Enjoying Fano Carnival with its rituals, parades and the typical masks of the Marche region
Fano Carnival is a historical event that every year is able to renew itself and propose contemporary elements. Each edition attracts around 100.000 visitors by its ability to amaze with its mix of tradition and innovation.
Starting this year, a cycle called "Travelling with Vulon" will take place at the Fano Carnival. It includes four editions, the first in 2023 is "Space for Art!".
Fano Carnival celebrations are always an occasion for longer fun. They plan three weekends full of spectacular events. In addition to the parades, there will be the ritual throwing of sweets and the children's carnival.
As of this year, the event is enriched with the 'Carnival Off': on Saturday there will be events dedicated to children and families, while on Friday internationally renowned artists will be the stars of live performances.
It is one of the oldest carnivals in Italy, as the first celebrations date back to 1347. Since 1872, Fano Carnival has had a committee dedicated exclusively to the organisation of this event, which is considered the cultural heritage of the city of Fano. This is the non-profit Carnival association.
Admission to the masked event is on payment.
The preparation of the floats is a long and delicate phase. In fact, they are made of papier-mâché and foam rubber. They require about four months' work and reach heights of 15 metres.
Fano Carnival planning
Some rituals of Fano Carnival have remained unchanged over the years and confirm the saying 'Beautiful to see and sweet to taste'. The allegorical floats pass through Via Gramsci three times:
- in the first passage the Pupo, or Vulon in the city's French tradition, leads the parade
- in the second, the Getto, the throwing of quintals of sweets, candies and chocolates from the floats, makes the spectators explode with joy
- the third is the Luminaria, where the play of light enhances the charm of the floats in the late afternoon
The event is always accompanied by Musica Arabita, a band that plays a typical melody made with improvised instruments and objects.
The dates of the 2023 parades are 5, 12, 19 February.
The last day of the festivities includes the burning of the Pupo, on Shrove Thursday in Piazza XX Settembre, and a farewell to next year with fireworks.
How to go to Fano Carnival
Carnival in the Marche 2023
Fano Carnival is not the only one in the Marche. The event in the region is very popular and has a very long tradition. Various localities organise events, each linked to period costumes and symbolic rituals that are repeated every year. Each celebration includes the classic parade of allegorical floats, which are obviously linked to famous people and current themes with which spectators identify.
Carnevale storico di Offida Carnevale storico di Offida
Another historic carnival that traces its origins back to the mid 18th century. On this occasion, the town of Offida shows its visitors all the folklore preserved in the symbolic rites that are repeated every year. Music and dancing are the most modern element in the event's programming, making the festive atmosphere magical.
During the festive days in the streets of the city, it is customary to meet the Congregations: relatives and friends gather in various groups that on Shrove Tuesday receive the keys to the city from the mayor and become the official representatives.
The events dedicated to young people are the Veglionissimi, evenings in which the protagonists are music and dancing. Children in masks, on the other hand, take the stage on Shrove Thursday.
Another popular ritual is a kind of bullfight, the Caccia al Bove Finto, which ends with a procession through the town streets. Offida Carnival always starts on 17 January, on the day of Saint Anthony Abbot, and ends on Shrove Tuesday with another ancient ritual. Men and women parade with bundles of reeds stuffed with straw through the main streets until they reach the main square. Here, the bundles are burnt in a large bonfire and when the fire is exhausted, the end of Carnival is declared.
Ancona in masquerade
"El Carnevalò" in Ancona stands out for the colours and vitality emanating from the floats, prepared with the cooperation of volunteers from the city. The music and the desire to dance create a festive atmosphere that manages to infect everyone. The symbol mask of Ancona is Mosciolino, inspired by the Ancona mussel known as mosciolo. It represents a boy with no family who spends most of his time on the seashore eating moscioli. Two other recurring masks are two peasants: Papagnoco, critical but calm, and Burlandoto, crude and threatening.
Children, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to approach their superheroes and fairy tale characters. Typical desserts please everyone, and an important moment is the awarding of the most beautiful float on Shrove Tuesday.
Folklore in Ascoli Piceno
It is a younger event, born in the 1950s, but full of events and fun. It starts on 17 January, on the day of Saint Anthony Abbot, and gives a lot of space to street performers and folk music. The programme includes Friends' Sunday and Parents' Sunday before Shrove Thursday. On this occasion, grandparents and parents bring grandchildren and children to the Festival of Fantasy. The festival is presided over by His Majesty Buonumor, who receives the keys to the city from the mayor and starts the Carnival. There is no parade of floats, but it is impressive to see Piazza del Popolo on Shrove Thursday lit up with splendid chandeliers.
Confetti in San Benedetto del Tronto
Carnival in San Benedetto del Tronto is free admission. It is an engaging event where spectators are called upon to participate directly by the masks that parade along with the floats. This creates a festive atmosphere that unites all participants. The focus is on the youngest and the atmosphere is enriched by the music that accompanies all the festivities.