The Day we know in the UK as “Shrove Tuesday” in Italy is known as “Carnevale”. On this day we went down into town to see how the children celebrate this special occasion. This year there was no procession as such, so the children frolicked freely in the playground / park in the centre of Itri, in their colourful costumes. There was a plethora of little princesses, several fairies, a ladybird, a couple of Musketeers, wizards and witches, spotty dogs, a Roman soldier, a chicken, a tiger, a Spanish signorita, not to mention a spiderman and several other TV cartoon heroes … to name but a few. They delighted in showering each other in coloured confetti. Of course mammas and nonnas proudly watched on. It was sad, however, as most of the costumes appear to have been purchased and had not, as perhaps in years gone by, been handmade.
Meanwhile some of the antics of the older kids were somewhat more mischievous and boisterous, involving copious amounts of spray snow, loud fire crackers and water bombs made with balloons filled from the communal drinking fountain. There was the occasional grumpy outburst from a protective Nonna when a beautiful pink princess was sprayed from behind with florescent green silly string !!!
We called in to see our friend Florisa who treated us to some typical “Dolci di Carnevale” that she had prepared: “Chiacchiere” and “Castagnole”. Another favourite is “Struffoli”, small balls of fried batter, rolled in honey and decorated with coloured sugar strands.