The word “Carnevale” means “farewell to meat” and, in the Christian calendar is the last time to have a real binge before the forty days of lent austerity. All over Italy this event is celebrated with colourful processions, events and costumes. Those who have been to the carnivals of Viareggio and Venice will know what it’s like.
This year Fornoli, part of Bagni di Lucca comune, decided to celebrate with gusto. A wonderful procession of Italian allegorical costumes, each one, representing one of the country’s regions was the highlight of the festive day. Particularly touching was the last costume representing “Italia”, which brought a tear to many, showing us that Italy still needs to achieve its national identity and integrity among the various little “countries” that make it up.
Accompanying the festivities were street entertainers, a drum band and lots of stalls selling food and handicraft. The weather proved clement during this hard winter and families, friends and schoolchildren had a great time. Unlike some other parts of the world there was no rowdiness or drunkenness or violence for Italians seem to be able still to enjoy themselves without resorting to some of the unsocial behaviour seen in other countries. (I refer particularly to the Notting Hill Carnival – which in fact, is not a carnival at all since it takes place in August). Anyway judge for yourselves the wonderful costumes paraded below.