Carnevale di Viareggio
The Carnival of Viareggio in Tuscany is one of Italy’s most spectacular street events. It has taken place since 1873. It fills a month of day and night festivities with parades of allegorical floats, parties and masked balls.
I have photographed the last 4 editions of the Carnival, focusing on the preparation and everyday life in the Cittadella. The "Cittadella del Carnevale", which opened in 2001, is an extraordinary architectural complex dedicated to the creation and preservation of the carnival, and is where the floats are prepared on the morning of the parade.
The carnival is a competition between all the floats and masquerades, and at stake are the honour and livelihoods of many people.
The main raw material of the carnival is papier-mâché. A local manufacturer, Antonio D’Arliano, was the first to make a sculpture for the carnival using the method in 1925.
There are four categories of float that make up the parade. First class, with nine giant floats, second class with four, the group masquerades of nine floats, and the single masquerades of 15 floats. The differences are in size, complexity and the budget available. It can take over six months to build the huge floats.
Here is a small selection of photos