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Venice may be where *everyone* seemingly wants to be for Carnival, (or Carnevale as we say in Italian), imho it’s at The Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea – in Tuscany’s Viareggio – where some of the best action is when it comes to throwing down a Mardi Gras Party (Martedì Grasso). For 145 years, magnificently crafted, mechanical, over-sized (and 40-ton) papier-mâché floats and parades and fireworks have been part of the amazing celebrations taking place here in Italy. While this century, floats are evermore influenced by videogames, politics (as seen above) still plays a prime hand – you’ll be just as apt to find an Italian Prime Minister as Angela Merkel or a parody of a U.S. President accompanied by cowboys, Putin, and rocket fire. After all, the U.S. military base of Camp Darby is right nearby! This year, the floats are scheduled to make their way:SAT FEB 9 / SUN FEB 17 / SAT FEB 23 / SUN MAR 3 / and TUES MAR 5
with an anteprima and final course and prizes for winning floats announced the last day. Fireworks will be shot off on the first and last days of the festivities.
At Arte al Sole, our specialized guides will bring families between now and Carnival to visit the hangars where artists work away on their final touches at the Villaggio di Carnevale

, for a magnificent feast for the eyes. We’ll stop in at the Papier-mâché museum, where kids will be able to see how these complicated and artistically amazing floats are built before being automatized to roll down the streets of Viareggio, towering stories above the crowds. After strolling down the Liberty-era streets of the Passeggiata,

kids will get to work on some of their own float ideas and crafting papier-mâché masks.