Posted by: debrakolkka | March 8, 2011

Dressed for Carnevale


I went to the Carnevale parade at Viareggio on Sunday. It is an amazing spectacle. The floats are incredible and I have taken lots of photos, far too many for one post.  I’m going to start with the audience, because people put in a fair bit of effort just to attend. Italians love to dress up and wander about admiring each other. I saw some outstanding costumes, but it was difficult to photograph some of them as it was very crowded and people were on the move. I hope you like the ones I was able to capture on film. These were not necessarily the best, but they were the ones standing still long enough to be photographed.


little red riding hood - number 1


not afraid to look silly


off to join the gang

off the rack at the costume shop

not so cheerful red riding hood

it may not be a costume


happy to lose his head


posing with Topolino

nice hair

nice hats

shy Zorro

It is a pity Zorro turned shy, his moustache was very jaunty and his sword handling was fierce. I did ask permission before photographing the children.


a family group


very blue



off duty Superman

Clockwork Orange revisited


they start young


some costumes are not complicated

getting tired

This innocent looking  little girl was trying to get me to open my mouth – so she could fill it with silly string. I’m not that silly.

Pepe le Phew and friend


cow and friend

a lovely couple


the family pet is not left out

red riding hood number 3

clowns get hungry too

happy Teletubbies

a family affair

There were thousands of people in the street to watch the parade of floats. There were no barricades along the side of the road to separate people from the huge mobile floats, but there were no accidents. People managed to keep out of the way, even if it was only by centimetres. There were people with children, dogs and even a cat was out with its owner. The crowd was exceptionally well behaved and just out to have a good time. Nobody was drunk or unruly and even though there was lots of jostling for position, it was all done with good humour. People were dancing and singing and enjoying the spirit of the occasion. I was impressed.

The next post will show you some of the incredible floats. I had a few favourites and I will show them in more detail later.


  1. Oh my God, this is great. But you now which one cracks me up the most? The old woman, out of costume, with her purse. She is fantastic. All great. You certainly do get around…how DO you do that?

    • You should have seen her husband. He wandered off and I missed him. Viareggio is only about 1 hour from here.

  2. Oh Wow! Such colours! Such thrilling, funny, bizarre, cute costumes! One can’t help feeling cheerful among such company.

    • It was a lot of fun.

  3. Great work, Debra!!!!

    • Thank you.

  4. Looks fun! Great costumes.

    • Wait until you see the floats.

  5. Debra, fabulous. worth it to attend to enjoy the audience as you did, your pictures have such clarity. Wish you hadn’t found me having a rest and showing my fleshy knees!

    • I didn’t recognise you.

  6. Your posts are my daily therapy -all with different moods. I am having a good belly laugh today. The cans of coke and kids strollers bring it back ro reality – a great contrast. Many thanks.


    • You would have loved it.

  7. Great photo’s and atmosphere. I love Carnivale.! x

    • It’s great fun isn’t it?

  8. Great to see Viareggio come alive! I love the costumes. We visited Viareggio in the quiet season, simply to see the puppet workshops. That was an interesting experience to see how these giant puppets were made. Now I can’t wait to see how these are displayed in Carnevale. Bring on the pics, Deb!

    • They will be there soon. I would love to go to the workshop.

  9. You’ve given me some lovely pictures to smile over! Thanks Debra! I like the man holding his head, I had to think about that one and I love the Red Riding Hood collection and the Teletubbies, and it looks all so relaxed and just great fun. Lucky you 🙂

    • I loved the Teletubbies, they looked so happy, all out together.

  10. Great pictures!!! I love the colors! Really well done 🙂

    • Thank you. I will put up photos of the floats soon.

  11. Great costumes!! I have never been in Italy in carnival time, but I would love to see more…

    • You should go – it is fun.

  12. Its so great to see everyone just having fun & throwing themselves into the spirit of the day – all without any problems. Great pics Deb, you’ve brought us along with you again. Thanks 🙂

    • It is amazing how smoothly the whole thing goes with so many people.

  13. I’ve never been to Viareggio, but I do have a friend there. I love your pictures–since I’ve long wanted to attend Carnevale Viareggio, your pictures enabled me to partially fulfill that dream. Thank you!

    • You should visit your friend when Carnevale is on. It woud be fun to be on one of the balconies overlooking the event. I hope you enjoy the float photos that will follow.

  14. Lovely.

    Thanks, Judy.

    • You will have to come back to Bagni di Lucca one day to see this.

  15. Wow! Was that annual carnival? What did they celebrate for?

    I like the photo:a bee baby with the father.. cute!

    • It is an annual celebration that happens all over – at the same time as the one in Rio. I’m not sure why. I will have to investigate.

  16. Such great fun, and so many colours! Must have been a wonderful day, Deb. So here’s the question – what did you wear? 🙂

    • I was very dreary and wore regular clothes. That is why there are no photos of me.

  17. Fabulous photos Deb…. looks like lots of fun and colour

    • Wait until you see the next post.

  18. The Italians do love to dress up dont they and they do it so well. Reminds me of the Comic Festival. Great photos – one day I will visit at Carnivale – the one in Venice is also on at the same time I think? Liz

    • It is a lot like the comic festival, but with huge floats added. Venice is around the same time. I will have to go to that one next year.

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