The fifth season - The Lake Garda Carnival
The Lake Garda Carnival is a colourful and exuberant celebration. Vivid, slightly scary masks drive out the cold winter. Stuffed doughnuts, parades, lively street parties, games, fun and entertainment as well as lots of good humour, all have a long tradition during the Carnival weeks at Lake Garda.
During the celebrations, the locals spoil their guests with culinary delights. Delicious gingerbread and pastries called "Galani", "Chiacchiere", "Grostoi" or "Crostoli" depending on the area, imaginatively stuffed doughnuts or crispy waffles make the hearts of those with a sweet tooth sing.
At the Carnival in Arco, where the tradition dates back to the 19th century, it's an exceptionally entertaining time. In Arcoland the kids will find their colourful paradise through numerous Carnival parades, clowns, games and an extensive entertainment programme. If you take part in the Habsburg Carnival, (Arco was once the destination of the Habsburg aristocracy), you can experience the atmosphere of the late 18th century in all its facets. The bourgeois life, the old crafts, the floats of yesteryear united with exclusive, sophisticated events such as concerts, masked balls and lavish feasts in the magnificent casino of Arco. It's an invitation to a joyful celebration.
A trip to Verona is especially worthwhile during the Carnival time. Street musicians, big bands and imaginative masked characters bustle in the alleys and the squares. Parades and street parties make for a tremendously silly atmosphere.
“Polenta and Mortadella” is a tradition of more than 300 years. At Carnival Festival in Varone, near Riva del Garda, simple and natural products such as finely spiced mortadella sausage and corn polenta cooked over an open flame are served with folk music and a happy mood.
West of Lake Garda, the village of Bagolino on Lake Idro celebrates its traditional Bagoss Carnival. Uniquely masked dancers with impressive and ornate costumes, accompanied by violin music, make their way through the picturesque streets. Over the centuries, the Bagoss Carnival in Bagolino has become an extraordinary attraction.
In Romarzello in the municipality of Arco, the Carnival is farewelled at the Laurel and Bamboo festival ("L'alloro e il bambù"). A canopy of bamboo canes, cheerful decorations, branches adorned with colourful egg shells and streamers, a symbol of fertility, make their way through the narrow streets and are then burned in a large campfire.
During the Carnival, the villages around Lake Garda such as Verona, Bardolino, San Zeno di Montagna, Caprino Veronese, Lazise, Torbole, Riva del Garda and Arco treat you with colours, masks, music, cheerfulness and good vibes.