World ? Europe ? Italy ? Florence

Worldwide Florentine Carnival

A carnival float, Florence 2005. Courtesy of Inverno a Firenze

Feb 2010 (annual)
Link: Inverno a Firenze Website
The annual Worldwide Florentine Carnival is an opportunity for pre-Lenten parties with the people of some of Tuscany's most beautiful towns. Head to Florence itself or visit the nearby villages to enjoy the festivities.
In Florence an experimental plan incorporates a truly cosmopolitan celebration that welcomes customs and costumes from around the world. Each community celebrates its own party, then everyone unites as a whole in a procession that begins at Piazza Ognissanti and arrives at Piazza della Signoria.

Tuscan carnivals are both Catholic and Pagan celebrations. Pre-Lenten celebrations were an important part of Florentine life back in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Canti carnascialeschi (Carnival songs) were performed by masked men and boys and often used to serenade ladies who caught their eye.

These musical endeavours laid the foundation for the creation of the famous Florentine Camerata, a group of amateur Renaissance musicians who met to discuss poetry, music and art. Their finest achievement was to revive the Greek dramatic style and from their work with Greek drama, the stile recitativo was invented. A dramatic fusion between speech and song, this led ultimately to the invention of opera. So come to Carnival, party hard and discover the roots of opera itself!
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