Italian masks: May 18th in Parma

The now traditional gathering of Italian Masks in Parma and its province will come to life on 18 and 19 May. Arriving from 15 Italian regions, the participants will bring celebration, joy and traditions through the streets of the city, before touching one of the local municipalities, Noceto, full of history, architectural beauty and lively citizens.

The Gathering of Italian Masks is a unique event of its kind, which combines culture, tradition and fun for the whole family. The event has enjoyed the patronage of the Municipality of Parma for many editions and this year of the municipality of Noceto. The importance of the event is demonstrated by the authority of its cultural curator, prof. Marzio Dall’Acqua, well-known art historian and critic. Many supporters who with their constant commitment have made the initiative possible over the years, ASCOM Parma, TEP, INC hotels, GBA, Giacomazzi. The Consorzio Tutela Vini Colli di Parma and the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium were also involved in the event. Thanks go to the other partners of today’s edition from the Italian Masks Committee in Parma, APA, Barilla, Conad, Gelateria Caribbean, Casa Musicale Varese, Pasticceria Montali, Gelateria Caribbean, Casa Musicale Varese.

Behind the Allegorical Masks there are Cultural Associations that sponsor their continuity and guarantee full respect for what the Masks have always represented. From the beginning, the Famija Pramzana, the Circolo Aquila Longhi, the Nostri Borghi, the Circolo Inzani, the Circolo Guareschi have supported the Association in its project. A very important contribution will be given by the Parma Fotografica association which with its interpreters will follow and immortalize phases, characters and faces during the entire event.

Born in 2012 from an idea by Maurizio Trapelli, at Dsèvod, the Parma mask, officially recognized by the city council, reaches its 11th edition in 2024. The masks are institutions that enhance territories, traditions, dialects and typical features, with the aim of bringing the origins of the Commedia dell’Arte among the people. The CNCMI: National Center for Coordination of Italian Masks was born in Parma in 2015, again following an intuition of Maurizio Trapelli together with Marzio Dall’Acqua, author of the first book on Italian Masks “in these 11 years we have achieved many goals, first of all, detaching the masks from the carnival period alone, having edited the first book and register of masks with the Emilia Romagna region was a great achievement, now we are aiming for the recognition of the masks as UNESCO intangible heritage. An ambitious but possible goal with everyone’s commitment together.

An important preview aimed at adding value to this year’s initiative. In fact, an exhibition of papier-mâché masks was set up at the San Paolo Complex in Parma, open free of charge to the public from 11 to 18 May. Visitors will be able to admire the works generously made available by the Al Caslein Association of Castelnuovo di Sotto (RE) which represent artefacts produced over many years of work and which have given life to 28 editions of the famous carnival of the same name. Large and small works that can be seen together in Parma for the first time. At the same time, again at San Paolo, the Cartapesta Workshop will take place on 16 and 17 May, aimed at primary schools in Parma. It will host four classes who, under the expert guidance of master craftsmen, will be introduced to this ancient art.

In Parma, Saturday 18 May, the rally will start from P.le S. Croce at 4.00 pm. The parade will proceed through the streets of the city centre, stopping for a first stop in Piazza Ghiaia where the colorful group will give life to a real street theatre. In fact, starting from 5.30 pm the Masks will perform with gags and skits for the audience present who will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful costumes and listen to the stories directly from their performers. Shows that tell about culture, traditions and territories! A unique experience for audiences of all ages. Also in Piazza Ghiaia, the papier-mâché masks will be delivered to the children who attended the workshop. It will be an exciting and joyful moment because it will allow the public to examine the work produced and the children, accompanied by their parents, to receive it as reward for their efforts.

Immediately after the grand finale, dinner with the Masks at the San Paolo Complex, at 8.00 pm. The result of an important urban regeneration, the magnificent cloisters of the Complex will host Masks and citizens who will want to mingle with them for the excellent traditional dinner served there. Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma Ham, Tortelli d’erbetta, Guancialini, Traditional Cakes, Wines from the Consorzio dei Colli di Parma, dishes with unique and inimitable flavors which, also thanks to the event’s sponsor partners, will delight the palates of diners. Tickets for the dinner, €35.00 all inclusive, can be purchased at the IAT of the Municipality of Parma, in Piazza Garibaldi, the Famija Pramzana association, or directly from the dedicated manager of the Italian Masks Committee in Parma, cell . 3394380577.

In Noceto, Sunday 19 May, the Masks will be welcomed by the Authorities, at the Moruzzi Theater, at 09.30. After greetings, the entire group will be introduced to the visit of the “Vasca Votiva di Noceto” Museum, an archaeological site of extraordinary importance, a terramare from the Bronze Age which would have changed current knowledge regarding this historical period. The day will continue with the parade through the streets of the center starting from 11.00. The participants will perform again with gags and sketches, staging street theater to bring joy and celebration to the following audience.

An important initiative involved and preceded the demonstration in Noceto: the children of primary and secondary schools were invited by the Organizing Committee of Italian Masks in Parma to create the original mask that could represent their municipality, its traditions, its history and culture. A stimulus much appreciated by all children, supported by the local administration and school institute, it has given life to dozens and dozens of works, all beautiful and full of imagination, among which the Noceto Mask was chosen.

At 3.30 pm, it will be time for the award ceremony of the children of Noceto who participated in the competition for the creation of the local mask, by the Dsévod, Mask of Parma. Everyone will receive a certificate of participation for their commitment.

For its eleventh edition, “Italian Masks in Parma” has activated a fundraising campaign for the first time, with the aim of supporting the event. Cultural crowdfunding is an effective tool for financing artistic and cultural projects, but also for creating a network of people who are passionate and interested in culture. This network will not only contribute financially, but will give life to a group of individuals united by a passion for the culture and territory of Parma.


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