Italy hosts some of the most famous and beautiful Carnival celebrations in the world. But, alas, Carnival 2021 will be a very different affair from what we’re used to, due to Covid-19 restrictions and the ban on public gatherings. Organizers have decided to move the celebrations online or postpone them, with live streaming and virtual events people can attend via each event’s website or Facebook page.
Celebrations for Carnival 2021 will take place the week between 11 February and 20 February, with Giovedì Grasso (Fat Thursday) falling on 11 February, and Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday) falling on 16 February, marking the official start and end of Carnival.
Italy’s most spectacular Carnival is the Venice Carnival. The 2021 edition will be streamed on the Venice Carnival’s website every day from 11 to 16 February at 5 pm Italian time, live from Palazzo Ca’ Vendramin Calergi on the Grand Canal; expect music, stories, improvisation, masks and costumes, and some classic Carnival entertainment; additional events, such as the 'Most Beautiful Mask' contest, will be streamed on the Venice Carnival’s Facebook page.
The Carnival of Ivrea near Turin is a historical event that normally features a fun, rich program of events, including parades of allegorical floats, historical re-enactments and the famous Battle of the Oranges, which has become the symbol of this festival. For 2021, the event will be entirely online, a virtual edition where fans and past participants are invited to share images, videos, stories and memories from past editions, using the hashtag #uncarnevalediricordi (a Carnival of memories).
The Viareggio Carnival is famous for its parades of allegorical floats - papier-mâché works of art that can be up to 20 meters high - mocking politicians and celebrities. This year, organizers have opted for postponing the event altogether, and, for the first time in its 150-year history, the event is scheduled to take place from 18 September to 9 October 2021.