Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuscany Town Of Foiano Della Chiana Celebrates Its Annual Carnival For The 472nd Consecutive Year!

February 23, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Tourist Attractions

Visitors to Tuscany in springtime can enjoy Italy’s most enduring party.

In the province of Arezzo, the town of Foiano della Chiana boasts a long and illustrious history.  Once frequented by Da Vinci during the Renaissance, the Tuscany town has been home to a carnival that is nearly five hundred years old.

The center-piece of this ancient tradition is a competition between the town’s four districts to produce ornate floats that present themes from mythology to popular culture to politics and everything in between.

Starting this year on February 20th between 3pm and 7pm, and then running over four consecutive Sundays, the floats are unveiled in a loud and unabashed eye-popping parade that moves through the historic town.

Bands of musicians from across Tuscany and beyond, accompany the central float on which stand vast painted figures with grotesque faces, ingeniously engineered to gesticulate, move and grimace.

Beneath these are smaller beasts that stare at the spectators whilst transforming into a plethora of characters to lend an element of surprise and humour to the procession.

The atmosphere alternates between being darkly macabre and cheerfully celebratory as teams of costumed dancers squeeze between the dense crowds that line the medieval streets.

On the fourth and final Sunday, a winning float is crowned and an effigy of Giocondo, the carnival-king, is burned in the main square as an offering of good fortune for the forthcoming year.

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