Carnival in Italy is an historical tradition we could not live without. The Carnivals of Venice, Cento and Viareggio, known all over the world and which are considered among the most important ones in Europe, are accompanied by thousands of celebrations throughout Italy, each characterized by different costumes and celebrations.
Although each city is distinguished by the traditions and customs that characterize the event, the “Bacanàl del Gnoco” of Verona cannot fail to be mentioned as one of the most important in our country. In 2020, in fact, this reached the 490th edition, which makes it the oldest carnival of Italy.
There are many stories that are linked to its origins, but the main one tells the distribution of food to the inhabitants of the city, especially in San Zeno, to face misery and hunger, in order to avoid a possible revolt. Indeed, in Piazza San Zeno there is a table made of stone where poor people were invited to eat every “Venardì Consolàr” (literally, consolatory Friday), the last one before Lent.
Today, the climax of the celebration is reached on the last Friday before Lent, with a parade through the entire city center in which allegorical floats and groups of people from all over Italy participate, but also from foreign countries. “Papà del Gnocco” is known as the most famous mask, the oldest mask in Italy, who is elected every year among the citizens of Verona. He represents the “king of Bacanal”, inspired by the person of Tommaso Da Vico, who is said to have distributed basic necessities, such as bread, wine and cheese to the population in 1531.
A fun and bright festivity, an ideal opportunity to visit the city of Verona and, why not: taste the traditional “Gnocchi di patate di Verona”.
A land to discover:
Food and Wine: “Gnocchi di Patate di Verona”, a typical dish of the tradition.
History: The oldest Carnival in Italy, even older than the ones in Venice, Cento and Viareggio.
Territory: Verona, a magnificent city, rich of art, history, traditions and customs.
ItVerona by Italiani.it