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Floats, high on fun on the Tuscany coast

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Every Sunday from 5th February – 3rd March 2012, one of Europe’s largest carnivals will dominate the Tuscany beachfront city of Viareggio.

The event is famous for its extravagant parade, when outrageous floats form the Passeggiata a Mare or ‘stroll on the beach’ beside the Ligurian Sea. The tradition dates from 1873 when an ostentatious floral display was hijacked by angry locals, discontented over taxes. The irreverent tone persisted and today anything goes, under the flag of the carnival’s clown-mascot, Burlamacco.

The city is well prepared to cater for thousands of spectators, with cafés, bars and stalls beside the parade route as the vast creations move through the crowds. The heads and hats on the floats are paper maché, created in huge warehouses with great imagination and real artistic flair.

Roaring monsters, super-heroes, spit-roasted politicians, high-profile business figures and sports stars; the famous must endure seeing their own recent antics, animated and mocked for the crowds’ entertainment. Costumed human performers add to the floats’ sense of theatre, interacting with onlookers, throwing confetti and sweets, while avoiding the choreographed clutches of giant dragons, aliens and heads of state. Between the floats, bands of dancers and musicians maintain the excitement. A mischievous approach is adopted generally, as by-standers duel with foam-rubber sabres and are encouraged to play practical jokes.

This sense of fun doesn’t diminish the event’s impressive preparation and artistry, recognised in the award for ‘best float’, as feasting and fireworks end the day.

Cottages to Castles can provide a range of high quality Tuscany vacation rentals for visitors wishing to stay in the area to enjoy this unforgettable carnival. For more information about Viareggio and its carnival see http://www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/.

About Cottages to Castles
Cottages to Castles is an independent British company, founded over 28 years ago to specialise in providing high quality self-catering holiday villas in Italy. The company is owned and operated by father, son and daughter team Claudio, Jonathan and Daniela Magoni, who between them inspect and handpick every property.

Cottages to Castles operate a team of sales consultants based in the UK with detailed knowledge of every property. In addition, the company employs a number of permanent representatives on the ground in Italy to ensure a smooth and trouble free holiday experience for their customers. With a large collection of properties in the inland, countryside, lakeside and seaside regions of Italy, Cottages to Castles is one of the leading specialists in Italian villa rentals in the U.K., U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

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