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Carnival 2024: all events in Bologna

Updated on 29 January 2024 From Bologna Welcome

The city is bursting with colour, comes alive with joy and dresses up to prepare for the most playful time of the year. Carnival in Bologna, from the centre to the metropolitan area, is an unmissable experience to enjoy with family or friends.

The period from 8 to 13 February 2024 is full of events: from Shrove Thursday on 8 February, Carnival Day on 11 February 2024 to Shrove Tuesday on 13 February 2024, when the festivities traditionally end.

What to do and which events to attend during Carnival time

Carnival of Wonders

On Saturday 10 February, a historical re-enactment of carnival celebrations in the second half of the 19th century will be held in the heart of Bologna. The Carnival of Wonders is made up of the fun, games and dances of 19th century Bologna. As many as four processions will parade and meet in Piazza Minghetti where 80 dancers will dance, re-enacting a ritual that reflected modern bourgeois and popular identities after the Unification of Italy.

Carnival Fair

The Carnival Fair takes place on 11 and 13 February 2024 with parking available in various parts of the historic centre:

  • Piazza Maggiore (near Palazzo del Podestà);
  • Piazza Maggiore (near the Clock Tower)
  • Piazza Maggiore corner of Piazza del Nettuno (Palazzo del Podestà side)
  • Piazza del Nettuno (opposite to the travel agent)
  • Via Indipendenza Nos. 3 - 4 - 17 -31 - 53 - corner of Via Montegrappa - corner of Via Goito
  • Via Irnerio corner of Via Indipendenza

Walk around and enjoy a break among the booths of sweets and handicrafts!

Carnival in the metropolitan area

This year will see the 150th edition of the ultra-centenarian Carnival of San Giovanni in Persiceto. The town boasts an age-old reputation for its carnival tradition, featuring handcrafted creations by long-standing Persiceto workshops. The big parade sets off in Piazza del Popolo, where each float will undergo a transformation, or “Spillo” in local dialect, while recounting their own story and unveiling their full creative glory. 

Flag-wavers, floats and masks are the unmissable attractions at the Carnival of Pieve di Cento, on 4, 11 and 18 February 2024, 30 km from Bologna. Every Sunday, the village streets come alive with a full-on party from 2.30 pm to dusk. Other Carnival celebrations in the Flatlands are held in Molinella on 4 and 11 February from 1.30 p.m., San Matteo della Decima and San Pietro in Casale.

Moving eastwards, Carnival of Fantaveicoli in Imola is a unique tradition now in its 27th edition; the parade, featuring floats created from parts of other vehicles such as bicycles and wheelbarrows, will start from the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari and culminate in Piazza Matteotti.

In the Apennines, the many Carnival events are for all tastes:

On Saturday 3 and 4 February, children are waiting to take part in numerous workshops scheduled for the Casalecchio di Reno Carnival: between crafts and costumes, it will be a real thrill.

In Vergato on Sunday 18 February, the party is livelier for the 142nd edition of the Vergatese Carnival. And in Bazzano, Sunday 4 and 11 February, don't miss its children's carnival!

And again, masked vigils and dances await you in Monghidoro on 3 February,, the Grand Masquerade Ball on 9 February and the Carnival Party on 11 February in Lizzano in Belvedere.

Article being updated

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