THE CARNIVAL OF IVREA, VENICE AND MILAN. A JOURNEY THROUGH THE CELEBRATIONS IN NORTHERN ITALY
Our journey through the Carnival begins. In Northern Italy we talk about Venice, Ivrea and Milan, three Carnivals with absolutely typical history and dishes
Venice (January 27 – February 13, 2018)
1094, the Doge Vitale Falier mentions for the first time the Carnival of Venice in an official document. The essence, modern as well, of the Venetian carnival is the mask, that once used to cancel the social differences and in the lagoon have been produced since 1271. The mascarere is a job, a craftsman of the Venetian mask, is regulated by the statute of the 10th of April, 1436. The most famous traditional masks are the Bauta, in used since ‘700 and used in the past also not in the carnival period for romantic dates or by anyone wanted to remain anonymous, and theMoretta, also called Servetta Muta (mute servant). It is mainly for women and it is called mute since the mask, in black velvet, and it is held in place it with a button to be held in the month. Nowadays the carnival opens with the Festa sull’acqua (celebration on the water), water parade on Rio di Cannoregio, and it goes on with the Festa delle Marie, during it the most beautiful mask is chosen. After that there is the Volo dell’angelo (Flight of the angel), where the Maria who won the previuos edition will fly on the crowd.
Typical dish: Venetian fritola. It has been produced for centuries by “fritoleri”, an association that became official in the ‘600. If Fritoleris have almost disappeared at the end of 1800, fritoles are still made with eggs, flour, raisins and pine seed and fried with oil, pig fat and lard.
Milan (February 17, 2018)
The Ambrosian Carnival is celebrated in Milan and nearby areas. The tradition comes from Saint’Ambrogio, Milan’s protector, who wanted everybody to wait for him to be back from his travels in order to start the celebration. He returned on Mardi Gras, so the celebrations began the following Wednesday and for this reason in the city the Lent starts the following Sunday. This year the Ambrosian Carnival will be celebrated on February the 17th and among many block parties there will be a parade in the afternoon and a nighttime show in Piazza del Duomo.
Typical dish: besides the “Chiacchiere” which can be found in then whole peninsula (in Milan they are not fried, but cooked in the oven), there are the “farsòe”, that is kind of a cream puff, so fried and filled with chantilly or chocolate cream. They might be done also with apple pieces, in this case they will be called “làciàditt”.
Ivrea (January 6 – February 14, 2018)
The Carnival of Ivrea gets inspiration from the historical spirit of the Carnival, that is the event where the inhabitants of the city become owner of it. From this point of view, it is the oldest Carnival in Italy, with the one in Offida and Mamoiada. To join it, today, you only need to wear the Phrygian cap French revolutionaries, that protects from the Battle of the Oranges (where Oranges are actually shut). With Napoleon then the Carnival, that originally was used to be celebrated in each district of the city, was unified. The Battle of the Oranges tradition tells the medieval uprising against the Marquess of Monferrato. Violetta, a miller’s daughter, after the Ius Primae Noctis (“right of the first night” – which actually never existed) beheaded the lord of the castle, starting with this act the popular uprising. The battle for “freedom” takes place during the last three days of the Carnival: on carts there are people throwing oranges and they play the role of the feudal armies (Aranceri – orange-throwers). In the streets, the folks unarmed, try to beat them with the orange juice, while a special jury evaluates the best “orange-throwers”.
Typical dish: Faseuj grass (beans). The Beans are cooked in the tofeja with some parts of the pig. In the different districts, in the streets, Bean Feasts take place and they are offered to participants.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)