As you might have noticed, Italy is a rather Catholic country which comes with an incredible amount of churches, holidays and, of course, carnival! February is all about floats, colourful parades and general merriness. This is fun for kids and adults alike since the floats and festivities have become bigger and better over the years.
Let your inner infant out
This especially goes for Viareggio, which is the king of carnival in Tuscany. The impressive parade takes place for the 142nd time on 1, 8, 15, 22, 28 of February and is a definite must-see. More info see my post about Carnevale di Viareggio.
Viareggio isn’t the only place where carnival is the word during this month. On the 8th practically every town in Tuscany organizes its own little carnival party ranging from parades to fun activities for kids. Dressing up is, of course, mandatory in all this merry madness, so let your inner infant out and step into your fanciest of dresses. Get your carnival kick in the following towns on the 8th (and sometimes the 15th): Veneri, Follonica, Castel Focognano, San Miniato, Montevarchi, Montespertoli, Cerreto Guidi, Lastra a Signa, Borgo San Lorenzo, Greve in Chianti, Figline Valdarno, San Giovanni Valdarno, San Mauro and many more. On the 15th the festivities take place in Montepulciano and Piombino, amongst others.
A pretty special carnival will be happening in Calenzano on Sunday the 15th of February at 2 pm. Within the walls of the Castello di Calenzano Alto over 500 people will dress up to take you back in time parading through the lovely medieval town. The procession will end at the Church of San Niccolò where the local merchants selling food and handmade products will take over the entertainment. Several medieval games like duels, flag throwing and trampoline jumping will be held in the square to spice up the time travel experience even more. Fire displays, banquets and fun activities for kids will turn this day into an unforgettable one!
More Medieval madness is to be found in Bibbiena on the 15th. Sunday Mass will be celebrated in Medieval costume, flag throwers will show their skills and dancers will move to the beats of the traditional drums. A fun afternoon guaranteed!
During the Festa di San Guglielmo in Castiglione della Pescaia on the 10th, the holy warrior Saint William will be celebrated. Your classic parade will be followed by a tasting of local products among which the typically local sweet treat the cialda di San Guglielmo.
La Festa del Cioccolato
More good news for the sweet teeth amongst you: Festa del Cioccolato will be taking place in Fiesole on the 8th of February. Pralines, hot cocoa and all types of chocolates will be making your mouth water. Chocolate fun starts at 9 am and goes on until 7 pm. So no rush, besides the occasional sugar rush… 😉
Is one day not enough for your demanding stomach? Not to worry! Florence’s Piazza Santa Maria Novella will turn into fifty shades of chocolate from 6 – 16 February. Of course you’ll be able to find your Valentine a lovely box of pralines, a heart-shaped chocolate surprise or treat him or her to some seductive strawberries covered in… chocolate.
Enjoy a February covered in confetti in chocolate!