Neapolitan Carnival. Traditions and event

Did you know that Pulcinella‘s is the most ancient carnival mask in Italy? The origins of this character, in fact, are lost in time up to the time of the Roman Empire when Maccus was represented in the plays: a servant with a long nose and a bumpy face with big cheeks, a prominent belly and a shirt transformed in a wide white dress.

But Pulcinella is not the only protagonist of the Neapolitan Carnival. There is also Tartaglia, a corpulent and clumsy man, short-sighted and a little deaf, who often stumbles in words and can’t make himself understood, and more he stumbles more he becomes nervous, and consequently stutters.

Finally, there is Scaramuzza, made famous by the actor Tiberio Fiorilli who, around 1640, represented him in France. Bully, presumptuous and witty, he dressed in black according to the uniform of the Spaniards stationed in Naples, but preferred guitar to sword.

But Carnival is not just masks, it is also a matter of flavors. Lasagna, Migliaccio, Castagnole, Chiacchiere and Sanguinaccio prepare the tables for the entire festive period which, as usual, begins on the 17th of January, the day in which Sant’Antonio Abate is celebrated, and culminates on the Mardi Gras, on 5th of March, before Lent begins.

During this long period Naples and surroundings are filled with colors and music:
here you’ll find all the information related to scheduled events.


Edenlandia – Viale John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 75, Napoli (NA)

The amusement park prepares to celebrate the Carnival with a large and colorful event suitable for adults and children. A masked show and bags of colored powder will make the atmosphere almost fairytale. A day full of fun that will last until the evening with a DJ Set, Music and Shows.

When: 2 March 2019 from 11.00am
Prices: Free entrance to the park


Zoo di Napoli – Viale John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 76, Napoli (NA)

A nice day full of entertainment for all children who can watch the jugglers, fire-eater and waders shows. An interactive experience in which the little ones will be involved in face-painting and can participate in the construction of the Carnival wagon.

When: 3 March 2019 from 9.30am to 5.00pm
Price: 10 euros per person, free admission for children under 3 years, for over 70s and disabled people (with guide)

Ercolano – Piazza Trieste, Corso Italia e Piazza Pugliano, Ercolano (NA)

This is an event organized by the New Herculaneum Project APS, funded by over 66 local and extra-territorial companies. The day will be full of events: parades of “Allegorical Chariots”, street performers, music and performances by local dance schools. There will also be the opportunity to go shopping in the stretch of road affected by the event, then Corso Italia and Piazza Trieste, and the opportunity to visit the excavations of Ercolano for free on the first Sunday of the month.

When: 3 March 2019 from 9.30am
Price: free event

Vomero – Via Scarlatti e Via Luca Giordano, Napoli (NA)

From the 1st of Friday to the 5th of Tuesday  March  the main streets of this neighborhood celebrated Carnival with many parades, shows and desserts to be enjoyed while walking. Do not miss the entertainment for children who can enjoy between games and dances. To be involved in the festive initiative will be mainly via Scarlatti and via Luca Giordano where you can watch the performances of actors who will interpret the characters linked to the most famous masks for an event that will not disappoint lovers of the popular carnival tradition. To make these days even more fun there will be a very special masked parade during which the protagonists will be dogs accompanied by their owners.

When: from 1 to 5 March 2019
Prices: Free participation


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