Carnival in Tuscany is pretty much the same wherever you go in the world: a moment of liberation before entering into the Lent season which anticipates Easter. It is a moment to abandon all social structures and give way to fantasy. Carnevale, when done in the Tuscan style, is a pure reflection of their independent personality, their ironic sense of humor and it is deeply rooted in their history and cultural heritage.
Whether you’ve experienced Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Rio, after you visit a day of carnival in Tuscany you can’t but help but enjoy the pure joy, childlike wonder and laughter that accompany all of the merry-making. Be sure to check out our calendar of Carnevale, highlight the most colorful and traditional throughout Tuscany. Carnevale in Tuscany ranks right up there with one of the oldest in Italy! The event in Foiano, in the province of Arezzo has been celebrated since 1539. Each year, there is a theme and the 4 areas of this small town work to create their own personalized representation of the theme competing for a grand prize. But this isn’t the only celebration that has its roots buried in time, Bibbiena celebrates the Mea at carnival which dates back to the 1300’s and closer to Chianti there is Castiglion Fibocchi (called the Carnevale dei Figli di Bocco) which is documented as far back as the 1100’s!
After Christmas, this is the second best time of the year to find a wide selection of sweets, with many of them unique to Tuscany. Let’s start with the Schiacciata Fiorentina, a cake made with “strutto” (lard) that can many times be found sliced open like a sandwich and filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. Then there is also Berlingozzo, a ring-shaped, crunchy, cake with anise flavouring. Then every town across the region seems to have their own version