Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Montecharloween is a fine example of the increasing popularity of this spooky holiday among Italians

Halloween, not celebrated much in Italy until the past 10 years, is experiencing exponential growth, and we can feel the changes from one year to the next. We were in Montecarlo last year and participated in the city’s festa for Halloween, Montecharloween. Then we went again this year.

This long-legged spider was our
choice for best costume.
It was like a passeggiata on steroids, with be-costumed families and groups of teens walking together, mixing and mingling with acquaintances while watching a few street entertainers and stopping to buy snacks at food booths or even entire meals at the open air restaurants. We had been told that trick or treat (dolcetto o scherzetto) was starting to catch on, and last year we bought a sack of candy to pass out. We ended up eating it ourselves though, as none of the many passing children came to our door.

The face-painting booth was popular.
At Montecharloween 2016, the crowd nearly doubled in size, making it difficult to pass though via Roma because it was stuffed from wall to wall. While we were eating dinner with some friends and then later in the evening as well, trick or treaters rang our doorbell at least a dozen times. Alas, we had no candy this year. The stores sell mostly only hard candies, so we should bring some from the U.S. next time.


This huge dragon welcomed visitors to the enchanted woods, held in the bank parking lot just across the street from our apartment. Lucy took this photo from our window. 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Entrance to the crowded haunted house.
We shouldn’t be surprised at the increasing popularity of the event, because Italians enjoy dressing up and going out in the evening—and staying out late. Montecharloween was scheduled for 6 p.m. to midnight, but many people came early and others stayed late, people still coming in at 11 . I had promised Lucy that we would go in the haunted house (Il Tunnel dell'Orrore) this year, but the line was long from the beginning of the evening until the end, so we missed it again.

Montecharloween didn’t quiet down until around 1 a.m. If the event experiences the same kind of growth in future years, the city may not be able to handle the crowds. However, there are still some quieter side streets, so the organizers have the option to spread out the events and booths. It was for evenings like this that we chose to live in Montecarlo, a town full of life and yet still small enough that one can never get lost in the crowd.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see Italians enjoying some American inspired fun!

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