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The Carnival of Fano

Carneval of Fano - Photo by Fano Ufficio Turismo Carnevale di Fano, Among Italy's Oldest

"Semel in anno licet insanire." That is, "madness is permissible once a year." This ancient Roman saying seems particularly suited to Fano, home to one of the most famous carnivals in Italy. During more than a month of festivities, the people of Fano (in the Marches Region) fill the city streets, abandoning their daily routines and throwing themselves into a flurry of festivity and processions. Fano's Carnival takes place with no expense spared, and everyone joins in the festive atmosphere with gay abandon.

Carnival here certainly has a long history. Not many people know that Fano Carnival began in Medieval times, or so the story goes, on the occasion of the reconciliation between two respectable families of the time, the Del Casseros and the Da Carignanos.

But history and tradition are not the only important characteristics of this Carnival that is attended by tens of thousands of people. The Fano Carnival is the world's "sweetest" of carnivals and the only one where you can watch and take part in a no-holds-barred battle fought with... yes, chocolates! Hundreds of pounds of sweets, caramels and chocolates are showered from parade floats onto the crowds of spectators, who join in, young and old alike, throwing their "ammunition" at each other - sometimes as far as the crowds on the opposite side of the procession.

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How to Get There

By Car
Strada Statale 16 Adriatica
Strada Statale 3 Flaminia (to Rome)
Autostrada A14 - exit at Tollbooth Fano

By Train

Fano Railway Station (Ancona-Bologna line, Falconara-Orte line to Roma)

By Plane

Raffaello Sanzio Airport of Falconara (28 mi, 45 km)

Federico Fellini Airport of Rimini (31 mi, 50 km)