They say that laughter is the best medecine, and it also costs nothing.
So its obvious why one carnival in central Italy is proving to be a welcome antidote to the country’s political and economic woes.
Showing off his float bearing a group of giant puppets munching on the Italian peninsula, one man said “These are our politicians, they are feasting on Italy. There will be just the skeleton left. Italy is finished.”
Another pointed behind him, saying; “This is a window at Montecitorio, our parliament building. When it opens you can see a cleaner inside, she is trying to clean up Italian politics.”
The Viareggio carnival has made political satire its staple for 140 years. And it certainly would be no show without Punch.
“Berlusconi always wants to be the one in charge.” said a young man in the street, “He has 100 lives. Just when you think he is about to disappear, thats when he turns up again.
Foreign politicians are also targets. Angela Merkel is portrayed as a Vatican cardinal. However, a papier mache puppet of former French Premier Nicolas Sarkozy dressed as Napoleon is now gathering dust in the corner of a warehouse.