Italian Carnaval roasts Clinton
February 4, 1999
Web posted at: 1:14 p.m. EST (1814 GMT)
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ROME (CNN) -- Italians love to celebrate Carnaval in a big way, with lavish costumes and parties -- and plenty of satire.
This year is no exception -- the sex scandal involving U.S. President Bill Clinton is a popular subject for floats and costumes. There is a Clinton in a box of "Pasta Puttanesca," a play on the Italian word for prostitution, and a host of lipstick-smeared Clinton look-alikes.
"It's a joke. It's a thing to joke about, rather than to take very seriously," says one Carnaval-goer.
The Carnaval floats and costumes take months to create. Last year, the Clinton scandal broke too late to incorporate it into the designs. "We started working five months ago and we didn't know if the topic would still be hot. We are so happy this trial is continuing," said Renato Verlanti, chief engineer.
Soon, however, the jokes on Clinton will end -- at least the Italian Carnaval jokes. The four-week season ends with Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17.
CNN Rome Bureau Chief Gayle Young contributed to this report.