Carnevale in Viareggio
Carnevale in Viareggio
A couple weekends ago, I randomly decided to head to Tuscany to witness one of the best Carnaval celebrations in Italy in the beach town of Viareggio. A charming seaside city, its packed in the summer with Italians looking to work on their tans. Given that this was a last minute trip, I wasn’t so sure about the details or how to get there so I decided to get a cheap (and convenient) ride through BlaBlaCar, and then figure out where I was staying along the way. This was my first experience with ridesharing and it turned out to be really great! I met some cool people who invited me to join them for the Carnevale afterparty and we had some great conversation. Throughout the ride I was trying to set up AirBnB or couch surfing accommodations with no luck, so I ended up staying at a small hotel near the beach.
The next day was the Carnevale parade, and after a day of being lazy, reading, and eating some really fresh seafood, I was ready for some excitement. This parade seriously delivered! I had never experienced such beautiful floats in my life! (Well, actually, I’d never seen any floats before because I’d never been to carnaval before or a parade of that sort so yeah, they were incredible!) There were dinosaurs floats, floats with dancing Minions, and some weird creatures from another world, but mainly they had political figures. Italian politicians were key targets of playful ridicule, but Angela Merkel, Obama, and Putin took center stage. Really, Merkel’s was pretty offensive, as she was wearing a nightie that bared her breasts and was accompanied by sexy dancing Fräulein and humanoid sperm. (I never thought I would use that word on my blog but there it goes!) Buuuuut I guess it was all in good fun and really it cracked me up!
The winning float was one that would transform from an innocent look joker to a wicked, figure that would growl and swat his hands at a dancing woman he has trapped in his grasp. It was so intricate and I can only imagine how much it cost to build! After the main parade, I met up with my BlaBlaCar friends at the Cittadella, where they store the floats. A small restaurant served drinks while a live band played traditional songs from Viareggio as everyone drunkenly danced around. It was great and an inside look I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t taken the chance with the ridesharing app. When the floats started to arrive, everyone made their way out of the tent and into the huge square. The floats made their way back into their garages to either be retired or used again the following year…