Just a few days at the beginning of the celebrations for this Rome Carnival 2017. In the city they are organizing numerous events. Carnival is, perhaps, one of the most popular festivals for the children but also for adults. Masks, colors, costumes, bonbons and parades are the masters in every town in Italy and the world.

In Rome, during the carnival week (February 23, 2017 will be Thursday before Lent and February 28 Mardi Gras), all the city center will begin to come alive and celebrate the historical places such as Via del Corso, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo, where there is the traditional and historical equestrian ride of Martedi Grasso (Shrove Tuesday).
The streets and squares in the center, but also in some suburbs, will start the open air festivities including masks, clowns and many characters to say the least bizarre.

Throughout the city, and not only the historical center, is preparing for the festivitieswith appointments of masked parades and many theater performances in the open air … but above all lots of music and dance festivals and the inevitable markets with meetings and culinary specialties.

The starting point for the Carnevale Romano is traditionally set up on via del Corso, an antique Roman road once known as via Flaminia, the historic starting point for many a parade in ancient times. The opening ceremony and parade are one of the high points of the celebration, as tourists and locals alike gather in their thousands to experience one of the most colourful and exciting traditional street celebrations in Europe. Expect music, costumes, shows, parades, floats, dancing and much more!

From Saturday 18 to Tuesday 28 February 2017 :- Every day, from 10:00 to 22:00
Carnival, as well as Easter, is celebrated every year on a different date.
Easter is a so-called “moveable feast”, that never falls on the same date every year and so the only certainty is that it always falls on a Sunday between March 22 and 25 april. It is on the Sunday after the first full moon (moon full) spring.
Starting from the Easter six weeks: the first five are of Lent (which lasts 40 days), the sixth is Carnival. So in 2017, February 23 will be Thursday before Lent, the 28 Shrove Tuesday and Wednesday 1, Ash Wednesday, the day that begins the Lent.

Date :From Saturday, February 18 2017 to Tuesday, February 28 2017
Shrove Tuesday: 23 February
Mardi Gras: February 28
Ash Wednesday: March 1
last day Ambrosian Carnival: Saturday, March 4

The Ambrosiano Carnival
If throughout Italy with Ash Wednesday begins Lent, in Milan and certain areas that were under the diocese of Milan, the festivities will go on until the Saturday before the first Sunday of Lent (4 March).

Closing schools for Carnival in 2017
The carnival week is that between February 25 and March 5, 2017.
The Ministry of Education (Ministry of Education University and Research) announces the closing dates of the schools, however, are not provided for in all the Regions.
In Piedmont, you will stay home from school from 25/02 to 1/03, In Valle d’Aosta there will be no lessons from 27/02 to 1/03, in Lombardy according to the rite chosen, it will feast on 27 -28/02 (Roman) or 4-5 / 03 (Ambrosian). In Trentino-Alto Adige there will be differences depending on the province: Trento (27-28 / 02 and 4-5 / 03) and Bolzano (26 / 02-5 / 03). In Campania, you will not go to school on Monday and Tuesday of Carnival.
For the remaining regions have to adjust with the official communications.

The etymology of the name is uncertain, a few seconds from the Latin carnem raise or remove the meat from the menu as it was approaching Lent. According to others, the word Carnival derives from an ancient festival celebrated in antiquity, Greece and Rome, in honor of Dionysus, when he was made a procession with a ship called, precisely, carrus navalis (carriage ship).

In ancient times, these feasts were celebrated all around the Mediterranean. Among the main pagan festivals we must remember the Lupercalia and the Bacchanalia in Rome, that resulted in heavy drinking and carousing. In ancient Rome, Lupercalia, celebrated February 13 to 15, were festivals related to harvest during which were performed purification rituals connected with fertilization. Many festivals of the past were carried out in the name of food, wine and transgressions when he was subverted the moral order and everything became permissible, from which the famous phrase semel in anno licet insanire, once a year is reasonable crazy (literally: insanire = out of oneself).
The origins of the parades of floats are to be traced back to the ancient Saturnalia, during which, for seven days, wagons decorated marched through the city around which the people were wearing, drank wine and danced. Everything ended with drunkenness and wild orgies.

The Roman Masks

The Rugantino mask
Rugantino is dressed as a brigand a bit ragged, with clothes a little worn and a handkerchief around his neck; It is the most famous Roman mask, a “trasteverino” character  of the papal Rome in the nineteenth century. Rugantino is a young and arrogant braggart, he lives by his wits and is averse to any job.Rugantino is also a famous Roman musical comedy created by Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini (pair of Italian playwrights who wrote music for thirty years of successful comedies) with music by Armando Trovajoli, represented for the first time at the Teatro Sistina in Rome December 15, 1962 where he directed the orchestra the maestro Armando Trovajoli. Following the comedy it was replaced by a second edition choreography (1979) realized by Gino Landi, and still is still represented in Roman theaters.
The play was so successful in Rome and throughout Italy so much that the US theatrical impresario Alexander Cohen was able to represent the show even in America, first in Toronto and then in 1964 on Broadway, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, where he made the It sold out for three weeks.

Meo Patacca Mask
  Less is known of the Meo Patacca mask the character of the homonymous work in dialect.Meo Patacca (Bartholomew) or “Roma parties nor the Triumphs of Vienna” is the title of a work in verse by Giuseppe Berneri (1637-1701) written in Roman dialect of the seventeenth century and is considered an important witness to the city life and on speaking in Rome at that time.

Tells the story of Meo Patacca, one minion, a commoner good with weapons, who had news of the siege of Vienna, he decided to organize an expedition to the aid of the city; the siege incident actually happened in 1683, when the Ottoman army led by Kara Mustafa Pasha (Bassà in the play) laid siege to Vienna for two months. Immediately prior to departure, however, comes the news that Vienna has freed itself of the siege and the money raised is then used to organize the festivities.

 Cassandrino Mask

The Cassandrino mask does not have a date certain origin and probably refers to the nineteenth century. The mask of the invention is disputed between Siena (Tuscany) and Lazio with Roma. Initially a first Cassander had an origin in Siena since ‘500 used by the guild of comedians called the Rozzi.
In Rome he became much more famous Cassandrino and since the nineteenth century it was considered a Roman mask. The tradition of the mask sees him speaking in a nasal voice, dressed as a tricorn hat with powdered wig, dressed in a cutaway coat, pants with a lighter color and the shoes are buckled.
In life, its origin is noble and is the father of the family; but becomes a bourgeois fool who is easily duped by both daughters from any woman. It i

Mask of General Damn the Rock (Generale Mannaggia la Rocca)

The generale Mannaggia la Rocca mask  was invented by the seller of rags mr. Luigi Guidi in 1897.His figure is very similar to masks such as Captain Spaventa or Matamoros, commander of an army that did not exist or at most it only consisted of panhandlers and beggars. He used to tell his heroic deeds that in fact he had never done, and during Carnival was usually riding on a donkey or a very old horse. The stories were told in public, with a continuous repartee between lgli bystanders of the show, with such thoughtlessness and merriment. When Louis Guidi died, the mask was gradually forgotten plan.

Don Pasquale mask

The full name of this character is Don Pasquale de ‘ Bisognosi (Needy), but he hates his name because it considers it vulgar and popular and vulgar for him that instead belongs to the nobility.
He wears a gray wig and wears a high bill cloak, wearing knee breeches and shoes with very shiny buckle. This character likes to be always well dressed and have your face well powdered. He would like to tie the new marriage, but all his adventures always manage to do so only regain and taken for a ride by the easement.

Other masks of Roman carnival lost tradition

There is in Rome a number of minor traditional Carnival costumes but unfortunately for some it has even lost all trace.
From the board engraved by Bartolomeo Pinelli you see how it is depicted the Roman carnival they appear now unknown masks of which we do not know anymore either the name.
Among those still known stands the Roman Pulcinella or rather the Romans Pulcinelli that animated the carnivals of the past.

In the past there were many different masks and shows both the news and reports of journalists and writers, many of them foreigners, have always been attracted happily in front of the skill of attoridelle theater companies or families, often from Naples, who appeared in represent comedies such as Pulcinella.

We remember the Dr. Gambalunga  mask belongs instead to the ranks of the masks of charlatans who crowd the squares and try to sell potions for eternal youth, love, hair and fortune to the gullible public.The Gambalunga mask as a big wig with black dress, huge glasses and often a book in hand.

Another mask is to Ghetanaccio depicted with the theater on his shoulders ready to get to the next place where he can exhibit the spectacle of his puppets that make incettive against the power and the State each time risking jail time.

Another type of masks of which has been lost almost completely the tradition is that of Le Zingaresche (The gypsy).

The typical form of the Gypsy is the lady dressed in colorful skirt and headgear that reads palms and the future passersby from the corner of a street. Initially gypsy were a kind of short animated show with songs, magic formulas and attempts to predict the future along the lines of those used by real gypsies, then whole companies have specialized in well-prepared performances to entertain.


The sweets of the Roman Carnival
The tradition of the carnival in Rome has always kept alive through the centuries as a culinary tradition dedicated to the carnival, especially the sweets of the Carnival including the most ‘famous are the frappe, the crackers to the Roman and bocconotti stuffed with ricotta cheese widespread in typical Roman trattorias.
The tradition in the kitchen dedicated typical Carnival sweets in Rome is very old and includes some sweets among which are: the famous Roman castagnole (damselfish), still made following the ancient recipe, ricotta bocconotti, and the inevitable frappe.
All these are popular recipes for cakes that can be safely carried into the house.

  There proponiamola recipe of castagnole so ‘as from the Roman culinary tradition:

The recipe: Castagnole alla Romana
Serves for 6 people : 400 g of flour, 4 eggs, 50 g sugar, 100 g of butter, 1 small glass of rum, 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind, 100 g of powdered sugar, oil for frying to taste, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch of cinnamon

Make a paste in a bowl with the flour, eggs, melted butter, lemon zest and salt. Manipulated and knead the dough energetically until it will not come to have a certain size, at this point formed by hand balls the size of a chestnut, heat the oil and fry very well by immersing them in hot oil. When they are well colored and bridge, excess oil drain by putting them to dry on very absorbent paper (traditionally using the bread), then sprinkle with granulated sugar and depending on your taste you can mix it with cinnamon. You can serve hot or cold, depending on your taste.



For 2017 events of the Roman Carnival events take place from 22 February to 4 March; there are many events to choose from and it is almost impossible to make a complete list, here we report a list of some events in 2017 that complement the offer of the Carnival in Rome:

One night from fear … the Museum of Zoology:
The “Weekends fat” takes place February 24 to 26. The museum doors will open at unusual times for the special event “Dinner with the bestial masks” and the whole “Night of Fear” scheduled for Friday, February 24, to spend the whole night in the boys museum. (www.myosotisambiente.it)

Food Truck Fest Carnival at the Auditorium Parco della Musica
Auditorium Parco della Musica, Viale Pietro De Coubertin, 30 from 02/24/2017 to 26/02/2017 (February 24 h 17 to 23; February 25 h 11 to 24; February 26 h 11-23) – foodtruckfest.it

Small Carnival Harmonic Piazza Vittorio
Sunday, February 26 from 10 to 13. Parade with musical bands to Piazza Vittorio Gardens, with masks from around the world. (Facebook.com/piccolocarnevalearmonico)

The Carnival of Rome to Alternative Economy City
Alternative Economics City at Campo Boario Testaccio, Largo Dino Frisullo / Lungotevere Testaccio 00153 ROMA IT (Largo Dino Frisullo) is the costume party with jugglers, stilt walkers sets and on the feast of February 25; more February 25, Orion (Ciampino), the feast tribute to 883 and the 90 is called “Route to the house of God.”

In Fiumicino, finally, the Carnival a Mare
Sunday, February 26 contains the traditional parade of floats and masked groups in the streets of Old Town. The gathering of wagons is set for 15 hours at Ponte Due Giugno. In conclusion, as always, there is the burning of pupazza giant carnival.

Carnival Cartoon Party Locanda Atlantide
Friday, February 24, 2017 at Locanda AtlantideVia Lucani 22b 00185 Rome, Italy, Carnival Party at the Inn Atlantis. Do not take commitments for the evening of February 24, mascheratevi and run to participate in the CARTOON CARNIVAL PARTY

Carnival Anti-Racism in 2017 to Garbatella
Saturday, 25 February 2017in Piazza Sant’Eurosia. The streets of Rome back to color Carnival Antirazzista 2017. Parade with floats, marching bands and traditional circus and ‘fiery’ puppets. Appointment in Garbatella – San Paolo.

Marron Glace One Night Carnival Party
February 24, 2017 at Planet Rome Via trade, 36 00154 Roma. Back to the long-awaited “Friday of Marron Glace” with a themed event carnival! Surprises, Guest Star, with two DJs who have marked the history of the Friday night!

Carnival 2017 in Bracciano Castle with the Addams Family
February 12 to 26, Special visit traveling in the beautiful halls of Bracciano castle with final show “The Addams Family” historical path and fantastic suitable for the whole family, limited seating

Cumbia Reggae Carnival, masquerade festival
February 24, 2017 at ‘Acrobax via della Vasca Navale 6 00146 Rome

Radiosonar Carnival Party at the Locanda Atlantide
February 24, 2017 Locanda Atlantide, Via dei Lucani 22b 00185 Roma

Party with the little Carnival Armonico
Sunday, February 26 Square parade with musical bands Vittorio Emanuele II, along with the masks from around the world

The Carnival in Villa Pamphili
February 26, 2017 Carnival we celebrate all together with dancing, games and traditions from around the world and with the most festive treasure hunt you can imagine?

Carnival to Gazometro38
February 28, 2017 at Gazometro38Via Gazometro, 38 00154 Rome

Radio Sonica Carnival Party at the woolen mill
February 28, 2017 at Lanificio159 Via Pietralata 159 / A 00157 Roma


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By Igor Wolfango Schiaroli

Igor W. Schiaroli is specialized in new media and technology. He has expertise in publishing and media sector. He is an independent journalist and a writer but primary a technologist and an economist too. He has passion and curiousity about science and travel. He had major roles for Italian and International Media and Telecommunications companies.

One thought on “Carnival in Rome and his masks and events”
  1. Thank you:


    “You’re fools, a troop,
    That’s born to stoop.
    We’re the wise,
    We see through lies:
    And then our bags
    Our caps and rags,
    Are light to wear:
    And free from care…”

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