Once a year, on the last Friday before Lent fast (different dates) , Verona celebrates its carnival that preserves an ancient tradition of more than 470 years. The event marks the end of epidemic that killed, in 1660, many of Verona’s residents in hunger and illness.
Since its end Verona’s residents indicate, once a year, the end of the stuffer’s period by distribution of Gnocchi to the people. Gnocchi is a local folk food that is made of mush potatoes and flour, cut into small pieces that are cooked in boiling water and served with variety of sauces.
Thousands of celebrators, locals and tourists, enjoy the views and the holiday atmosphere. The city hotels are fully booked hence it is recommended to make a room’s reservation in advance in order to find a room in a reasonable price.
Among the events that should be mentioned is the cruising contest on the Adige River and the colorful mask parade that starts in Piazza Bra’ lengthwise 6km course. Bands from the city and the nearby area add marvelous music to the parade. All the city’s quarters participate in the parade while every quarter picks unique disguised characters.
This adds subject and color to the fuss. The climax of the events is the distribution of the Gnocchi (The Gran Gnocolada), which symbols the return of the plenty after the epidemic. The distribution that takes place on Piazza San Zeno seals the carnival’s events. Verona’s carnival is known as one of the beautiful, traditional carnivals in Italy.
Verona is a great alternative to Venice. The city centre is small and full of historic sites. the carnival starts off in Piazza Bra and circulates then around the historic centre and eventually ends up at San Zeno where certain tributes are paid to the King of Gnocci outside the historic Basilica San Zeno.
You can mingle with all the people in fancy dress as they pause along the way.
Its great fun and the costumes are great. Well worth taking the kids along, and donot forget to bring a camera!