Although Rome has one of the oldest Carnevale celebrations in Italy, dating back to the Middle Ages, it’s popularity has long been eclipsed by the masks of Venice and the month-long debauch of Viareggio. Still, anything worthy of commemoration by Goethe and Dumas (to name but a few) is sure to have a bit of life left in it yet, and the Romans are still up for a little hootin’ and hollerin’ this week. Rome’s 2012 Carnevale kicked off last weekend, and will keep rolling right on up to next Tuesday – also known as Martedi Grasso, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and, yes, Mardi Gras.
A full list of official Carnevale Romano events is available here, featuring parades, horsemanship shows, special exhibitions, and a fireworks show at Piazza del Popolo on Tuesday the 21st at 7. Additionally, be sure to stock up on special Carnevale treats, which is basically just anything fried. I’m partial to castagnole – which are essentially Italian donut holes. You can find them in pretty much any pastificio right now, and they even come with a variety of fillings – chocolate, ricotta, and custard, to name a few.
In addition to the official Carnveale Romano program, other museums, enotecas, restaurants, etc are hosting concurrent events throughout the festival, and we’ll update you as we hear about them. Notably, the Enoteca Provincia Romana is throwing a Frappe and Castagnole Party tomorrow, Thursday the 16th, from 6:30-9:30. Fried foods, vino, and a view of Trajan’s Column? I’ll see you there.