Italy has given birth to so many phenomenons like the Roman Empire which encompassed much of the known world then, The Roman Catholic Church and the Renaissance. With such a huge cultural heritage, it is no wonder that the people of Italy have so much to celebrate. Let us see which are the most well known carnivals celebrated in Italy.

  • carnival-998190_1920Venice’s Carnival: As the name suggests, the carnival is held in the city of Venice. During this season, many great events take place and people dress up in magnificent costumes that make you feel you’ve stepped back in time. There are Mask Parades, Boat parades along the canal and spectacular fireworks show that take place during the carnival.
  • Battle of the Oranges: Somewhat similar to the Tomatina festival celebrated in Spain, this festival celebrates the end of a tyrant’s rule. Every year on the third week of February, thousands of people flock together in the city of Ivrea to pelt each other with oranges. Feeling citrusy anyone?
  • Palio di Siena: Held in the city of Siena, the Piazzo del Campo is converted into a racetrack where the 17 districts of the city are represented by a champion whose aim is to win the horse race. It is a very competitive race and thousands of spectators flock to catch a glimpse of the horses in flight.
  • La Corsa Dei Ceri: On the 15th of May yearly an ancient procession takes place in the city of Gubbio that marks the eve of Bishop Ubaldo Baldassini’s death. He was the protector of the city. The procession holds candles (the name Ceri translated as candles) and at a point races into the mountainside basilica. The winning team is judged by the least amount of candle drops and the fascinating thing is that team Ubaldo always ends up as the winner.
  • Infiorata Event – Flower festival: Magnificent works of floral displays are made by the cities of Noto, Spello and Genzano held in May and June yearly. The petals create spectacular designs based on specific themes and this is definitely a not-to-miss event on your calendar.
  • La Quintana: The first Sunday of August sees the residents of Ascoli Piceno dress up in medieval costumes in a parade that winds through the streets accompanied by musicians, flag wavers, drummers and archers. Although you may take part in various competitions like archery, the highlight of the festival is the jousting match called La Quintana.
  • Easter Celebrations: Being a pre dominant Roman easter-735942_1920Catholic country, it comes as no surprise that Easter is celebrated with a bang. Sicily is transformed during the Holy Week where an impressive Passion of the Christ is put to the Stage. Realistic actors portray Jesus’ life and journey to the Cross and Resurrection which keeps the crowds enthralled.
  • Calcio fiorentino: The predecessor of modern football, calico storico as it is also known as originated in the 16th The third week of June sees matches played by teams representing each contrada (city sub-divisions) and the winning team goes home with the trophy and a Chianina Cow.grunge-1080991_1280

  • Historic Regatta: You could be transported back to the 15th century days with teams all competing in rowing races on the Grand Canal in Venice. Occurring on the first Sunday of September, this event commemorates the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, the King of Cyprus’ wife who renounced her throne in 1489 in favour of Venice.
  • Game of the Bridge: If you’re visiting Pisa to see the leaning tower in June end, you could catch this celebration of an ancient tradition. Back in 1568, opposing teams from various parts of the city fought over for the ownership of the Arno river bridge. Now there is no fighting, just a parade of people dressed up in medieval costumes and a competition of pushing a wooden trolley into the other team’s territory.
I am as Italian as can be. I grew up in Testaccio and had a lovely childhood surrounded by beauty everywhere I turned. I think living in Italy spoils you.

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