Carnival in Rome

Rome's carnival season is in full swing

Rome is holding many events to celebrate the traditional carnival season which began this year on 22 February and ends on 4 March.

Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona are transformed into a hive of activity, hosting open-air theatre and games, as well as the masks for which carnevale is famous. The city is holding Carnevale ai Fori, a series of events involving musicians and street performers along Via dei Fori Imperiali, on Saturday 1 March from 10.00.

Many of the carnival events are geared towards children. The Museo Civico di Zoologia is hosting a carnevale event for children aged five to eight on 1 March from 16.00-17.00. There will be games and various arts and crafts workshops, and costumes are encouraged. Later the museum is hosting an all-night event for children aged nine to 12 from 21.30-08.00, who can spend the night at the museum with torches and other games and activities.

Expats Living in Rome is hosting a carnival mask dance party on 1 March at 23.30 at Azienda on Via Giuseppe Libetta 3 in the Garbatella district of Rome.

However the best-known of Rome's annual carnival events takes place along Via del Corso on 4 March. The parade on horseback evokes the Berber horse race that was historically the most important event of the Roman Carnival until 1874 when it was abolished by King Victor Emmanuel II due to the death of a spectator.

That evening Piazza del Popolo will host other events including fashion and comedy shows, theatre and children’s events, before ending with a firework display.

Traditionally carnival is the period of fun and festivities that runs up to the 40 days of fasting and prayer that Christians observe during Lent, which begins this year on 5 March, with Ash Wednesday, and ends with Easter Sunday on 20 April.