The Carnival in VeronaLocal Traditions
The Carnival in Verona
When it comes to Carnival, everyone immediately thinks of Venice, but also the other cities of the Veneto region have ancient and charming traditions linked to this festival ...
The Carnival of Verona, for example, can be considered the oldest carnival in Europe, a celebration that has survived to the present day, and continues to entice all the population of Verona in a passionate and lively way.
Dating back to the late Middle Ages, the Verona Carnival (the original name is Bacanàl del Gnoco) is linked to the doctor Tomaso Vico who left in his testamentary disposition a request stating that food supplies and staples be distributed to the population of the San Zeno district every year.
During the Lanzichenecchi incursions led by Carlo V (1521-1531), the city of Verona was reduced to unprecedented famine ... Given the circumstances and the precariousness in finding basic ingredients, the pistori (bakers), unable to even selling already-made produce, decided to stop production.
On June 18, 1531, the people in San Zeno rose to rebellion, ransacking the bakeries and seizing bread and wheat. A widespread uprising was avoided thanks to the intervention of some citizens, who decided to contribute at their own expense to the sustenance of the poorest inhabitants of the district, limiting this to a total of twelve nominated ones.
Tradition has it that among the chosen was also Da Vico, who was appointed to direct and revive the Baccanale del Gnocco having by his will distributed food (bread, wine, butter, etc.) to the sansenati.
In the square of San Zeno there is a stone table: it is here that the poor were invited on the Friday before the Lent, called Venardi Consolàr (Comfort Friday).
... And that’s how the tradition of Carnival in Verona began.
If you are in the city of Romeo and Juliet on the occasion of its Carnival, do not forget to visit Verona by booking one of our fascinating guided tour!
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