Carnival on the Amalfi Coast, town by town
Carnival on the Amalfi Coast is one of the merriest events of the year. Every town is filled with masks and confetti, while on the highlight days events and parades of floats entertain children and adults alike.
In 2023, Carnival started on Sunday, Feb. 5, and most of the events and parades are between Thursday, Feb. 16 (Fat Thursday), Sunday, Feb. 19, and Tuesday, Feb. 21 (Mardi Gras).
So, let’s find out more about Carnival on the Amalfi Coast!
Carnival on the Amalfi coast: the main events
The most famous Carnival on the Amalfi Coast is the Grand Carnival of Maiori, recognized as an intangible heritage of humanity by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
It was first held almost 50 years ago, and each year the celebration revolves around a different theme that masks and floats must be inspired by. This year the theme will be related to the preservation of the sea and the UNESCO celebrations for the Decade of the Ocean Science.
The Maiori Carnival is an event that is very much felt by the population and very engaging. The most important moment is definitely the parade of floats that invades the town and is accompanied by concerts, games, shows and much more.
Minori also holds an equally enjoyable though less glitzy and famous carnival celebration. In particular, the Minori Carnival is suitable for children, with many events and games dedicated to them. However, there is no shortage of the traditional parade of floats and also concerts and shows suitable for parents as well.
Amalfi also celebrates its Carnival every year. It is a time when religious traditions and pagan parties mingle. One of the most important events is the parade of masks, which includes a ceremony to award the most beautiful one. So, imagine how much effort the participants put into creating the most beautiful costumes!
Carnival on the Amalfi Coast becomes even more fascinating in the location of Positano. This is one of the most beloved towns thanks to the perched position of the houses, right in front of the sea.
During Carnival in Positano people can participate in parades, parties and games. The whole town becomes a kind of big stage. And then if the weather permits, participants can go down to the beach and enjoy some sun.
In Ravello, Carnival begins in the beautiful Villa Rufolo and then spreads throughout the town’s narrow streets. The calendar of events includes games, puppet shows, concerts, but also workshops to learn how to make typical sweets. Of course, as in other towns, there is no shortage of masks and costumes.
Typical carnival sweets you must try
Speaking of sweets, Carnival on the Amalfi Coast is the right time to taste some that you cannot find in the rest of the year:
This carnival dessert is popular throughout Italy (and also in many parts of Europe) but each city calls it by a different name. It is a dough of flour, butter, sugar and eggs, with the addition of an alcoholic part (e.g. marsala), which is then cut into strips and fried or baked. Once ready, the pieces are garnished with sugar on the fly as well as chocolate or honey or something else.
Castagnole are also common throughout Italy. They too are prepared with flour, sugar, butter and eggs, to which vanilla and lemon are added. Unlike chiacchiere, castagnole have yeast, however, they too are fried and then sprinkled with sugar.
This a typical carnival dessert from the Naples area. The preparation involves cooking semolina together with milk and butter, then adding eggs, sugar and ricotta cheese.
- Sweet Sanguinaccio
The name Sanguinaccio comes from the word ‘sangue‘, that is, blood, and recalls an ancient peasant preparation made with fresh pig’s blood. Today this tradition is gone but not the memory of this dessert, which now replaces the blood with chocolate. Basically, Sanguinaccio is a mouth-watering cream made from milk, butter, dark chocolate, cocoa and cinnamon, and it is great for dipping chiacchiere!
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