It’s Carnival in Italy, and all regions are busy preparing and having fun according to tradition. I’ve been celebrating carnival in Sardinia since I was a child, for me it was a sacrosanct annual event to be spent out from morning to late night with friends. No other possible option, having fun and getting dressed up with the most unlikely masquerade. Then I grew up, and while carnival hasn’t lost its charm to me, I started looking at it in a whole different way.
Where is the best Carnival in Italy?
Among the most popular Carnival celebrations in Italy are the ones in Sardinia, my hometown, where carnival is always a crucial gathering. Ancestral thousand-year-old rituals such as the one of Mamoiada’s Mamuthones, and the reckless horse tournament of Oristano’s Sartiglia are among my favorite, but also towns like Samugheo and Ottana organize great events, in case you happen in the island around this time of the year, some 40-45 days before Easter, right before Lent. (If you are in Oristano, make sure you contact either Fondazione Sa Sartiglia or the local tourism board if you need any help).
Here is a small collection of some of my favorite images from each of the carnival:
Carnival of Venice
All photos are courtesy of Carnevale di Venezia
Carnival in Sardinia
Oristano’s “Sa Sartiglia”
All photos are courtesy of Fondazione Sa Sartiglia
Carnival of Viareggio
All photos are courtesy of Carnevale di Viareggio
Carnival of Ivrea
Carnival of Putignano
All photos are courtesy of Carnevale di Putignano
“Evocative of unbridled fun and colorful costumes, carnival (or carnevale in Italian) originates from ancestral rituals performed in the occasion of the arrival of the warm season to bode well for the imminent harvest. Today, all over Italy, carnival season means wild parties, allegoric carriages and funny masks, and every region proudly preserves their own traditions.
Be it a spectacular parade, an ancient ceremony or a thrilling horse tournament, here are some of the main carnivals in Italy, and depending on your passions, you can pick the type of amusement you prefer and join the fun.”