The Carnival of Maiori, an opportunity to discover an enchanting town and its traditions
The Carnival of Maiori is one of the most popular winter events on the Amalfi Coast.
The first edition of the Carnival dates back to 1971 and it was immediately a great success. A success which continues even today.
The reasons are at least two:
– the town of Maiori has a long promenade, perfect for organizing a parade of allegorical floats capable of attracting a lot of people;
– from the very beginning, the organizers wanted to involve not only the people of Maiori but also those of the other towns of the Amalfi coast, such as Minori, Tramonti and Amalfi itself.
THE CARNIVAL OF MAIORI
THE ALLEGORIC FLOATS OF THE CARNIVAL OF MAIORI
A peculiarity of the Maiori Carnival are the allegorical floats.
Usually the allegorical floats you can see during any Italian carnivals are vehicles that carry large figures built in papier-mâché. These figures represent specific themes, which change every year, or current events in an ironic way.
Today even the allegorical floats of the Maiori Carnival are made of papier-mâché. However, at the beginning they were a sort of tiny theaters on which actors staged entertaining shows. Also choreographies, live music and singing were part of the sketches.
The allegorical floats are incredible works of art. They take months to prepare and are rich in details. And the goal of the creators is one: to leave you speechless.
A POPULAR FESTIVAL
Another element that made the Carnival of Maiori a success is its authenticity.
Despite the passing of time, it is still an event for common people, rich in traditions and folklore. The Carnival is first of all a town festival.
Proof of this is the tradition of ‘cuppini’, lit. ‘ladles’. Cuppini are the dinners that the teams involved in creating the floats and planning the carnival organize at the end of each working day during the preparation period. They are a symbol of sociality and sharing.
For all these reasons, visiting the Amalfi Coast during Carnival is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the traditions of the territory and its people, beyond the more touristy aspects.
Unfortunately, this year (2022) the Maiori Carnival is postponed due to the pandemic. Therefore, it will no longer be held between February 27th and March 6th, but in May.
SOME INFOS ABOUT MAIORI
In any case, Maiori is an incredibly enchanting town, even without the Carnival.
Since it is a seaside town but mountains surround it, those who visit it can enjoy many different activities. Some examples? Sunbathing on the beach, boat tours, snorkeling and trekking. And then there is no shortage of cultural attractions.
One of these is the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro Plano, hidden in the woods on top of a hill above the center of Maiori.
It was built as a refuge in case of incursions by the Lombards and Saracens.
From there you can admire a stunning panorama. However, to enjoy the view you have to follow a path with more than 700 steps. But don’t worry too much: you can reach the castle also by car.
Then, there are the remains of the ancient watchtowers along the coast. One is located right on the beach of Maiori. From there, in the distance you can see the Miramare Castle of Minori. Further on, you can see the Norman Tower, a bastion on a spur of rock overlooking the sea.