For a month the city of Viareggio turns into the factory of fun with giant papier – mâché floats, night parties, fireworks, theatre events, culinary events and worldwide sport performances.
The “Masters” of Viareggio create the magnificent allegorical papier – mâché floats and more than 25 artisan firms, with more than a thousand people at work, are engaged throughout the year in the realization of real travelling theatres. In many cases, they have inherited skills and secrets of a unique craft in the world from their fathers and grandfathers.
More than 20 meters high, 12 meters wide, the papier-mâché giant floats are created to dazzle the spectators with extraordinary choreographic effects. The visual impact, , the music, the colours, the brightness of the figures on the floats, together with the spectacular movements that defy the laws of physics, make wagons real travelling theatres that are unique in the world. Every year at the end of the show a selected jury draws up the merit table, declaring winners and losers.
The Carnival of Viareggio was born in 1873 when there was the first parade of festively decorated carriages in the historic Via Regia, the heart of the old town. It was transferred to the Promenade at the beginning of the twentieth century and it has grown in size and popularity year after year.
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