One of the most spectacular carnival celebrations in Rome this year will be organised by the fifth municipio (Tiburtina area); last years event was attended by 20,000 people. The aim is to recreate the atmosphere of the famous 18th- and 19th-century carnivals in Rome, which attracted people from all over Europe, and in which everyone children and adults, with the city authorities at the head paraded in fancy dress. This years event will be preceded by conferences, documentaries and exhibitions at museums throughout Rome on the tradition of carnival (Thurs 19-Fri 20 Feb). The parade will be held on Via Tiburtina (between Via dei Durantini and Via delle Cave di Pietralata near Tiburtina station) on the afternoon of Sun 22 Feb with floats led by "Tiburtello", the official mascot of the municipio. There will be street artists, musical bands and food stalls. A special stand will provide face-painting and basic costumes for those who arrive without. Three carnival groups from Sardinia have been invited to participate, and there will be a competition and prize-giving for the best floats and masks, with traditional dance and music from Lazio and Sardinia in the evening.

Rome council is organising a multi-ethnic carnival in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, with a workshop for children to make their own masks and floats, and a parade in Via Nazionale on Sun 22 Feb.

The Acquafredda nature reserve is offering a costume workshop and performance by

a mime artist. For children aged 3-13 from 10.30 to lunch time on Sun 22 Feb. Cost: 3.

Booking required.

Tenuta di Acquafredda, Via dellAcquafredda 88 (Aurelia / Boccea), meeting in front of the mediaeval tower, tel. 066247205,

e-mail: parcoacquafredda@libero.it.

It is the tradition for children in fancy dress to parade along certain streets throwing coriandoli (confetti) on the weekend before carnival (this year Sat 21-Sun 22 Feb): Via Cola di Rienzo in Prati is one of the most popular locations (especially in the afternoon), as is Via dei Fori Imperiali on Sun when it is closed to traffic. For the latest information on these events tel. 060606.