Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 7, 2021

Carnevale Viareggio 2021

The Carnevale in Viareggio is usually held in February but was postponed this year because of Covid. A slightly different type of parade has been held in October. At the regular Carnevale the audience wanders in and around the huge floats that make their way along the street in Viareggio. This time the audience were to be seated. That happened to some extent.

I went along last Sunday with some friends and after a quick shower of rain the sun came out and the parade of enormous floats began the slow journey around Viareggio. They were all stunning and I took lots of photos. There are too many for one post so I will begin with a couple of my favourites.

A brick prison opened to reveal Nelson Mandela being released. He was encouraged to come out by an entourage waiting to catch him.

This float is crowded with so many elements it is difficult to take it all in.

The next one is all about Angela Merkel.

Other heads pop up.

There are lots of extras.

The floats are incredible. The amount of thought, design and construction is mind boggling. The enthusiasm of the hundreds of costumed people involved in the parades is infectious. I imagine they are all volunteers who must put in many hours of fitting and rehearsals. What fun it would be to be part of the spectacle that is Carnevale di Viareggio.

I much prefer the unruly crowd that dresses up and adds to the chaos of the normal parade and I hope that returns next year.

Here are some posts from previous years.

The Carnevale parade at Viareggio

The big green man

Faces at the Carnevale in Viareggio 2012

2013 Carnevale Viareggio – part 2

Viareggio Carnevale 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2019


  1. My goodness Deb Carnevale in Italy is certainly an exciting event. The amount of work, costumes etc is incredible.Must be a fantastic atmosphere. Would love to be there.

    • I have been several times and I love it!

  2. Oh how special to see some much loved festivals back on the calendar. Well done to the people of Viareggio and beyond to design and make such amazing characters and costumes. 👏👏👏

    • The Carnevale is amazing. I will be back there in February to see the next floats.

  3. What a wonderful parade. Many years ago I was fortunate to experience a parade in Viareggio……the work that these floats entail is certainly mind boggling.

    • The floats are incredible and the number of people involved with each one is impressive.

  4. You’ve got to give it to the Italians! The ultimate designers! I’m surprised that you’re not involved Deb with your skills. They’d love you on board.
    Thanks for the photos. Being part of the parade would be wonderful but you’re photos bring such detail, which can be missed when trying to take it all in.

    • I think it would be fun to be involved in a float but I think I will stick with being in the audience.

  5. My goodness! The construction of these floats is absolutely incredible. Imagine the time and cost of building such an amazing construction. And it is not only the float – all the characters are so detailed as well. Do you know what happens to the floats after the parade? Glad the weather turned out to be fine.

    • There is a workshop in Viareggio where the floats are made. I’m sure some of the parts are redesigned and transformed each year.

  6. The Nelson Mandela float🥱amazing! Incredible work. Italians so clever, what a Parade! Think it’s Putignano that put on a fabulous almost satirical Parade of Floats we went to some years ago which was brilliant but those photos are extraordinary ! Great to view, thanks Deb

    • I like it better when the audience can wander in and out of the floats. It is chaos of course, but more fun.

  7. That is amazing, Debra. The floats and the characters are brilliant. And, as usual, your photos are excellent, capturing the colours, thé people and the atmosphere. Thank you.
    Robyn (in Brisbane)

    • I go almost every year and am always delighted with what the designers come up with. I don’t always understand the theme but I love them anyway.

  8. Wow that is such a spectacle! I mean I’ve seen floats but that looks so complicated and technical. Amazing! 😮

    • The design and construction is brilliant and great fun.

  9. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing.

    • I love the Viareggio Carnevale!

  10. I laughed out loud at this: “This time the audience were to be seated. That happened to some extent.” That sounds very Italian.

    Viareggio is a brilliant city. Do you know if it suffers from hoards of foreign tourists in non-Covid times?

    • The poor officials who tried to keep people in their seats were fighting a losing battle.
      I think Viareggio is a popular place for Italian tourists. I usually to further along the coast to Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi and see lots of very well dressed Italians.

      • I am so glad I got to see that part of Italy before the big pandemic cramped our styles.

        We’re sure not out of the woods over here, as you no doubt know.

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