Viareggio Carnival Citadel

“The float workshops transform the urban park into a carnival, a testament to the great importance of arts and crafts. The carnival city comes alive as a structure of great scenic and artistic value.”
Dr. Ing. Arch. Francesco Tomassi

The Viareggio Carnival Citadel, inaugurated on December 15th, 2001, is the largest and most important Italian center dedicated to masks. In terms of size, space, and services, there are no other large centers dedicated to the art of Carnival.

The Citadel complex and the artists' street

Inside the Citadel we can find:

The artists’ hangars where the floats are built
The Viareggio Carnival Museum
The Espace Gilbert
The historical archive
Educational papier-mâché workshops
The Citadel Bistrot
The headquarters of the Carnival Foundation

The ensemble of 16 sheds and other buildings is arranged around the square. The elliptical shape of the square best highlights the central character of this space, an ideal setting for events, parties, and performances.

But, if the square is the place for parties, the outer perimeter street, the artists’ street, is the place for meetings between visitors and the artisans at work, who’s studios are located on the street.

Access to the Citadel

The access to the Citadel is free of charge throughout the year. However, a ticket must be purchased to visit the museum spaces and participate in educational activities in the workshops.

Carnival studios

Back in the day, floats were crafted in various parts of the city. Any place was good for erecting a palisade, some cloth, and braving the harsh winter weather to mold clay, plaster, and paper. In 1948, the barracks on Cairoli Street were built and then destroyed in a terrible fire in the summer of 1960. In record time, the hangars on Marco Polo Street were built, which have guarded the Carnival for forty years now.

On September 26th, 2001, the buildings were moved to the new Citadel.

Citadel Bistrot

At the Citadel you can find a Bistrot open and ready to welcome all visitors.

Breakfast from 8:30am
Lunch from 12:00pm
Dinner from 7:30pm

The Bistrot is closed on Mondays.

For any information or reservations, contact:

+39 328 6554777
or email