Two of the most characteristic and traditional
Carnivals in Valtellina are the Carnevàl di Mat (Carnival of Fools) in Bormio
on 11 February and the Carneval Vecc (Old Carnival) in Grosio on 18
On Carnival day in Bormio, the Mayor hands the reins over to the Podestà del Mat (King of Fools) after the Podestà is officially crowned. Then all havoc breaks loose and anarchy reins, or rather, power is assumed by Harlequin and the Compagnia di Mat (the Band of Fools), who give a public reading of the gossip and complaints of the citizens taken from a post box set up for that purpose in the exquisite historic Piazza del Kuerc. Other activities include a parade through the historic centre led by the Harlequins, with children escorting the Podestà. Click here for more details
The town of Grosio celebrates Carnival on the first Sunday of Lent. This date is highly symbolic, because while everyone else has already started their Lenten sacrifices, Grosio enjoys one last moment of irreverent euphoria. Ancient masks are the true protagonists of this Carnival that is definitely worth experiencing. The masks of Grosio’s own Carnival characters are worn by the same honoured few people each year in a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation. First in the line-up is the couple of Magra Quaresima – a skinny old lady in rags – and Carneval Vecc – a plump, ruddy-faced gentleman – in an allegory of the passage from the merrymaking of Carnival to the solemnity of Lent. Next come other popular characters such as the Bear and its Mistress; the old woman Bernarda carrying in a wicker basket on her back; a Suckling Child who sprays the crowd with wine from his baby bottle; and Toni the Buffoon, who is the Harlequin of Grosio. Naturally, the parade also features a host of satirical and fairy-tale floats, many of which narrate key events from Grosio’s past.
Just like Bormio, the Livigno Carneval is well worth the trip. The celebrations will take place during the week of 10–17 February and will include kids’ entertainment, competitions between the various neighbourhoods, and a parade with floats and allegorical masks. On the afternoon of Sunday, 11 February, there will entertainment for the whole family in San Nicolò in Valfurva and Cepina in Valdisotto. In Valdidentro, the Carnival celebrations will take place on Sunday, 18 February, but the traditional Sciata in Maschera (Ski in Masks) event will be held on Saturday, 17 February.
In Aprica, Carnival will be celebrated with a rich
calendar of events on Saturday 17 February. At 3.30 p.m., the masked
parade will depart from the Centro Direzionale and at 7.00 p.m.
the atmospheric Fiaccolata di Carnevale
torchlight descent will take place, followed by mulled wine and a chance to
mingle with the locals in Località Campetti. Also worthy of note is the 13th
annual Festa par i Sciori on 15 February in the neighbourhood
of San Pietro. The event is in honour of visitors to the locality, who can both
participate in and bear witness to a historically accurate reconstruction of
local customs, with villagers in traditional attire busy in traditional
activities. The Festa also provides a fantastic opportunity to sample cakes and
beverages of the local tradition. Visit the official website of Aprica
In Sondrio, the provincial capital, Carnival starts on Saturday
3 February at the Cinema Excelsior, where an animated film will
be followed by the Royal Procession, which will depart from Piazza Teresina Tua
Quadrio. When the procession reaches Piazza Campello the Carnival
King and Queen will descend from the bell tower. At 2.00
p.m. on Sunday 4 February the Allegorical Parade will
depart from the Oratorio San Rocco. The parade will wind through the historic
centre and finish in Piazza Garibaldi. Should the weather be inclement,
the event will be held on Sunday 11 February, at 2.00 p.m.
In Chiesa in Valmalenco, from 8.00 p.m. till midnight on Saturday 10 February, there will be an evening of Carnival entertainment in the Palazzetto dello Sport. A Carnival parade will be held in the village of Lanzada on the following day. In Tirano, the traditional Carneval Tiranes will take place from 2.00 p.m. on Sunday 18 February.
Valchiavenna celebrates Carnival with a multitude of events for
adults and children. Carnival gets under way on Sunday 4 February with a masked
procession through the historic centre.
In Campodolcino, on Sunday 11 and Saturday 17
February, the Sunday School is holding two days of entertainment, music, games,
fun for kids and afternoon tea for everyone! Free entry. Also in Campodolcino,
on 16 February at 6.30 p.m. enjoy a nocturnal stroll with
the whole family, followed by mulled wine, hot tea and lots of surprises for
the kids. Visit the official website of Valchiavenna