The oldest Carnival in Italy? It’s Foiano della Chiana near Arezzo in Tuscany

Allegorical floats and a big bonfire in the piazza

Dating back 500 years, the Foiano della Chiana carnival is the oldest in Italy: for five consecutive Sundays, the streets of the old town centre near Arezzo become a place of celebration in honour of King Giocondo, the event's patron.

Four large allegorical floats parade through the village made by the four local neighbourhoods– Azzurri, Bombolo, Nottambuli and Rus – which have been taking one another on for centuries, creating striking works of art that are admired all over the world.

“Giocondo, the King of Carnival”opens the parade, an effigy made of straw and rags, an ancient symbol through which the farming culture pays tribute to rebirth, celebrating the end of darkness and the past. On the final day of the festival Giocondo is burned in the main square of Foiano in a spectacular ceremony. Tradition requires that his “will and testament” be read aloud to the locals. It contains an overview of the year's vicissitudes—both good and bad. The celebration ends with an attention-grabbing ceremony: winter's funeral.

The 2017 edition of the Foiano della Chiana Carnival will take place on five Sundays: February 5, 12, 19 and 26 and March 5.

If you are looking for your dream home in Tuscany, we have a variety of luxury and bargain properties and our staff is on hand to assist with the buying process, provide legal and financial advice, translate, interpret and project manage any various refurbishment work. For more details please refer to our

25 Feb 2017

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