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The Carnival of Cento

Carnival of CentoCento: The Carnival of Surprises

The Carnival of Cento is a very popular and well-known event in the City of Cento (Province of Ferrara). 
This carnival has historical origins, as evidenced by a fresco painted by native of Cento, Gian Francesco Barbieri (also known as Guercino) in the year 1615. A local mask called “il Berlingaccio” brings the fresco to street life during the feast offered to the population by the city magistrate on Fat Tuesday. 
While maintaining the historic connotations from which it derives, the carnival eventually transformed (in 1993) into an extremely important folkloristic fest, once it was twinned with the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro. Such led to Cento’s own display of the allegorical floats inspired by the Sambadrome or exhibition court in Rio de Janeiro.
The float parades begin in the early afternoon and traverse the historic center several times, accompanied by music and dancing figures in mask, while the Carnival’s Patron emcees the goings-on in Piazza Guercino, location for the main stage. 
Characteristics of Cento’s Carnival also include the launching of inflatable and plush objects during the parade: locals know it as the gettito.  
The Carnival runs for the five Sundays prior to Lent, while the ranking and award ceremony is held for costumes, entertainment and music, as well as for the best gettito
During the last parade, the local mask “Tasi” is burned at the stake while a fireworks show lights up the sky. Before Tasi is burned, his will is read in the local dialect, in which his possessions are given to Cento’s most famous citizens.

Cento is also a splendid art city in Emilia Romagna that offers tourists plenty of occasions to enjoy its historic, architectonic and enogastronomic riches. Not to mention its vicinity to the historic centers of Bologna (33 km), Ferrara (35 Km) and Modena (38 Km), which makes it even more pleasant as a touristic destination.  

Useful Information

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How to Get There

By Train

Bologna (21 mi)
Ferrara (18.6 mi)
Modena (21.7 mi)
San Pietro in Casale (6.8 mi)

By Plane
"Guglielmo Marconi" Airport, Bologna (21 mi) 

By Bus

A.T.C. Lines - Bacino di Bologna
For information: Tel. 051 290290 - Fax 051 290291