Carnival of Viareggio
The Carnival of Viareggio (Italian: Carnevale di Viareggio) is a carnival event annually held in the Tuscan city of Viareggio, in Italy. It is considered amongst the most renowned carnival celebrations in both Italy and Europe.
Its main characteristic is given by the parade of floats and masks, usually made of paper-pulp, depicting caricatures of popular people, such as politicians, showmen and sportsmen; the parade is held on the Viareggio avenue located alongside the local beach.
The first Viareggio carnival parade was held in 1873, when some wealthy middle-class men decided to organize a parade of floats adorned with flowers; a number of local citizens, as a sign of protest, then decided to put on masks in order to show their refusal of high taxes they were forced to pay. The first float to win the parade, in 1883, was named I Quattro Mori (The Four Moors), an accurately representation of the homonymous Livorno statue. The official mascot of the Viareggio carnival is Burlamacco, first depicted in 1931 by Uberto Bonetti. Since 2001, all the floats are built in an apposite seat, called Cittadella del Carnevale (Carnival Citadel), located on the northern side of the Viareggio city territory.