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Celebrate Carnival in Tuscany

Where to go to see the Color & "Carri" in 2020

In Italy, as in all Catholic countries, Carnival is celebrated between January and March, in the period between Epiphany (January 6) and Easter (April 12, 2020).  The more important dates for 2020 include:


February 20 - Giovedì Grasso

February 23 - Carnevale

February 25 - Martedì Grasso


The word "carnival" comes from the Latin "carnem levare", a term that refers to the condition of abstinence from meat and fasting of the faithful during Lent (40 days before Easter).

The weeks of Carnival were a period of celebration with elements common to ancient traditions such as the Roman Saturnalia and the Greek Dionysian celebrations.

The Carnival is celebrated today throughout Italy with colorful parades, floats and fun events for children and adults. The Carnival of Venice is certainly one of the most famous in Italy, but in Tuscany, there are also several very popular events including the Carnival of Viareggio and the Carnival of Foiano della Chiana.

Carnival Float

The Carnival ends (or at least it should end) with Mardi Gras (Martedì Grasso or Fat Tuesday) and although in Italy it is not a day of festivity, on the occasion, there are events and parties everywhere, even in smaller cities.

Even if then Lent starts, several Carnival parades continue on the Sunday after Mardi Gras.

If you're in Tuscany during this period, read below for the places you can go to celebrate Carnival every year.

Author's Note: This article was last updated on December 10, 2019, to make sure we’re giving you up-to-date info, if the dates have not yet been announced then we indicate TBA (to be announced) - any dates that have been updated from last year will include the year so you know it is the latest news!


1, 9, 15, 20, 23 & 25, 2020

The Carnival in Viareggio, a tiny coastal village in the Versilia area, is without a doubt one of the most famous Carnival events. It draws thousands of visitors of all ages every year. We have a full article dedicated to the floats in Viareggio here.

San Gimignano | CARNEVALE | TBA

Folkloristic parades with floats representing various themes will be accompanied by live music, coriandoli and groups competing with handmade masks. Made to be enjoyed by one and all but especially the younger crowd will enjoy the silly antics of all who perform.!


From 2 pm till 6 pm games and fun especially for the kids.

Borgo San Lorenzo| BAMBINI E NON SOLO |TBA

From 2 pm till 6 pm games and fun especially for the kids in the city center.

Carnival events in Florence | TBA

In Piazza Ognissanti from 2pm in Florence takes place the "Carnival of Kids". Free admission.

Carnival in Tuscany, where to go for the best events.

Foiano della Chiana | CARNEVALE DI FOIANO | Feb 2, 9, 16, 23 & March 1, 2020

one of the oldest in Italy

Foiano della Chiana is located south of Arezzo and it comes alive with colorful floats and costumes in February/March parades.

Official Site

Follonica | CARNEVALE | Feb 2, 9, 16, & 23, 2020

Over 50 years of celebrating

The tradition of carnival in Follonica started in 1910 and has transformed over the years creating the fun and enthusiastic atmosphere that we experience today. The 8 districts of Follonica compete with paper machè masks and allegorical floats.

Official link

Piombino | CARNEVALE | TBA

il Cicciolo

The character “il Cicciolo” is also known as the King of Wine, and is normally represented as a jolly, drunk float making his way down the streets of Piombino. He doesn’t make it far because tradition has him burned at the stake on Martedì Grasso in Piazza Bovio. The flames serve as a signal that the fun and games are over and Lent has begun for the Easter season.


Mask in Viareggio


Recycling brought to new levels

You won’t find another like it in all of Tuscany! The concept of this carnival exhibition is to promote awareness in recycling and handcrafting, and it encourages participants to make their masks using tools and material in that spirit.


Lucca | CARNEVAL MARLIA | Feb 2, 9, 16, 23 & March 1, 2020

Papier-mâché giants in Piazza del Mercato

The charriots are ready to take back the scene and entertain the thousands of children and families who for years have participated in this historic carnival whose origins date back to 1904 and which since 1978 takes place as we know it today. Free event.

Official Program


Door to Door music & bonfires

The origins reach as far back as 1350, when Bibbiena was ruled by the powerful Tarlati family. So now every, Martedì Grasso, the legend tells us that the two competing factions in Bibbiena gather to vindicate a Ms. Mea - who was caught between two loves - with songs and dancing in Medieval costumes.


Carnival in Tuscany, where to go for the best events.

Castiglion Fibocchi | CARNEVALE DEI FIGLI DI BOCCO | Feb 8, 9, 15 & 16, 2020

enter in limbo

The entire town transforms its squares, streets, and roads into a scene of fantasy where over two hundred people parade around in bright and luminous costumes hiding their faces behind masks of fantasy.

Official link

Author: Cristina Romeo

Born in Florence at the end of the fabulous '70s, Cristina has always lived in the famous "cradle of the Renaissance". She's in love with her homeland, but also enjoys traveling and discovering new places. Cristina is mum to a lovely little girl, to whom she hopes to pass on all the passion and love of our precious, wonderful Tuscany.


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