La Cittadella and the Carnival Museum

Explore the magic of the papier-mâché floats

Via Santa Maria Goretti

The Carnival Museum is inside the Cittadella (the Carnival Town) designed by the architect Francesco Tomassi. There you can learn about the history of Viareggio Carnival, one of the most famous in Europe. They can also study the techniques used to make the enormous papier-mâché carnival floats.

The museum follows all the various stages of the carnival float-making process, from design to finished product. Visitors are shown the local Viareggio limestone mix used to make up the papier-mâché.

Carnival Museum - Credit: Simone Politi

Another material used for the floats is clay. There are models of heads, examples of bas-relief, free standing figures and models of animals, all of which can show the skills and craftsmanship of the float makers with their ability to transform into a paroldy the wikness of modern society.

Some of the works on display can be moved using wires or levers, so that visitors can examine better the movements of the floats.

They can also take a look at old carnival posters and photos dating back to the 1930s. There are also scale models of some famous floats that took part in the past parades along Viareggio seafront.

Cover image credit: Marco Moscatelli

More than just a beach town, Viareggio boasts culture and is the Carnevale capital of Italy
Sparkling sea on one side, gleaming white marble mountains of the Apuan Alps on the other: this is Viareggio, pearl of Versilia. First created as the port of Lucca, Viareggio owes its name to the “via Regis”, the street that connected it to the area’s capital during the Middle Ages. Its foundations date back to 1172 when the Lucchesi and Genoese allied against Pisa, built a famous fortress. ...