Imagine Rome back in Middle Ages celebrating with masks and horses, or the streets awash with colour and festivities during the rule of Pope Paul II. This is how far back the Eternal City has been celebrating what most people think of as a strictly Venetian event, although it’s only been revived in Rome recently with this year being the 5th edition.
Back in the day the celebrations involved Commedia dell’arte, masked parades, the Agonal Games, carnival floats, jousts and tournaments. Equestrian events always played a major part too with the Berber horse races and the “moccoletti” drawing magnificent crowds as practically all of Rome’s population, pilgrims and foreign travellers gathered to witness the show.
The slogan for the festivities this year is ‘The future of an ancient celebration‘. We may not have gondolas here but get ready to don a glittery mask or swathe yourselves in a cape because there will be fireworks, street performers, theatre, art exhibitions, decorated floats and lots of fun stuff for families, including a temporary themed village set up in Piazza del Popolo.
The highlight of this week will certainly be the parades which weaves through the streets and squares of Rome. The inauguration takes place at 3.30pm on the 2nd and begins in Piazza del Popolo, runs down Via di Ripetta and continues to Via del Corso.
Equestrian plays a huge part of the Carnevale Romano and you can expect lots of events lined up, such as a very creative performance piece involving horses in Piazza del Popolo on the evening of the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th at 6pm. This will be more than just a horse parade – it involves elaborate costumes from the Teatro dell’Opera, epic music, narration by actor Alessandro Benvenuti and spectacular dancing.
‘Aperto La Notte’, an exquisite light installtion using 3D mapping will be on display at Porta del Popolo. This is the highly acclaimed work of Les Orpailleurs de Lumière, internationally renowned light theatre experts, who will be here in Rome with a custom creation for Carnevale Romano.
So what are you waiting for – bring on the confetti and choose your disguise!
In various locations around the city including principally Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Navona.
For more information on the program:
060608 (everyday from 9am-9pm) or carnevale.roma.it