Carnevale at Acireale

February 9, 2016 / Events
Acireale, Sicilia

Billed as “il piú bel Carnevale di Sicilia”, (the most exciting and fun in all of Sicily), this is purely and unabashedly a family affair. Everyone participates… from the little ones in their adorable costumes to high school kids, as well as parent-aged kids and grandparent-aged kids. An overall sensation of fun and excitement permeates the air.


Silly string and confetti are thrown with abandon, oversized jester hats in big bold colors abound. Music and laughter fill the air as elaborate floats with enormous, animated, allegorical, high-gloss papier-maché figures, glistening by day and lit dramatically by night, roll by, dominating the skyline, a sharp contrast against the 17th century baroque architecture.

An easy day trip from Catania, the Sicilian coast around Acireale is called “Riviera dei Ciclopi” in honor of the myth of the star-crossed lovers Aci and Galatea and of the jealous one-eyed giant Polifemo. Carnevale here is yet one more reason for a visit.


Rosemary and Bob Connelly

by Rosemary and Bob Connelly

Artists who fulfilled their dream to “Live Cheap and Make Art” in Italy. Their website showcases their watercolors and photographs.

12 Responses to “Carnevale at Acireale”

  1. Sounds a bit more G rated than New Orleans! Love the color in the photos-makes me feel I am there.

  2. Being from New Orleans, La. USA Carnival if very familiar. The floats look just like ours. Tomorrow is Mardi Gras.

  3. Sylvia Ross

    The pictures are larger, and I enjoy that. Also being able to go back to the previous day’s notebook is good. Thank you. S. Ross

  4. kevin l. mahoney

    24 febbraio

    Those little costumes are certainly adorable, and so are the children who wear them, until they spray foam all over you.

  5. my childhood days are filled with memories of Carnevale,the costumes,yes the parade,the long walk into the piazza duomo to see the sfilata and much much more…I am from Acireale,thank you ItalianNotebook.

    Rosario Strano

  6. So glad the note about Carnevale was well received! It was really amazing to be a part of it – much more G rated for sure than New Orleans – a real family affair.

  7. “Carnevale, also known as carnival or Mardi Gras, is celebrated in Italy and many places around the world 40 days before Easter, a final party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent” (from This year Ash Wednesday is February 17, so Carnevale would culminate on Tuesday the 16th, but celebrations begin before that.

  8. Mairin O'Mahony

    Rosemary, you are a week off! Today, February 9, is Mardi Gras and Lent starts tomorrow.


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