Fat Tuesday arrived in Rome this month, as part of Carnival. Unlike New Orleans’ Carnival, there were no drunks, no boobs, no beads. Instead, there were kids, horses, and costumes galore!
Traditionally, Carnival in Rome was based around foot races and horse races running down a “course” — today’s Via del Corso — a broad, straight road, perfect for a race. Rome’s Carnival used to be a major occasion, larger and better known then Carnival in Venice. And yes, it was a period of costumes, plays, excessive food and drink, and all sorts of fun. As legend tells it, however, Rome’s Carnival was abruptly ended in the late 19th century, after a small boy died when he stepped into the street during the horse race.
Only in the last few years has Carnival returned. While a horse race has not been possible, parades and demonstrations involving horses are certainly a major component, as are costumes — and of course, confetti! Little kids just love to throw the stuff …
Here is a short video of the Fat Tuesday parade, with horses, carriages, drummers, and lots of people in historical costume. In reality, this was a very long parade, but this will give you a little taste of what it was like:
And, everyone loved it!