Bagni di Lucca and Beyond

Carnevale happens in Rio di Janeiro, Venice and several other places around the world. Viareggio has been celebrating Carnevale since 1873, with a couple of breaks around the war years.

In 1873 some wealthy residents decided to organise a parade of floats adorned with flowers. The idea has continued to develop over the years and now huge and intricate floats are made from papier mache and often have a theme of political satire…some of it very cruel indeed.

This year was my fourth at Carnevale, and on a beautiful blue sky day I stood with thousands of others to watch the papier mache giants wend they way slowly around the main street of Viareggio.

The character Burlamacco was created in 1931 and has become the mascot of Carnevale and the town. He made a large and colourful appearance this year.

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Pirates were a popular theme this year. This float…

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