Monday, August 10, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

For a U.S. traveler, the term “Carnival” may conjure images of the Iowa State Fair, where hopeful politicians compete to down the most corn-dogs or turkey legs while simultaneously snapping selfies with as many voters as they can. But in Italy, the tradition of Carnival (or Carnevale in Italian) stretches far into history, in which vibrant cities come to life to celebrate with confetti, masks, specialty dishes, and so much more. Kicking off each February, Carnival may just be the perfect time to visit. Here are five reasons why.

The celebration of Carnival stretches back to 12th Century in Venice. Its history, darling! Carnival’s Latin roots “carnem” and “levare”  literally translate to “farewell to meat”: a reference to the 40 days of Lent during which people swear off meat, sugar, and fat. Of course in preparation for that period of religious observance, people are going to go a bit wild to get it out of their system. Sounds like a party! 

Experience Ancient Rome with the connection to Saturnalia. That’s an annual festival held in honor of the god Saturn, during which feasts, revelry, gambling, and so much more became public practice. This sort-of ancient chaos and revelry in ancient times paved the way for Lent to follow by restoring order to the community, and then be followed by Easter, a time for rebirth. 

Local Italian culture is on full display during Carnival. Though you’ll find masks everywhere, each Italian region maintains its own Carnival festivities, with a personality of its own. Venice has one of the most widely-known celebrations, but in other cities like Sanremo, Viareggio, Cento, and Polignagnano, travelers can watch confetti-laden parades featuring artfully-decorated floats. 

Try food you can’t get anywhere (or anytime) other than Carnival. There are so many delectable Italian sweets that you can only get during Carnival. From chiacchiere, a thin fried pastry aptly named for the sound made as you bite into the crisp dough, to frittelle, light and puffy doughnuts rolled in sugar; from crunchy on the outside, light on the inside honey struffoli, to sweet syrup-covered pignolata, you could spend all day trying dish after dish. 

Live your fantasy during Carnival! A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale” – At Carnival, anything goes. While it’s common practice to wear masks, you can don your most festive Carnival attire and hit the streets for the most colorful party of the year. Each Carnival celebration will come with a roster of events, balls, parades, and more, the perfect occasion to live your latest fantasy – whatever that is for you! 

Contact Quiiky’s LGBTQ+ travel experts today to plan your Italian Carnival adventure. Our team will work with you to create a custom tour itinerary tailored just for your desires. Reach out today!