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The traditional and colorful "Grand Carnival" of Maiori, postponed because of the COVID-19 emergency, takes place on the Amalfi Coast from the 8th to the 15th of May 2022. This event, which is not to be missed, is a triumph of great creativity.

by Annalisa Russo

This long-awaited festival, now in its 48th edition, is ready to involve adults and children with spectacular floats, music, and dance. These four floats, also known as “the papier-mâché giants”, will parade through the streets of Maiori and will have all the same theme: the journey. But what is even more fascinating is the work behind their realization: several months spent modeling steel cables, devising movements, creating light effects and sounds, and finally painting the colorful papier-mâché. In short, this is what the four numerous and close-knit groups do.
As a matter of fact, they are usually friends and families who have been working for months on the realization of these majestic works of art.

To conclude, this event expresses the history and tradition of this town handed down through generation after generation.

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@Piero Ruggiero courtesy of Gran Carnevale Maiorese

The history

The first edition of the Gran Carnival of Maiori took place in 1971 and was immediately a success. The groups that, at the time, worked on its realization were 10 and the papier-mâché floats, instead, were replaced by funny theatrical sketches set up for that occasion on moving stages.

In the mid 70' s, we began to use iron and papier-mâché for the floats’ realization, and thanks to their artistic evolution, in the late 70’ s, they became the main attractions of the festival. In addition, we can say that today this event has reached a level of absolute excellence, and it is considered one of the most long-lived carnivals in Italy. Old techniques such as hand-shaped iron and papier-mâché are still used and the final result is amazing.

Floats in competition

For this year, one the most important news is represented by the presence of a float from the last Carnival of Sciacca: created by the Association “Nuove Evoluzioni”, and entitled “L’ultimo respiro”.

The associations from Maiori Gli amici di sempre, I monelli and Gli invisibili will present the following works: Mama Africa, Una nuova Meta and Navigando tra i social. Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the historical group Nuovi Pazzi, decided not to participate to ensure the safety of their families during the indoor and long preparation of the float.

So, let's find out together what the artisans want to tell us about the theme of the journey!

Guest Float: All'ultimo respiro - the group Nuove Evoluzioni

The float from the Carnival of Sciacca, representing the leader of the tribe Yanomami, leads us to Amazonia, the green lung of the world devastated on behalf of multinationals that deprive it of its beauty and riches. So, could this woman save her land?

Mama Africa - Amici di sempre

This float represents Africa and a young traveler riding a lion who became the symbol of the strength and pride and representation of a continent exploited for centuries. The masks, instead, express culture and tradition and are all radiated by a large red sun that indicates the hope that never fades in Africa.

Una nuova Meta ∞ - I Monelli

2021 saw the birth of Meta, and the group Monelli with their float makes us reflect on the metaverse, a new virtual world that includes all the socials and a parallel life where our "avatar" will completely replace us. Thus, we will comfortably visit a distant friend or travel to mysterious destinations from home. In other words, Zuckerberg wants to connect people from all over the world and break down every distance. So, now we are called to reflect on his goal: but are we sure that he doesn't want to make us more addicted to this new "Meta"?

Navigando tra i social - Invisibili

This float represents the lightness and power of social media. The protagonists are Khaby Lame and Fedez. The first one is a Tik Tok and Instagram star with 100 million followers who symbolizes the power of simplicity. The second one is a rapper that on Instagram shares social and political messages but also his family life, the famous Ferragnez. To conclude, it is right to surf social media to be always updated and follow communities, but it is also true that we must not forget to look up from our smartphones and enjoy real life.

Therefore, this festival could be an excellent opportunity to make a quick trip to the Amalfi Coast and enjoy the wonderful Maiori. This town is full of evocative tourist itineraries and points of interest: the Path of lemons, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare, the Church of San Francesco, the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, the frescoes of Santa Maria de Olearia, and the port of Maiori with the Mezzacapo Castle.
Come and experience one of the most colorful and joyful events in Maiori.

For more information visit the website of the event Gran Carnevale di Maiori.

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