The Carnival of Acireale in Sicily
The Carnival of Acireale is considered one the most fascinating celebrations in Sicilyand in Italy.
The tradition of Carnival is widespread throughout my country.
It’s a period of the year between Christmas and Lent and is full of events and shows.
The main feature of Carnival is that people participating these events usually wear masks and costumes. It’s a joyful time!
The Carnival of Acireale has a long history behind, started at east during the 16th century. Over time the Carnival has been enriched with many details and customs, but the parade of the floats is definitively the main event.
The Carnival floats in Acireale
Many Carnival celebrations across Italy have their own parade of the floats, such as the Carnival of Maiori on the Amalfi Coast.
In Acireale, skilled artisans build huge carnival floats satirically depicting situations and characters linked to politics and showbiz.
All the characters and scenes are made of papier-mâché, are decorated with an infinite number of lights and have hydraulic mechanismsthat allow the different parts to move and change.
It’s said that the carnival floats of Acireale are among the most complex ones in the world. It takes months to build them! Watching them parading along the streets of the city, surrounded by music and happy people, it’s always an amazing experience!
The Carnival of Acireale includes two other parades.
One is dedicated to smaller floats, many of which are miniature of the big ones.
The other is the so-called Carnevale Infiorato, the Floral Carnival, a sort of spin-off held in April during which the allegorical floats are replaced by floral ones.
The concept is the same, the huge size is the same, but the artisans use flower instead of the papier-mâché.
This floral parade was introduced in 1931 and initially was just about some cars decorated with flowers. Something similar takes place in another Italian city, Sanremo.
In 2019 the Carnival of Acireale will take place from February 27th to March 5th.
Exhibitions, markets and other eventsenrich the agenda. One is the medieval parade of Motta Sant’Anastasia.
The Carnival ends on the evening of Shrove Tuesday with a fireworks show.
A visit to Acireale
Besides its Carnival, Acireale is lovely.
It’s located on the slopes of Mount Etna, a few kilometers from Catania, on a hill overlooking the sea.
The historic center has buildings in Baroque styleand Piazza Duomo is certainly one of the most amazing spots in the city. You can sit in a café, enjoy the scenario and taste a good gelato.
The proximity to Etna gave to the area around Acireale some volcanic springsthat has been transformed into spa.
These spas and the ski facilities on the nearby volcano make this city a good base for winter holidays. Of course, the crystal clear sea and the spectacular beaches with black rocks are perfect for the summer time.
In other words, Acireale is ready to welcome you throughout the year!