Historical carnivals in Italy: Ivrea, Cento, Acireale, Putignano and more

Experience a Historical Carnival in Italy.

29 Jan 2019

Parades are held throughout the country, and many are centuries old.

The colorful history of Carnevale.

Carnevale, as it is known in Italy, is an age-old tradition which is celebrated every year in February and March. Throughout history and in many different cultures, the transition between winter and spring has always been celebrated, and that is where the Italian carnival origin can be found. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans carried on the practice, which eventually developed into the colourful parties we see today.

Carnival in Italy, 2019: places to celebrate.

There are large celebrations in many Italian cities and towns, Venice and Viareggio being the most famous. Wherever you are in Italy during the season, there will be carnival celebrations nearby. Even the smallest villages will have their own carnival with local food and traditions. Some of the most historical carnivals in Italy are held in Ivrea, Cento and Acireale.

Carnival in Italy: everyone is invited.

Everyone is welcome to grab a mask and join in with the celebration. Whether it's a small village event with a warm, family vibe or a gigantic parade with thousands of revellers, you'll feel welcomed by the community. Sing, dance, eat and be merry!

The history of the carnival in Venice: the oldest in Italy.

The first official carnival held in Venice was believed to be in 1162. Celebrations went on for over two months after a victory in war. Annual carnivals were held up until the 18th century when the collapse of the Venetian Republic in 1797 brought about a ban on the celebrations. The event began to regain popularity in the 1960s, and in 1979, carnival was officially reborn. Today, over 100,000 people visit the city to celebrate. The backdrop of the canals adds another interesting, photo-worthy feature to the masked event.


The best places to celebrate carnival in Italy.

The oldest carnivals tend to have the most elaborate celebrations and the largest crowds, making for an electrifying experience. The Carnival of Ivrea, near Turin, is famed for the Battle of the Oranges. Dating back to 1808, the battle reenacts the people's rebellion against Napoleon using oranges instead of arrows. Colourful floats parade through the streets, while sweets and presents are handed out to the crowd and folk music is played.

Carnival in Emilia-Romagna.

In this northern part of Italy, there are many carnivals including a floating carnival in Comacchio, one featuring unique vehicles in Fantaveicoli and Carnival of Cento. Cento is an important event twinned with the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. In an explosion of confetti, inflatable rings, balls and giant teddy bears are thrown into the crowd.

Cento is near Ferrara, for whose beauty and cultural importance, has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This is another good reason to book a room at UNAWAY Hotel Occhiobello, which offers guests peaceful, well-furnished rooms, a renowned restaurant, fitness facilities, various meeting spaces and a pleasant garden.

The Carnival of Acireale.

Widely considered the most beautiful of all the canivals, and held in Sicily, Acireale features Sicilian Baroque-style floats which are covered in flowers. The floats feature satirised characters as they do in many Carnivals. Acireale is a colourful and lively Carnival that should not be missed if you are in Sicily during February or March. 

To visit Acireale and to enjoy is beautiful carnival, here at Gruppo UNA suggest to book a room at Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze in the nearby Catania.

The Carnival of Putignano.

The Putignano Carnival in southern Italy is one of the oldest in the country's history, and it is also the longest celebration. Events start on 26th December with a candle exchange ceremony and poem readings which carry on until 17th January, and then things get more lively until the beginning of March. In 2006, the city started to hold a second carnival in the summer, which is aimed more at tourists rather than the traditions of the local people.

Santhià Carnival.

Another historical Carnival in Italy, dating back to 1328, Santhia Carnival is held from the Epiphany until Fat Tuesday. The event features traditional dancing and comedic art. As with all Carnivals, there is colour everywhere, street food and paper mache masks. There are contests held for the best mask and float - you are sure to be impressed by the work that goes into them.

Looking for a hotel near Santhià? Book your room at the UNAHOTELS Golf Hotel Cavaglià, strategically located between Turin and Milan.

Find a hotel near a carnival and enjoy the party.

If you are planning to partake in Carnival in Italy 2019, be sure to book a hotel as soon as possible. It is a very busy time in cities and towns around the country. Providing accommodation in 19 destinations around Italy, Gruppo UNA Hotels are the perfect choice for Carnival. Whether you select a modern or traditional hotel, you are always guaranteed luxury.