The Sweets of Carnival

Although Venice and the Tuscan town of Viareggio are most famous for their Carnival traditions, the season is today celebrated everywhere.  Throughout the boot, similar fried sweets are prepared, but be warned: each town has their own unique twist and a different name! Here are a few of the most cherished Carnevale treats in Florence.

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

Despite its name that reminds of the savoury flatbread so typical of all our bakeries, schiacciata alla fiorentina is a sweet cake, fragrant with orange and vanilla. During Carnival time it appears in every bakery, pastry shop and bar in Florence. The name schiacciata literally means smashed or pressed, hence its flat appearance.

Dusted with icing sugar with the Florence lily on the surface, now it is increasingly served filled with whipped cream, chocolate or custard.


Among the most wide-spread Carnival sweets there are Cenci, which are also called Chiacchiere, Frappe, Crostoli. These are strips of deep fried dough covered with powdered sugar. It’s their shape which fives the name, Cenci (rugs), as they are mainly called around Florence


Tuscan people have also Frittelle di riso, rice fritters, among their Carnival favourites. These delicious treats are not just linked to the Carnival tradition but also to Saint Joseph’s Day (19th of March) or Father’s Day in Italy. They can be described as deep fried balls of rice pudding, rolled up piping hot in sugar which creates a darker, caramelised crust.

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