Carnival Cemetery

It was a hot afternoon, the time when everything is closed and nothing moves in Italy. It was dead silent, as I was cycling around the island of La Maddalena, when I saw the road sign to a place called Panoramico. It was my third day on the small island already and I just wanted to find a nice bay to swim and relax. Panoramico sounded promising.

But then I came across a rather depressing sight, not panoramic at all: the cars and figures of a carnival procession. They looked liked they had been left behind in a hurry, with the cars being parked chaotically on the large square. The wind blew through the tattered tarpaulin on some of the wagons, interrupting the silence menacingly. A piece of metal creaked. The larger-than-life papier mâché figures stared into the air, into the distance or into the nothing. They were all dead.

Pinocchio wagon

paint carnival cemetery


Walking around this scene of an apparent massacre, I was particularly saddened by the sight of a fellow reporter, microphone still in his hand. Dead. He had been reporting until his last breath, even though he knew what was coming. His gaze revealed the horror.

reporter carnival

Two giant figures fought a silent battle for domination of the scene, each of them high on their wagon, refusing to fall over. Pinocchio and some unidentifiable skeleton.


skeletonOr were their raised hands not a sign of argument, but a last farewell? Did they reminisce about times when they had been the center of attention of the whole island?

How long ago this must have been. The place looked so forlorn, so deserted, so cannibalized that I estimated they must be several years old. Until I discovered this sign on one of the wagons:

carnival 2014 La MaddalenaThese were the remains of this year’s carnival procession. It was the end of May 2014, so it couldn’t have been that long ago.

Later that day, when I returned to the city – after finding the beautiful bay I had sought – I saw a small and obviously outdated poster at the bakery, asking for donations or help for this year’s carnival. The date for the carnival procession was 2 March 2014, less than three months ago.

(Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Berichts.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Italy, Photography, Sardinia, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Carnival Cemetery

  1. Pingback: Der Karneval ist tot | Der reisende Reporter

  2. I’m, of course, shocked by your post and was wondering, whether you would allow me to take one of these pictures for one of my next articles. Thanks for your answer. Bye

  3. Pingback: How is Brazil doing? | The Happy Hermit

  4. Pingback: About Isaac Asimov’s predictions in1964 for 2014/D/E | Rivella49's Blog

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