2011 Verona Carnival 481st Bacanal del Gnoco

From 06 January 2011 to 04 March 2011

The Verona Carnival is without any doubt one of the most characteristic carnivals in Veneto and beyond. Its main character, the so called Pap del Gnoco (literally father of dumplings) is also the oldest documented mask in Europe. But lets go back in history to discover the fascinating story surrounding the Verona Carnival. After over a period of ten years of calamities, which included the flooding of the River Adige and the invasions of the German mercenary Landsknechts, life conditions in 1531 had become particularly difficult, especially for the poorer part of the population. Further hikes in the price of flour represented the straw that broke the horses back. In the San Zeno quarter of the city, the most densely populated, those particularly wretched were driven to the point of almost looting the local bakeries. At this time a few affluent citizens, reportedly lead by the medic and philosopher Tomaso Vico - considered the father of the Verona carnival, decided to intervene and helped those in need by distributing bread, wine and cheese to the population on the last Friday of Carnival. For this reason this day was subsequently called consolr or consolation Friday and later gnocolr or dumplings Friday, as dumplings were handed out in Sanzeniti Square. The Pap del Gnoco mask was created in remembrance of Vico and his generosity, the tradition extended from the San Zeno area to the entire city; with each quarter begin given its own mask. The highest acclaimed mask remains that of Pap del Gnoco and since then on the Carnival Sunday a benefactor of the people is elected. Those aspiring to this title defy each other like true politicians and make big promises and long speeches to captivate the audience. Their proclaims are, as expected, centred on food. After the election of the Pap del Gnoco, the party is resumed on Friday Gras with a parade of carnival floats through Verona lead at the front by the most prominent mask of the carnival. This years Verona carnival has had an early start, already on 6th January the Carnival Committees of the city and province presented their masks in Bra Square. Many initiatives are planned, not forgetting those aimed at raising funds for charities and the competition for primary and secondary schools with the title Carnevaliamo in 3D, where students are invited to make a 3D representation of a mask. As every year the best carnival float will be chosen by a jury of three people, who will hand out the prize called Bogon doro, literally the golden snail. Programme of the 481st Bacanal del Gnoco 2011 Verona CarnivalThursday 6th January 2011:10:30 Grand opening in Bra Square, VeronaSaturday 29th January 2011:17:00 St Zeno Major Cathedral in VeronaMasks MassSunday 6th February 2011:From 8:00 to 13:00: Voting of the 481st papa del Gnoco in St Zeno Square, VeronaTuesday 15th February 2011:20:30: Investiture of the Pap del GnocoFriday 4th March 201114:30 Grand Carnival Parade along the streets of the city centre of Verona
By Insidecom Editorial Staff