Acireale Carnival

Acireale 07/02 – 10/02/2016

After Three months of not staying on a site we end doing two in a row, much to the annoyance of my wallet. Anyway this stay is forgivable as it the closest place to stay in order to visit the Acireale Carnival. Correct, we had never heard of it before either. This is the one of the top 5 Carnivals in Italy and if state-of-the-art monster floats are your thing than this is the best not in Sicily, not in Italy, but Europe. Fact.

So we will give you a few facts about the Carnival and then give you the pictures. We have also loaded a video up on You Tube at great expense so please take time to have a look as you only get to appreciate this spectacle with the moving image. If a visit to this place is not on your bucket list then it should be.

The origins of the word ‘Carnevale’ derive from the Latin words:

Carnem levare – ‘Take away the meat’

These refer to the period preceding the beginning of Lent, the 40 days during which Roman Catholics abstain from eating meat.

Birth of the Allegorical Floats in Acireale

The idea of the first allegorical floats was developed under Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Sicily saw its first allegorical float in March of 1601 in Palermo. The float resembled Neptune (god of the Sea), and had people dressed up as sirens dancing around it. In Acireale, although the use of papier-Mache was widely used for the realization of sanctuary statues, the first float isn’t seen for a whole century afterwards. This occurred thanks to local artisans of whom Sebastiano Longo (1839-1912) was one of, he began working with papier-Mache with the intention of creating the first allegorical float around 1880. From then on into the last century many groups of artisans have entered the float making competition, and have given life to the Acireale Carnival allowing it to carry the title of “the most beautiful carnival in Sicily”.

The Masks

The masks generally used and seen on the floats are of a satirical nature and appear as caricatures of famous people, which include known politicians, actors, musicians and artists, sports stars, fictional characters and other celebrities. These masks originated around the middle of the 16th century resembled the people who controlled the Italian political and economic environment; they were designed so they would be seen as comical and ridiculous in the eyes of the general public.


Today, the carnival stays true to its origins, with the masks, the floats, and the overall feeling of fun and partying. In older times people used to throw eggs or vegetables at each other and at things as part of the celebration. Today, people throw the “lighter” confetti (pieces of paper cut up from old newspapers or random coloured paper). Foam spraying has also become a sort of “sport”. The floats today not only have vivid colours and shapes but also use an advanced system of lighting that brings more life to the floats.

Now for the Videos and Pictures:

Click on this link to watch Video Acireale Video Carnival


Cathedral Square


With hair that colour why would you dye your beard Ginger?


The string gets everywhere

Wise Owl

Cry Baby

No idea who they are

Man with Money

They are quite big – this is one in reduced transport mode

More money

The Idiot Merkel.

Il Papa

Charlie Chaplin and someone else

My Dad

Ice Queen

Ice Queen close-up




Angry Workers

Another Clown



All the float-nearly


Paranoid Android

How big is that?

Mother Nature in full flow

Mother Nature Close-up

Mother Nature and Monkey



We hope you enjoyed the visuals as much as we did. The only downside to the carnival is the bits of confetti you find for the next few days.

Love to all

Take Care

E & T


9 responses to “Acireale Carnival

  1. Yes, amazing pictures am really enjoying your blog. Had a thought would have been interesting to see what they did to a Trump float!


    • Interesting thought. How are you and the dogs getting on with camper life? We hope to be back in Greece in September. Perhaps we could meet up. Eamonn and Tracy


  2. After an agonizingly slow 3 month wait to get Greek number plates we’ve only been around locally and I’m learning to drive it too! We are hoping to move soon once the farmers stop their road blockades! Love to meet up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s