Castovillari has for years been the capital of Calabria carnivals. Officially founded in 1959, its origins are lost in the mists of time. However, in the seventies it had reached its consecration for the new setting and the novelty of the winning proposal made by the popular participation that still characterize it. Forty five years of the carnival represent each castrovillarese, a wealth of experience and particular moments of intense emotion that enclose a small part of the history of this town at the foot of the Pollino.
A performance event is organized every year that is a unique and perfect combination of folklore recordings in the 90’s, and the sudden arrival of spontaneous groups which have revived and characterized this festival as protagonists. A heritage unique in its own way, carnival and folklore festivals can be found in a single event only in Castrovillari. The cultural heritage was created by the late prof. Vittorio Vigiano, and has being organized over the years by its many fans who believe that this event has become more than what anyone could have expected.
The call comes from Castrovillari himself that composed songs which are performed throughout the city, surrounded by “tacky” and “Cuzzi” which is a reminder to the origins of the peasant culture, that inspired the dialect farce Caesar Quintana, Organtino (the Pollino mask), staged in 1635. The festival of carnival stands out as the largest carnival of Calabria. The visitors, drawn by the fame that over the years this event has earned, come from all over the country and also from neighboring regions.
The event has always been organized at the Pro Loco of Pollino, supported by the City Council and a number of independent bodies such as regional, provincial and Ente Parco del Pollino. Face masks, songs, dances, folk traditions, contests, sweepstakes and parades are all part of the event. A show within the show, the one originated by masked groups, which mixes perfectly with the strong appeal to the origins of this event and folklore, is organized every year by the folklore festival.