The Carnival of Viareggio is a carnival that takes place every year in the Tuscan city of Viareggio, in Italy. It is one of the best and most appreciated carnival both in Italy and Europe.
Its particularity and aspect is the famous parade of floats and masks, usually made of paper-pulp, always showing caricatures of popular people like politicians, showmen and sportsmen; the parade takes place on the street in front of the beautiful beach of Viareggio.
The first Viareggio carnival parade happened in 1873, when some rich middle-class citizens decided to organize a parade of floats adorned with flowers; a number of local people, as a sign of protest, then decided to put on masks in order to show their refusal of high taxes they were obliged to pay. The first float that won the parade competition in 1883, named I Quattro Mori (The Four Moors), a meticulous representation of the famous Livorno statue. The official mascot of the Viareggio carnival is Burlamacco, first depicted in 1931 by Uberto Bonetti. Since 2001, all the floats are built in an alternative part of Viareggio, called Cittadella del Carnevale (Carnival Citadel), located on the northern side of the Viareggio city territory.