Think of Carnevale in Italy and you are sure to think first of Venice. I know I do!
But the season is alive throughout the peninsula and the small ones have a charm that Venice, for all its glory, lacks.
Yesterday I had my first taste of a smaller, home-grown version of the Carnevale parade in the lovely little artsy town of Pietrasanta. This small town is part of Versilia on the coast of northern Tuscany, about 20 miles north of Pisa and 15 miles south of Carrara. Only 2 miles from the coast, you can quickly reach the beach of Marina di Pietrasanta and the fashionable Forte dei Marmi. But those two places are best reserved for a warmer time of year.
The Carnevale in Pietrasanta is composed of locals, young and old, and devoid of pretension.
That’s what I liked most about it!
Of course it didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful, almost spring-like day with cerulean skies and puffy white clouds.
Now, here’s the thing: I don’t know what I was expecting, but the Pietrasanta parade was made up of about 6 major floats with companies of participants associated with each float. The floats ranged in subject matter from the Moulin Rouge, to Dr. Spock, to Michael Jackson’s Killer.
To me, it felt more like a Halloween parade than a celebration of a religious matter.
But, it was unabashed, and I loved it for that. It reminded me of my home town, way across the pond in the prairie states of the US.
A fun time was had by all!