The Carnival of Viareggio was born in 1873 when there was the first parade of festively decorated carriages in the historic Via Regia, the heart of the old town. It was transferred to the Promenade at the beginning of the twentieth century and it has grown in size and popularity year after year. In 1954 the newly RAI sent his first outside live TV just from the Carnival of Viareggio, making it a big media event. In 1958 the report of the parade was broadcast in Eurovision. Nowadays it is the largest Italian folk event with a budget of € 5 million per year.


In 1946, after the Second World War the Carnival of Viareggio flourished again. In 1954 it was chosen as a major media event to merit the first live television outside of the newborn RAI. Four years after the commentary it was in Eurovision. In 1960 the burning of shacks in via Cairoli, where the floats were built , failed to stop the Carnival. The floats yards have been moved away for forty years in the hangars of Marco Polo street.

In 1984 the National Lottery of Viareggio was combined with the competition of the  first category floats and in the years 1988-1989 the Italian television “RAI UNO” on Saturday night was dedicated to the confetti of Viareggio.

In 2001 was inaugurated the new Cittadella del Carnevale , an extraordinary architectural complex entirely dedicated to the creation and preservation of the Carnival of Viareggio.

Sixteen Hangars, where the allegorical floats are built, overlook on a giant elliptical square. The Cittadella is also the place where during the summer the major outdoor events take place. Here visitors can find two museums, one dedicated to the history of the Carnival floats and the other to Carnevalotto , a valuable collection of works of art created by contemporary designer.



These days the Carnival of Viareggio is even more the protagonist. Every year on Mardi Gras the Carnival of Viareggio is live on national television (RAI 3) to invade into television screens of Italy with the cheerfulness of its spectacular floats. Each year famous guests, politicians and sports figures   come in Viareggio to admire their papier - mâché effigy as well as thousands of people  decree the success of the event.

The Carnival of Viareggio fills a whole month of daytime and nighttime festivities with parades of allegorical floats, local parties, masked balls and festivals of all kinds.