The Venice Carnival, opening February 16, 2019

These are my pictures of the carnivale from 2017.  I can hardly believe that I never got around to posting them.  It was a wild, exuberant experience I will never forget.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event: https://veniceevents.com/news-blogs/venice-carnival-2019-dates-and-events

And now, finally, 2 years late, my photos:

 

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I was in Venice in 2017 for the water parade. Amazing floats skimmed along the Rio di Cannaregio waterways. It was quite a spectacle.  I managed to get a bird’s eye view in the 2nd floor home of a perfect stranger, a delightful Venetian man and his wife!  All of these images were shot from their window.

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As I left, I got a couple of shots of the delightful Venetian man who shared his window with me and a woman from Russia who went with me to Venice.

 

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The Russian woman (we were classmates in Italian language school in Florence) wanted to buy an elaborate mask and she did!

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The wigs available in Venice at this time of year are astounding.

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And the costumes, oh my Lord!

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Santa Maria della Salute, possibly the world’s most beautiful church and location.

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Epiphany in Florence

Sunday, 6 January, was a beautiful sunny day in Florence!  And the city was celebrating big-time with the annual cavalcade parade.  I’ve posted about this in years past, so I won’t repeat myself.  But, behold the views of Florence on that gorgeous day!

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The Arno river was as smooth as glass:

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And, when all the festivities were finished, these balloons were released to mark the day!

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Bellisimo!

Coffee on trains in Italy

Everybody knows Italians invented the coffee culture that is beloved around the world today.  I will never forget seeing a Starbucks in Dubai.  I almost fell to the ground in gratitude for something I recognized in that (to me) very foreign place!

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But despite how many places I have seen coffee on offer in Italia, nothing surprised me and yet didn’t surprise me at the same time as much as seeing fresh coffee beans ready to be ground and brewed on an Italo train from Milan to Verona last week.  I mean, per che no?  It only makes sense!

And this was a self service coffee maker at the end of a train car.  There is also a cafe car that serves freshly made espresso…but this machine is available closer to your seat and avoids the messy interaction with live people!  And sometimes train workers will pass by and offer you coffee or other things from their carts.  But, Italians, at least on this train, have yet another coffee option.  They might want to grind and brew their own joe on their own.

You have got to love this culture!

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Eat your heart out, Starbucks!

Milano, dicembre 2018; ready for Christmas

Arrived in Milan from Florence and admired the fabulous Milanese train station.  It always awes me.

It was fun to see American Tomaso Edison inscribed as one of the world’s great minds.

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No time to linger: places to see, people to avoid (crowds that is!). Here’s the archway leading to the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel; I’ll be back to admire the Christmas decorations when the sun sets.  See below.

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A quick glance of our first stop: il Duomo. We bought our tickets and got in line to wait for our turn to enter the cathedral and then climb to the roof.

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I’ll talk about the duomo in a separate post, coming soon.

So, the duomo took up the entire afternoon and the sun set.  Back into the Galleria to admire the amazing Christmas decorations.

 

 

 

Absolutely spectacular! Milan knows how to play up its strong points!

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Milano plays host to one of the great Florentine artists: Leonardo da Vinci.

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La Scala is nearby to add its gravitas:

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The downtown streets of Milan have a modern Christmas vibe:

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Back inside the Galleria, we approach the Dolce and Gabbana store, all lit up and no place to go.  D&G has no need to go anyplace: the crowds throng to it!

 

 

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You can see D & G’s neon sign at the end of these over-the-top decorations.

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See it?

And that’s how Milano preps for Xmas!