Foiano della Chiana Carnival 2019
Float parades, masks and lots of fun during one of the oldest carnivals in Italy
From 10 February 2019 to 10 March 2019
In Foiano della Chiana (Arezzo) from February 10 to March 10 get ready to celebrate one of the oldest carnivals in Italy, whose first edition dates as far back as 1539! When mentioning Tuscany Carnivals, your mind immediately goes to the Viareggio Carnival which is undoubtedly the most famous and spectacular but it is certainly not the only one! The traditional Tuscan fun festivals have very ancient roots and, during the days preceding Lent, almost everywhere parades of masks or allegorical floats are held. The Carnevale di Foiano della Chiana is just one of these events that attracts young and old alike. Everything you could expect will be there, starting with the location, Foiano della Chiana, the delightful village of Val di Chiana which is a real ancient gem with Etruscan and Roman origins. The painter Giorgio Vasari even painted it in the fresco of the Battle of San Gallo in the Hall of the Five Hundreds in Florence. In short, the Foiano della Chiana Carnival takes place in a spectacular setting! The highlight of the feast is represented by a series of entertaining and engaging events that attract many spectators: the parade of allegorical floats, called 'Corso Mascherato', the selection of the best float by a special jury, the will and funeral of King Giocondo, impersonated by a puppet which is set on fire and the masquerade of the four construction sites in Foiano where the floats are built! Topping it all off, there will be music by a Dj-mix and street bands and many stalls with delicacies you will not resist. Among the many typical events of Carnevale in Italia, the Foiano Carnival really ticks all the boxes: tradition, folklore and lots, lots of fun! Enough said, let's see how and when to take part in the events that will take place during the Carnevale di Foiano della Chiana 2019!
THE CONTRUCTION SITES OF FOIANO
The highlight of the Carnevale of Foiano della Chiana is represented by the parade of allegorical floats built in papier-mache at the four construction sites located in each of the town’s district. Unlike other events such as the Palio di Siena or the Giostra del Saracino, the location of the construction sites does not have a territorial connotation, there are basically no physical boundaries between the districts. Rather, the Foiano inhabitants decide which site to join from allegiance based on friendship, family history or other, and choose amongst cantiere rustici, cantiere azzurri, cantiere bombolo and cantiere nottambuli. During the year all four work inside the same building, appropriately divided so that the various working groups don’t pry or interfere with the others. The keyword is in fact: complete secrecy! Each site is free to choose a theme on which to build its own float, but the Foianesi folks, as well as those belonging to the other construction sites, will only find out when the first float contest is held!
FLOAT CONTESTS AND THE WINNER'S ELECTION
During the carnival at (Arezzo) Foiano della Chiana the floats parade on the four Sundays preceding Fat Tuesday and the following one, so in 2019 the 'float contests' will take place on February 10, 17, 24 and March 3 and 10. Each building site shows off its imagination and creativity and there is always an anxious wait for the first display of the magnificent creations called the 'apertura degli uscioni'. It is the moment when the floats leave for the first time the building where they were built. They will parade for four Sundays vying for the coveted Carnival Cup which will be awarded by a special jury comprising a painter, a sculptor, a set designer, an art critic and a journalist. Each of the jurors will draw their own personal ranking, after which the best Foiano allegorical float will be nominated, adding the various scores. The winner of the Carnevale di Foiano della Chiana in 2018 was the Azzurri building site, but who knows who will win the title in 2019? For this you have to wait for the last float contest on March 10! Only then will the verdict be announced! Do you know that March 10 will not be the last time the floats will parade? Before dismantling them and starting to build the new ones for the following year, in fact, they will be paraded once again through the village during the Carnival under the Stars which takes place in June.
THE MASK PARADE AND THE FINAL FOIANO FLOATS PARADE OF THE FOUR SITES
The festival does not end after the last float contest of Foiano della Chiana, indeed it continues with a joyful and exciting parade of masks which everyone is welcome to join. You too could take part, so if you love dressing up, creating imaginative costumes and especially wearing them, this is your chance! The three most beautiful ones will be selected together with the best individual one. Then it’s time for the final parade of the four sites to kick off, with the participation of the float makers from the four sites. Once again, a winning construction site is nominated and awarded the Coppa Simpatia
KING GIOCONDO: AN ANCIENT TRADITION
Another highly anticipated event of this carnival festival in Italy is related to the Funeral of King Giocondo. This is a huge puppet built with rags and straw with the current year painted on its chest. It represents King Carnival and is brought to the central square of the village by subjects holding the 'rificolone' (lanterns). A very amusing part of this folkloristic moment is the reading of King Giocondo's will: the year’s events, both happy and sad, are read out in rhyme and various characters from the town are mocked with the typical sense of humor of people from Tuscany. The last part of the will reveals the highly expected verdict on the winner of the Carnival Cup: rankings are read out from the bottom with increasing anticipation! After the will, the puppet is set on fire with the classic 'rificolonata'.
So, are you ready to take part in the Carnevale di Foiano 2019? Have you already thought how you will dress up? Take note of the Foaino della Chiana carnival dates and get ready to spend a few days in beautiful Val Di Chiana, a land full of wonderful villages such as Cortona in the Arezzo area and Montepulciano in the Siena area. By the way, why not take the opportunity to visit the enchanting gem of the 16th century where one of the most famous Tuscan wines is produced? You can do that thanks to our private tour of Montepulciano Nobile Wine and you will discover the splendor, traditions and also the good wine of one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany.
FOIANO DELLA CHIANA CARNIVAL DATES: every Sunday from February 10th to March 10th
TIMES: Parades from 12.00 pm
Period: From 10 February 2019 to 10 March 2019
Event location: Foiano della Chiana
Contacts: info & tickets www.carnevaledifoiano.it & facebook.com/carnevaledifoiano/