Viareggio’s Carnival festivities will be sure to indulge visitors with a healthy dose of fun and frivolity, but this is Italy and in Italy no celebration is complete without food and drink. In addition to the usual street vendors selling panini, gelato, cotton candy and other snacks, local restaurants plan special Carnival menus.
Being a seaside resort, seafood reigns on the menu and cacciucco a hearty seafood soup, claims king of the table status. Local chefs can be seen at first light buying the day’s catch directly off the fishing boats in the port.
Carnival organizers invite and entice ticket holders to come early to the parade and enjoy sampling some of the area specialties. On each Sunday of February at 11:30 am, local Michelin starred chefs offer tastes of their cuisine based on fresh food products from Versilia, Lunigiana and the Garfagnana.
Fishermen with their catch from the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea, bakers with potato bread from the Apuan Alps and regional wine producers will be on hand to introduce their products, giving information and samples. A local brewery, Petrognola, specializes in ales made from farro (spelt) and barley, including one labeled APA, or American Pale Ale.
Fabrizio Diolaiuti, journalist, writer and TV food show presenter, will be the host. The epicurean event takes place in Piazza Mazzini until 12:30 pm.
The following restaurants will be providing the fare.
Sunday, February 14: Romano di Viareggio
Sunday, February 21: Ristorante Lunasia
Sunday, February 28; Ristorante L’Imbuto