San Giovanni in Persiceto hosts one of the oldest and most famous Carnivals of the Bolognese area, this year in its 146th edition. The historical Carnival of San Giovanni features a unique show: the "spillo" ("al spéll" in Bolognese dialect), or "transformation". Thanks to secret ingenious mechanisms, allegoric floats in parade undergo a real methamorphosis: at a certain point they suddenly change their features and colours to reveal their hidden, satiric meaning.
This is the magic of this Carnival: totally new looks come out from the original floats like rabbits out of a magician's top hat, surrounded by music and bursts of colored smokes.
The comic stock character of this Carnival is King Bertoldo, a rough, sharp-witted countryman that embodies locals' vitality and distinctiveness. Invented by the Bolognese writer Giulio Cesare Croce, Bertoldo and his retinue lead parades of floats in one of the oldest Carnivals in Italy.