That would be Happy Mardi Gras for all you non-Italian but pseudo-French speakers...
Carnevale is about to end, that celebration of excess before the 40 days of Lent. Here in Rome you may see little children parading around in costumes and blowing noisemaker horns in the days and even weeks leading up to today. It's the closest approximation to Halloween that I've seen here, and I think it's so funny because it's completely random. It's just a regular day in Feburary and suddenly you see a parent holding their kid's hand, and the kid is dressed up as a little witch or goblin or something. It's cute. Less cute in my opinion is the multi-colored paper confetti that the kids throw all over the ground, and I'm talking in mass quantities, not a "light dusting," which must be supremely irritating for the street sweepers yet extremely gratifying if you usually aren't allowed to litter. And, as Italian as it may sound, confetti isn't called confetti here in Italy. Actually, confetti are the white Jordan almonds you get at a wedding, which I will chat with you about in post coming to a blog near you soon (as yours truly is still planning to get married next month), but confetti confetti is called coriandoli (cor-ee-AHN-doh-lee).
Of course, Venice is the real hot spot for Carnevale revelers. I've never been, just like I've never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but one of these days it might be fun to see what it's like. Another good place to check out Carnevale festivities and a famous parade of floats is in Viareggio. The float parade continues even after the 20th (there is another parade on the 25th).
Personally, my favorite part of Carnevale is seen in the photo at the beginning of this post. Frappe. MMMM. Strips of dough fried up light and crispy and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. It's like getting fresh fruit in season: you can only get frappe around Carnevale time, then they disappear from the bakeries until next year.
Have you ever done anything to celebrate Carnevale?