|Carnival Citadel in Viareggio|
Every year a whole month of day and night festivities, parades of spectacular floats, local parties, sports and masked balls and festivals of all kinds. The images, sounds and colours of the Carnival of Viareggio are spread all over the world on Radio and Television and is nowadays a meeting point of different peoples and cultures.
Since 2001 the Cittadella del Carnevale is open as a museum with traditional and multimedia memory from historical and cultural point of view and as multifunctional complex that houses modern laboratories for the construction of floats and the school of papier-mâché.
The history of the Viareggio Carnival
Mardi Gras in 1873: a cheerful parade of carriages harnessed to party with the crowd, in the Place du Casino marks the birth of Carnival in Viareggio. Since then, every year, the floats are more beautiful and luxurious, in a gradual crescendo of materials (wood, plaster and jute), technique and imagination. Irreverent jokes and scenes result of the joint work of sculptors, carpenters and blacksmiths. The crisis of sailing, in fact, had left without work many artisans who convert inventing floats. Born as a pastime collegiate, the parade of Viareggio has imposed since the early years as an event of political satire as well as costume. The floats were very large, so that young people could go there, have fun and interact with the crowd, throw confetti, streamers and candies.
In 1921 the colorful carnival procession paraded for the first time on the elegant promenade of walks along the sea to the rhythm of the song'' Cup of Champagne ", the elected anthem of Carnival.But the true" revolution will arrive a little later: in 1925 with the introduction of cardboard they can make colossal but light constructions and with this innovation the manufacturers of Viareggio earn the title of "Wizards of papier-mâché." The glorious reign of the Carnival is now complete, just missing his sovereign ...
In 1930, the painter Uberto Bonetti, invented the mask Burlamacco, appeared for the first time in the 1931 Manifesto. A clown that embodies a puzzle elements removed from the masks of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte the checkered red and white suit of Harlequin, the pompon-puff blouse stolen from Pierrot, the large white ruff of Captain Fear, the red hat of Rugantino, and finally the black cloak fluttering, typical of Balanzone. The name comes from Buffalmacco, a Florentine painter and character of the Decameron. Bonetti replaced the root "buffa" with "burla", already used for the channel of the harbor, Burlamacca. Every year Burlamacco and his girlfriend Ondina, announce the start of the Carnevale.