CARNIVAL OF CENTO
Continuing the theme of the carnival, this year I participated to the last day of the Carnival of Cento, a small town in the province of Ferrara, a few miles from Bologna. For those who have not read my previous posts, over the years I already have wrote something about the carnival of Venice, Acireale and Sciacca.
Cento is a small town on a totally flat farmland, rich in streams and small ponds, kinda damp because not so far from the wide mouth of the River Po.
To be precise, our trip included a visit to other cities too, and for this we stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Ravenna. The Saturday evening we visited Urbino and on Sunday morning the city of Ferrara, while in the afternoon we moved to Cento to attend to the carnival. On Monday morning, instead, we visited Ravenna and then set off after lunch to Naples, which, including stops, the trip by bus requires more than 7 hours.
The modest Cento Carnival can not be compared to Viareggio or Venice one, but has a secular tradition and, like many others in Italy, is characterized by floats decorated with grotesque and allegorical papier-mâché figures or parodies, as high as 20 meters, resulting from a long and skillful craftsmanship. Parading through the town’s main street and preceded by groups of people dancing in masks and fancy costumes, it lets adults and children, placed on the sidewalks, to enjoy the parade, with other young people who follow the floats dancing and having fun. As usually, there is an air of festivity and everyone is involved by happiness and lightheartedness, while the crowd strolls among stands and stalls of food.
During the parades, some people on the balconies throw stuffed animals or rubber toys on the public, in honor of the saying “No one goes back home empty-handed.”
Traditionally, after the awards, is the burning of the local mask called “Tasi”, the traditional puppet dressed in a tuxedo accompanied by a fireworks show in a picturesque location, just in front the “Rocca di Cento”, the monument of the city. As in many other carnival festivities, admission is paid, even though 15 euros per person seems to me too much if we consider that it is a celebration for families mainly.