Carnival Time in Italy – Carnevale

Carnival in Italy is a joyous time of year, 6 weeks before Easter with much dressing-up, partying and eating.

Some say the derivation of the word comes Latin ‘carnem levare’, meaning to abolish meat from the diet, popularly translated as ‘carne-vale’. It stood for the last meat banquet held the day before the fasting period of Lent.

The typical disguises and beautiful costumes date way back to the Palaeolithic period, when sorcerers during magic rites adorned their bodies with feathers and rattles and hid their faces with frightening-looking masks to drive away evil spirits.

The month of February fills Italy with parades packed with costumes and floats. Thousands of towns and villages participate, often with different themes but all with a sense of fun, joy and frivolity.