Updated: Apr 24
Carnevale in Florence has been around since the Renaissance, a period known for its cultural and artistic movements. During this time, people of all classes and creeds would take part in Stenterello, an annual carnival celebrated with parades featuring actors in masks and costumes. Through the centuries, Carnevale in Florence has evolved to become one of the most important and anticipated festivals in Italy. Today, it is a week-long celebration filled with activities such as concerts, theatrical performances, masquerade balls, processions of costumed characters on parade floats, fireworks displays and more. Carnevale is a great opportunity to enjoy some traditional Italian culture while having fun with family and friends! Whether you’re visiting Florence or just participating in the festivities where you live, make sure to join in the merriment and dress up for the occasion. So don your mask of choice and take part in this one-of-a-kind celebration that has been a Florence tradition since Renaissance times! From Stenterello to today’s modern Carnevale, its history is filled with joyous celebration and fun for all. Join us for a unique Florentine experience this Carnevale season!
The celebration begins with the opening procession of Stenterello, a puppet character who is thought to have originated in Florence during the Renaissance. As he parades through the city’s streets followed by musicians and dancers, thousands of spectators gather around him eager to witness his grand spectacle. This colorful parade sets the stage for an entire month filled with wonderful events like masquerade balls, carnival games, performances, fireworks displays and more.
Carnevale has something for everyone! There are costume contests for children and adults alike where individuals can show off their best creations. While some opt for traditional Venetian-style masks, others choose to make their own original works of art. Throughout this period there are many creative workshops where one can learn to make their own costume masks and decorations.
There are also plenty of outdoor carnival games like the “wheel of fortune”, an ancient version of roulette, or “polo a cavallo” which is a traditional Florentine horse racing game. These activities offer fun for all ages!
The main festivities take place during the last weekend before Lent in Florence but celebrations are held throughout the month leading up to it. Every year more than two million people attend Carnevale – making it one of Italy’s most beloved traditions. This is your chance to join in on the fun and celebrate with pride one of Italy's oldest customs! Join us this February.
Come to visit florence with us with our Florence free tour and you will discover all tradition of Renascence time. With all the tipical food of this period like the Schiacciata alla fiorentina, Cenci and Frittelle di Riso.