From the time of the Egyptians, who celebrate the Carnival as a religious ceremony, passing by the Greeks, who dedicated the rites to the God of wine Dionysus, we arrive at the first masks used by the Romans, before and during the Bacchanalia, in March and December, and during the Saturnalia, which took place over seven days, during which the Slaves took on the appearance of the Masters, and vice versa.
From a religious origin these rituals took on a character exclusively linked to the popular amusement. During the Middle Ages spreads in the cities the taste to contest, with a mask, the hierarchies, the vices and the immorality. In the Renaissance the Carnival took a more refined shape, linked to the theater, the dance and the music, thanks to the fact that the European Courts opened their buildings to the new entertainment.
The Carnival knows his splendour in the Florence of Lorenzo de' Medici, with the elegant parades of floats. With the Commedia dell'Arte the actors introduce the masks, which will soon become a symbol of the city of origin, and represent the character of its inhabitants. Viareggio, with its Carnival, represents world-wide the culture, the sympathy, the irony of the Tuscans, but especially the gaiety of its citizens.
The Carnival began in 1873 when some carriages, decorated with flowers, paraded drawn by oxen; the citizens particularly liked this idea and, over the time, they involved, for the setting of the floats, the shipyard workers and the local sculptors. Soon the Tuscan satire completed the work of the “Carristi”, and so, about half a century after the first parade, considering the weight and consequent low stability of the floats, it became necessary to seek a new type of material to represent the characters of the moment; a particular mixture of water, glue, chalk and paper gave an excellent result in terms of costs, ease of handling, lightness, and still now the “Carristi” use the “Cartapesta”, it is this technique combined with sophisticated gear, to make the Carnival of Viareggio unique in Italy. The long promenade along the sea of Viareggio becomes an ideal scenario for assisting and admire the details, the perfection of the movements of the characters depicted, listen to the typical and enjoyable songs, written specifically for the Carnival. In 1930 born the Burlamacco, the official mask of the Carnival of Viareggio, a work by the painter Uberto Bonetti, who became the symbol of the City.
Since 2001 the old Hangars, burned in 1960 and rebuilt because the carnival had to have his floats, are replaced by an imposing modern structure designed by the Engineer and Architect Francesco Tomassi: the Citadel of the Carnival, where the ideas and the designs become a full month of celebration and magic.
Viareggio nel Cuore is the work that the master Fabrizio Galli dedicated to the rail disaster that struck and disrupted Viareggio in June 2009. The hope is that the Carnival 2010 will help the town to rise without forgetting the justice for the people who died in the tragic night.
In the middle of the this float against the racism we have two big swans (black and white) anchored to a steel trellis which move with lightness and dynamism. The necks of the Swans have more movements.
With the most advanced technologies has been built a structure that would lead to the discovery of new planets without the danger of contamination. The inhabitants of this Citadel travel safely and away from each encounter that destabilizes the sacred beliefs.
The Masquerade “Ridere per Vivere” is dedicated the the Masters of Laughter. The Comedians in this masquerade are: Totò, Groucho Marx, Laurel and Hardy, Martin Felman, Charlie Chaplin (Charlot) and The Blues Brothers. First Classified among the Masquerades.
The phenomenon of the violence against women is a worldwide problem; assaults, maltreatments, abuses and rapes affect women of every ethnicity, age and social class. Being a woman means to be fragile as a butterfly that is threatened with the savagery that lurks in men.
In the seventies in the factories area near via Marco Polo was opened, by the director Luca Ronconi, the Orlando Furioso in the adaptation by Edoardo Sanguineti. The background of this performance were the place of the Carnival (the factories) the first idea of the City of Carnival (today the Citadel)
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