All throughout Italy, the month of February is defined by the joy, colors, and traditions of Carnival. The Marche region is no exception. One of the oldest Carnivals in all of Italy is held every year in the village of Fano. Let’s find out some of its history and traditions.
Carnival in Fano
Carnival festivities have been taking place in Fano since 1347. At least, that was the first Carnival in recorded history here. The 2022 edition dates are from February 24 through March 1.
The current celebration dates back to the end of the 19th century. Arabita music (original to the village of Fano and dating back to the 1920s), Vulón Carnival masks (also original to Fano and dating back to 1951), and much more are part of the traditions of this constantly evolving town.
Another slightly unique tradition in Fano is the “launching” of sweets from the floats during the parades. Tons of candies, chocolates, and sugared almonds rather than paper confetti are thrown from the allegorical floats as they parade down the streets. Many of the sweets are supplied by the Perugina® Factory (also located in the Marche region).
Because of this particular custom, the Fano Carnival is known as the “sweet carnival”.
*Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, many of the traditional events will not take place including the candy toss.
Other Interesting Facts
The allegorical floats that invade the streets of the town are made of paper-mâché and foam rubber. Depicting political, current affairs, or comic scenes, these masterpieces are prepared with care and passion in the months preceding the event. Some of the floats can measure up to 16 meters high!
The typical mask, known in the local dialect as Vulón or Pupo, is a caricature of one of the members of the local band.
For Fano residents, Carnival is a very important event and if you’re able to join in on the festivities, you’ll soon see why!
*Please note that Fano’s Carnival celebration has been completely reinvented in order to continue on the tradition to the best of its ability with modifications due to the pandemic.
For complete details on the 2022 edition, visit the official website.