Celebrating Carnevale

Italian children, unlike American kids who only have Halloween, have two opportunities a year to dress up as ghosts, superheroes, princesses, fairies, or whatever strikes their fancy: Carnevale—a month-long celebration that peaks on Fat Tuesday (February 12th this year). Although Carnevale is intrinsically associated with catholicism since it marks the last day before Lent, the ancient Greeks and Romans would often wear costumes during festivities to subvert the status quo. We all know about Rio, but there is nothing quite like Italian Carnevale celebrations. The most famous ones happen in Venice (until February 12) and Viareggio in Tuscany (celebrations last until March 3rd). The first is known the world over for the elegance and opulence of the costumes and masks, while the second for its amazing floats. The oddest celebration happens in Ivrea, close to Torino. It’s one of the most ancient Carnevale celebrations and culminates with an orange war: the citrus fruits are thrown on the crowds at full force. Remember, it’s not a celebration suitable for kids—each year the injury count makes the news