A carnival full of fairy-tales, magic, concerts, jugglers and parades will fill the city streets from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February in a festival dedicated this year to kids.
Children and adults will enjoy the customary parade of allegorical wagons from the oratories on Saturday from 15.00 to 17.00 from Piazza Duomo to Piazza Beccaria. The “Renzo e Lucia” group, with music and dance in traditional countryfolk costumes, will join the parade. Around the city, free distribution of sweets and cakes and pavement makeup booths will help join in the spirit of carnival.
Festivities will concentrate in four squares – Piazza Duomo, Piazza S. Carlo, Piazza S. Fedele and Piazza Scala – with the grand finale of the Dream Factory in Piazza Duomo on Saturday from 19.00 to 22.00. Via Tortona will also be the stage for a busker festival, street tumblers and acrobats and music from vintage to techno in eight dance-halls on Friday and Saturday.
In Piazza S. Fedele, the African music and theatre group Nyatepe will not only play instruments made from pumpkins, horns, leather and shells – they will also teach kids how to play them themselves.
The high point of the annual celebration will be the presentation of the keys of the city to Meneghino and Cecca, two characters from the Commedia dell’Arte closely associated with Milan, by the city authorities. This takes place in Piazza Duomo at 14.30 on Saturday.
Carnevalone in Milan starts four days later than elsewhere. Tradition has it that St Ambrose, at the time the bishop of Milan, had said he would return from a pilgrimage in time for Lent, but his journey was delayed and the parishioners extended the carnival period while they waited for him.
A detailed programme of all the festivities is available on the city’s carnival 2013 website.