Big parades with allegorical floats and masquerades in the streets are to be held in the main cities of the region Trieste, Gorizia, Pordenone and Udine, and some already took place as Carnival officially kicked off last week in the whole country.
But there are many more Carnival celebrations in Friuli Venezia Giulia worth seeing, and some of the most renown ones are in Muggia (Trieste), Sauris (Udine), Maniago (Pordenone), in the Natisone Valleys, in Resia Valley, in Nimis (UD), in Grado (Gorizia), in Monfalcone (Gorizia).
In Muggia women use to dance with vegetables' garlands on their head for the “Ballo della Verdura”, the Vegetable Ball, and they also collect eggs from around the town to cook them all together in the central square. In Resia Valley dances are important too, going on and on endlessly along the music played with the typical, local instruments such as cïtira (a sort of violin) and bünkula (cello).
A sweet tradition
Masks and costumes are essential for the Carnival dress code, but another element is just as indispensable: Carnival sweets. Treats are the life of the party, as traditionally this period was one of excesses on the cooking side too: actually it was supposed to grant an eating binge before the beginning of the Lent fast. this include drinking, too, and sweets match perfectly with some Friulian wines like Malvasia, Ribolla Gialla, Picolit or Ramandolo.
The very typical Carnival sweet treat in Italy are chiacchiere, literally meaning “chatters”, which changes their name according to the different regions, while keeping more or less the same pattern: in Friuli Venezia Giulia they're called “crostoli” (crusts) because of their crunchiness. A very simple recipe with simple ingredients (eggs, butter, flour, sugar), with a very distinctive shape: rectangular strips with lenghtwise cuts, both fried or cooked in the oven, an healthier version that caught on in more recent times – as you can see in the video below, from one of Italy's most popular cooking website, Giallo Zafferano. Why don't you try it yourself?!