Rome celebrates carnival with a packed calendar of over 30 events all over the city.

The revelry gets underway Thursday 19 February with the traditional children's masked ball in Piazza Navona with clowns, music, street performers and a parade of floats starting from 15.00. The floats return to Piazza Navona on Saturday 21 February from 18.30 to 22.00 and Sunday 22 February from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 18.30 to 22.00.

Esquilino will be holding its own Carnival parade on Sunday 22 February starting at 11.00 in Piazza Vittorio Emanule.

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 February also see Carnival events in the courtyards of two historic buildings not usually open to the public. Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne (Corso Vittorio Emanuele 141) and Palazzo Sfroza Cesarini (Corso Vittorio Emanuele 284) will be hosting performances of dance and music while costumed guides will be on hand offering free tours of these seldom visited palaces. Events last from 15.00 to 18.00.

Perhaps the highlight of the capital's Carnival week comes Sunday 22 February at 16.30 with an equestrian show in Piazza del Popolo featuring the horse riding acrobatics of Cossack riders on pure-bread Berber horses. There will also be a demonstration of