Venerdi Gnocolar

February 1, 2010 / Events
Verona, Veneto
venerdignocolar1Dove va il gonfalone va la processione.

That’s Veronese dialect for “Where the banner goes, so goes the procession”, an expression that must have been coined for the Verona Carnivale parade, held on the last Friday before Lent. The banners there are joined by marching bands, majorettes, and huge mechanical floats too large to navigate easily through the tiny streets. 2009’s edition was a marathon 4+ hours, including 99 groups and 60+ floats.

venerdignocolar4Despite its size, the parade is still very much local in spirit. Community groups participate sporting costumes that are both colorful and playful, such as the team (first photo) from the “Duke of the Peará (gravy)” neighborhood. The kids in the crowd call out “Caramelle, Caramelle” at the marchers carrying small baskets, and are rewarded either with a shower of confetti or a handful of small hard candies.

venerdignocolar2The day is called venerdì Gnocolàr, “Gnocchi Friday” in Verona. Papà dello Gnocco (final photo) leads the way in the parade, riding on his donkey and carrying a giant gnocco (potato dumpling) speared on his fork-shaped scepter. Afterwards, every restaurant in town adjusts its menu to offer the revelers— what else — plates piled high with (regular sized!) gnocchi.

Coming soon! Venerdí gnocolàr this year will be held on February 12th. Not to be missed if you’re in the area!


Lee McIntyre

by Lee McIntyre

Freelance writer and photographer. Author of the book A Year of One a Days, and of the blog Betwixt & Between in BZ.

6 Responses to “Venerdi Gnocolar”

  1. Angelina Limato

    Excellent story. Would love to see and experience it in person. The Italians know how to celebrate things and do it with as much passion as they do cooking and everything else. I love it. Thank you for the story and the pictures.

  2. Claudia McCadden

    Bravo!!!!The Italian culture is so wonderful. I wish I was there to enjoy myself and my husband too!!!What a great parade.

    Thank you for the great pictures and interesting article.

    Whenever we went to Italy,the time was always between May and July. Due to vacation times.I would like to go in the off season some time.

    Grazie e ciao,

  3. Lee McIntyre
    Lee McIntyre

    Thanks for the feedback – it definitely is fun to get a chance to go see some of the lesser known festivals and celebrations in Italy at different times of the year! The gnocchi are also delicious in Verona. :-)

  4. Great photos and note on this festival. Just wondering when the parades starts as I am thinking from your description and pics its worth a trip up for the day.

  5. Lee McIntyre
    Lee McIntyre

    Thanks! The parade starts at 2pm on Friday, Feb 12, and winds all through the city center. Last year it went for over 4 hours. It’s definitely worth a trip – we’re hoping to head down again this year, too!

  6. We lived in Verona from June to November so we missed this – I’m sorry to say! I wish we could have been there – we experienced Carnevale in Aci Trezza, in Sicily. It was amazing too. Thanks for sharing!


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