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25 March 2018

Oriental and Other Festivals in Turin

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Turin is a capital of cultural events and you can find a bit of all kinds of entertaining there. Last two weeks it hosted a bouquet of folkloristic festivals. They all were in Lingotto. We visited it a week ago and could enjoy the area and emotions of this great feast.  On my photos, you can see some moments of three festivals: Orient, Irish and American.

Orient was the most various so as it's culture is. We could see Japanese katanas, yoga exercises, Induist dances, dervish dance...

It was interesting to pass from one shed to other and throw into the completely different world. Personally, I was most impressed by Irish music (and beer). It was particularly interesting for me because I study the ancient history of north Italy and expansion of the Celtic populations in all the Europe. So, those who live in north Italy and Irish have the same ancestors. They have to have the same seeds in their souls :-)

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It was interesting to notice how changed the interested, but reserved visitors of the Oriental Festival to cheerful and playful once when they entered the Irish shed. Or those were different audiences? I don't know, sincerely. I began to dance with them when I entered there. Some excellent beer and good grill meat completed the state of joy and participation. 
I have to say you that the Irish bands were very very brave and famous.

The last part was dedicated to the world-known symbols of USA. Even if the title was Wild West, what you could see there, remembered surely 50th-60th. 

Really interesting and full of emotions day. 
I'm not sure, but I think, such festivals are just a tradition in Italy: I remember, they were in Naples one year ago. 
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15 December 2017

Valle D'Aosta Under the Snow

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Valle D'Aosta seems to be another world especially if you visit it in winter. The winter in all other towns, around the valley, seems to be a spring, but you enter in this particular valley then and... you are in the kingdom of Santa Claus.

So, here, in the first photo, we are in an interesting place: you can see the narrow passage leading you to Valle D'Aosta. And you can see a normal Italian winter here. But when you continue for 20-30 km-s, you can see a completely different situation. Give a look at the photos of our journey in the valley.

No, such a snowy weather we found when we reached the destination could not offer "normal" kinds of recreation of this period. It was so dangerous that the roads were closed the day after we left it. But we were really fascinated to see this incredible world of snow and to enjoy every minute of the time we passed there.
  
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Many photos I took from the car, so they are not very clear, but I think, the sensations of the "parallel" life are expressed better with these not very professional photos.

A part of the way was a very narrow one-way road between the trees and I expected that a Bad Wolf will go out from the next curve, but it seems we were the only living beings in that place at that moment...  

The temperature changed from minus to plus next day and the magic transformed the snow in the rain. Imagine our shoes that were not ready for these changes. Mountains of the snow around us and rivers of water that fall on you and flow under the feet... and grey grey grey colors of everything.

Next morning donated us splendid views ...and icy roads. It was incredible, but it was difficult to even make some steps from the house. The ice did not allow us to walk. 
But in any case, it was an unforgettable adventure.
You can see how is the winter on the Amalfitan coast, too

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07 December 2017

Turin - Real Venaria

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Turin is the right place for you if you like to visit real residences. One of them is situated not too far from the center of Turin and there are different ways to arrive there. We came with the car and easily found a place for it. I have to say you that the parking area I've seen was not too big, but I don't know if there were other areas there. It was a cold working day and we did not see too much visitors even if there were some interesting expositions in the palace (I'll tell you about it in the next post).

You can see on the map how big it the territory of this residence and it's really difficult to visit all it if you do not dedicate all the day for it. But we had only two or three hours this time and could visit only the central palace where were all the expositions. So, all photos you can see in this post are from our walk around the central palace of Venaria.

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The square of the arms was not all its life so large and spacious. It was divided into two parts before. The tickets you can purchase on the right of it if you look at my photo. If you have one of the prepaid cards, you have to take a ticket the same. So, don't think you can go to the palace with your prepaid card. Go and take the ticket!

If you want to begin your visit from the palace, you have to enter the door on your left (photo). If not, you can go right around the building and enjoy the view of the gardens.

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We wanted to give a look at the gardens and, unfortunately, we did not understand that it was not possible to enter the palace from the other side. But... we were fortunate enough: or because the staff did not understand our intentions or because we had a decisive appearance, I don't know. In any case, we did not go back to enter the "normal" entrance door and could visit all the exhibitions of the moment in that limited time we had. 

We began with that enormous terrace where you can see all the mountains. Under it, there was a place where the royal boot (gondola) was situated. And they had fish there. 


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There are many modern sculptures around the palace. They are not only in the square and near the building, you can see them in the gardens, too. Some of them are artificial trees, but the metal tree is not too different from the normal tree in winter. 

The gardens were interesting anyway. They were not green, there were even reconstruction works at that moment, but if you will come in late spring or in summer, the meadows will be covered with all kinds of flowers, I think.

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I'll tell you more about the insides of the palace in my next posts. 
Now, I want only to tell you about the little "fast food" shops just outside of the Venaria. It was simply great. Honestly, I thought we will eat usual crap there. We had not the time to choose a good place and to wait for service at that moment. But we were fortunate once more: they served us quickly and the food was really good and tasty.
You can read about another touristic attraction in this blog: Ancient Egypt in Turin, too

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29 November 2017

A Solitary Woman in the Night in Venice

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Venezia is one of the places you can perfectly enjoy if you have only one day to visit it. Imagine, how much a "computer warrior for justice" could say to me after he read these words. But the truth is that we often do not have time and, very often, will not have another possibility to come here or there, so we try to take maximum advantage from that little time we have.

Even if I live in Italy, I hardly can leave home for more than 1-2 days because of animals (I have a Maine Coon Cattery and other sentient beings) so you can imagine what have I do to visit the places of my interest. But I do not renounce on travel. I organize my time so that I visit Venice and other tourist attractions of Italy in One Day Tours of my invention.

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The trick is to come in Venice in the morning, visit best of Venice, Italy all the day long and turn back home with the last train I can take to arrive next morning. 

So, normally, I sleep all the night in train and am perfectly fresh and relaxed for my working days.

The railway station of Venice (Venezia S.Lucia) is situated on the side of Grand Canal and you can reach S.Marco Square in an hour (or some more) if you go left, you can take a bus for Mestre or the Airport Marco Polo if you go right, or you can buy a ticket for a ferry in front of the railway station (or in the search engine for ferries on the top of THIS WEBSITE) and enjoy Venice from the ferry (that is the best solution, as for me).

As you can see, my visit to Venice was some "strange" this time: I had to take a train at 5:40 in the morning and passed all the night walking the streets and sitting in front of one restaurant where I found a wooden bank. I do not like stone banks: the stone absorbs the warmth of your body and you can fall ill easily. For all your life.

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First of all, my intention was to go back at 24:00, but there were problems with the trains that day and I had to buy a ticket for this one. 

There were problems with the railway station in Venice. First, all the WCs were closed. Second, all the doors were open and there was a terrible weird draft in the waiting room. Third, the station was closed from 24:30 to 5:00. The poor persons which waited for 5-hour trains had to sit on the stairs of the station all the night.  

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What can I say about the security in Venice in the night? There were many young persons in the streets all the night (it was a holiday night). Nobody was drunken. They went home after the night passed somewhere in the city. "Go go, we have to wake up early tomorrow" (well, it was just "tomorrow" at 2-3-4 in the morning... There were even late tourists with their suitcases. I do not know how could they arrive at that time.

Ferries passed all the night near me. I could not believe my eyes, I did not expect to see it, but they were even frequent enough. Two at an hour, I think.

Initially, I wanted to stay all the night in S.Marco Square all the night because I wanted to do a lot of photos (you know, I sell them). I did a research about the security in the night in Venice but did not find too much about it. There were two photographers who had this experience, but they were men and it's not the same to be a solitary woman in the night in the streets of a city, even if it's such a place like Venice where the criminal situation is good.

So, I asked carabinieri (military police in Italy) what they think about my intention. They were not optimistic. It's a holiday evening, signora, it's better if you go back and pass the night in the railway station, they said. Obviously, they did not imagine the railway station could be closed all the night in Venice.

Well, I thought, I need about 1,5 hour to turn back from S.Marco, so I left it at the 23:00.
I can say you that the worse part of my trip was this way back in the night. The medieval streets were not very friendly. Little groups of young men here and there were not very encouraging. Last bars were closed at the 24:30

I passed two little squares where crowds of drank youth danced, beat one other. It was a holiday evening, you know, and I'm not an evening walker generally... I do not know what to do in this cases. Well, I slap in the crowd to take some shorts, yes. But I thought it's better if I leave. Fortunately, without any problem. They were not aggressive.

 So I had to continue my walk.
Arrived at the railway station and discovered the sad reality, I decided to walk in the nearby streets. I would like to take a ferry and to see Venice from it (I like ti), but I did not know if I'll turn back in time to take my train, so I preferred to stay there. I did not know if the ferries will continue their work all the night.

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As said, the ferries were on the work all the night. It was possible to buy a ticket and enjoy the trip...
From time to time I could see the police-boots on their patrols.

The life began at 4:00 on the Grand Canal. Many boots began to transport goods to the warehouses and shops, to the hotels and restaurants. I was sitting on the bank neat the Canal, surprised and fascinated by this hidden life of this city that continues its battle for survival.

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