The 2020 Carnival party in Rome

san valentino 2020 roma
Ideas for spending Valentine’s Day in Rome
7 February 2020
carnevale 2020 roma

Don’t miss the magic of the Roman Carnival! February is traditionally the month of Carnival, one of the most popular holidays for children. Rome, like many other cities and towns in Italy, is preparing to celebrate Carnival with colorful events and parades. In this article we will tell you a little about the history of this party that is increasingly suffering from the competition of Halloween, its Anglo-Saxon “cousin”.

History of the Roman Carnival

The modern carnival descends from the “saturnals” of ancient Rome, celebrations during which the people indulged in excesses of all kinds, to greet the end of winter by celebrating rebirth with the joy of living. There was no lack of religious rites and sacrifices, while the streets of the city were invaded by people who wore masks of all kinds. In medieval times the Roman Carnival became a very popular festival throughout the city. The current Via del Corso (then called Via Lata) was the main venue for carnival celebrations: the long road was used for the most important event of the Carnival, the Bèrberi race.

Traditional Roman masks

Typical characters of the Roman carnival are:

  • Rugantino, an arrogant villain from Trastevere with old trousers and a neckerchief, which represents the typical Roman character, “er bullo de Trastevere, quick with his words and a knife”, the arrogant but basically a good man. The characteristic aspect of Rugantino is ruganza, a Roman word that means “arrogance”.
  • Cassandrino, a good family man, a good common person, a “gullible” fooled by daughters and freeloaders, someone who always comes out of love mocked. The mask is characterized by a nasal voice, a tricorn hat with a powdered wig underneath, and a dovetail jacket. Over time, the character became the spokesman for the recriminations and complaints against papal power.
  • Meo Patacca, originally from Trastevere, is a real brawler: always ready to fight, he causes scuffles and fights, but he does it in a nice way. Spavaldo, witty and impertinent, basically has a tender heart.

Carnival events and parties in Rome

For over a week, Via del Corso, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona will be transforming: clowns, bizarre characters, famous masks such as Arlecchino, Colombina and Pulcinella will enliven the party.

The 2020 Carnival officially begins on Sunday 9 February to continue until 25.

Fat Thursday will be February 20, Fat Tuesday February 25, Carnival Sunday will be February 23. Fat Saturday in Rome it is customary to organize events and masked parties in hotels and private locations.

Carnival Sunday celebrations (23 February)

It is precisely on this date that most of the Roman events dedicated to Carnival are concentrated:

  • Popular Carnival of San Lorenzo: from 3 pm to 8 pm.
  • Carnival parade of the Quadraro: from 3 pm to 6 pm (Piazza Aruleno Celio Sabino).
  • Carnival party in Ostia, masked parade along the streets of Ostia with conclusion in Piazza Anco Marzio.
  • Città dell’altra economia, Carnival is celebrated with workshops and activities for the little ones starting at 10 am (Largo Dino Frisullo).
  • Bioparco: Carnival at the Bioparco (from 9:30 to 17)

The Tarantella of the Carnival at the Auditorium Parco della Musica | February 23, 2020

The Tarantella del Carnevale will be held at the Auditorium, an opportunity to rediscover the ancient agricultural rites that traced the transition from Winter to Spring, a time of awakening and flowering, a hope and hope for abundant harvests.

A big party for everyone with the participation of many traditional masks and dancers. From 4.45 pm the masked musical parade will cross the open spaces of the Auditorium.

The concert with some special guests will be held in the Sinopoli hall at 6 pm: the masks of the Carnival of Alessandria del Carretto, a very small center in the heart of eastern Pollino, characterized by the archaic tradition of the “Połëcïnellë Biellë”, varied masks with headgear, wooden mask, shawls and handkerchiefs of ancient silk and gold jewelry; the Bagpipes of Caggiano, a small town in the Vallo di Diano and the Summueri and Sonagli group of zoomorphic sound masks from the area of the provinces of Latina and Frosinone.

Contact us for more information on all Carnival events.

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