday, March, 8th, Shrove Tuesday, the parade will be held in the night, from 21:00 with a firework display.

On Sunday, 13th, for Carnival closure, the parade will start at 17:00 and finish with fireworks shooting.

Each Saturday afternoon, during Carnival, in Piazza Mazzini (Mazzini Square), one of the celebration points, many shows will be held.

In the matter of cultural events, they’ll take place in the main congressional and expositive centers in Viareggio: at Teatro Politeama there will be two concerts, on March, 10th and April, 7th, while in Principe di Piemonte Hotel congress center on March, 12th will open the display dedicated to Uberto Bonetti, Burlamacco and Ondina masks creator in 1931, which are the present symbols of Viareggio Carnival. Same base on Fabruary, 25th and 26th for the 3rd Festival International Burlesque. Always in Teatro Politeama on February, 14th, the Festival dei Rioni (Quarters’ Festival) will take place. From March, 11th to 13th Miss Carnevali d’Italia will be elected.

And what about sport? Many different international events are scheduled: the 12th International Championships of Field Hockey and Burraco (a card game maybe born in Uruguay), the 63rd edition of Viareggio Cup will begin on February, 21st (a Soccer Championship), in addition to volley championships, International Swimming Meeting (February, 18th-20th), Motorcycle Rallies and soccer costume.

These are only few events and exhibitions scheduled by the city of Viareggio for its visitors. Go to the official web site for detailed information.

The collaboration between the city of Viareggio and private and public corporations  will assure a high visibility to this Carnival edition, conquering a higher and higher relief in international interest.

New technologies employed year by year for ornamental floats will mix together the traditional handcraft techniques and more and more realistic moves of the statues to surprise visitors and drag them in a wake made up of colors, music and dances, driving them away from distress and daily troubles.

TICKETS

The entrance to Carnival parades is with fee.
Tickets are directly available along the parade delimited area.
Booking is not required.
100% disabled people have a free entrance together with an helper by the door located in Via Saffi (near Hotel Royal) under the presentation of a document certifying the total disability.

PARKING

Car:  with fee in all city zones, 8€ per day
Coach:  Piazza Giovanni XXIII, 40€ per day
Camper Van:
Via Martiri di Belfiore equipped area, 15€ per day, booking required
Via Buonarroti and Via Fratti, 15€ per day
Via Nino Bixio, 12€ per day

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