Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Jill and Larry invited us to go to Foiano with them last weekend for the Carnivale celebration. Apparently Foiano is quite well known for this event, and once we arrived there we understood why! Four HUGE floats were in a staging area, allowing us to get a good look at them. We surmised that each float represented a different neighborhood, and each float had lots and lots of people of every age dressed in costumes that coordinated with the theme of the float.

We wandered through the town, and once we reached a large piazza, an announcement was made....the parade was about to begin! Slowly.....each float made its way down the street and around the corner. Once in the piazza the float would stop. Music would blare and the people accompanying the float would perform. Usually this meant some sort of dance, but for one group, I think all they did was go around in circles and sway to the music. Whatever they did it was a blast to watch!

The people with the floats weren't the only ones in costume. I would estimate that 98% of the children were in costume, and a good number of adults as well. Everyone was definitely in a party mode. Huge bags of confetti were for sale everywhere, and it was thrown about with abandon. Three days later, I'm STILL finding the odd piece of confetti. Art had some INSIDE his ear, and Larry even found some in his bellybutton! Cans of spray string were also very popular, but the empty cans on the ground were quite dangerous!

After maybe ten minutes, the float would move on to make way for the next one. How these huge floats got through these narrow passageways is a testament to years of experience. If only we could get the Italians to drive this slowly and carefully on the autostrada!

The parade was over after about an hour, and we stopped in a local bar for a quick cup of coffee...or in my case, hot chocolate. Once we had thawed out a little, we headed back towards town. An African band was playing in one of the piazzas. There were seven guys playing nothing but drums...I was in heaven!

As we drank some hot mulled wine and listened to the music, the floats drove past us again, giving us one last look. We walked back to the great parking spot we had found, were relieved to see that we weren't blocked in, and headed back towards Cortona. I had taken over 100 digital pictures, and think that a movie camera would be a wise investment for next year.

Here's a link to all of the photos... Carnivale


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