Foiano della Chiana lays claim to having the oldest carnival in Italy—and it’s back post-pandemic from February 4 to March 5.
The village nestled in the Arezzo countryside is gearing up to parade four allegorical floats and gigantic papier-mâché figures for five consecutive Sundays this carnival season. Now incredibly in its 484th edition, adults and children are set to go wild at the return of festivities, which will include music, art and plenty of food.
“We can’t wait to celebrate the carnival season again after stopping during the pandemic and then our 2022 summer edition,” explains Massimo Di Chiara, president of the Foiano della Chiana carnival committee. “The plan is not only to take back the more appropriate season for these pagan celebrations, but to return to the carnival that we all know and want with plenty of side events that begin every Saturday and, obviously, with the huge papier-mâché parades.”
Highlights include Tuscan street food and cooking shows focusing on carnival treats, as well as a play about the history of Foiano and its carnival written by locals Enzo Ferraro, Riccardo Bernini and Marcello Bernardini. Family fun is guaranteed with fancy dress parades, fun fairs and free workshops for kids.
Carnival is a year in the making for the four historic neighbourhoods, Azzurri, Bombolo, Nottambuli and Rustici, whose papier-mâché experts and mechanics work tirelessly on the allegories and satire presented in artistic form along the village streets.