The Whole Town Is Celebrating

Everything starts with three cannon shots. Olé, Olé, Olé …. 🙂 The feast begins. It’s going to last for four consecutive Sundays and is going to end on Fat Friday (Mardì Gras). About 600 000 spectators are going to be in a carnival mood 24/7 for one whole month. The streets of Viareggio are going to be filled with hundreds of thousands of colourful masks, giant, allegorical papier-maché floats, happy dancing and singing people. And, yes, Burlamacco and Ondina are going to welcome you to …. Continue reading

La capitale del carnevale italiano (The Capital of the Italian Carnival)

Viareggio is famous especially for its almost one-month carnival which is a colourful and very vivid manifestation of giant masks along la passeggiata Margherita. If you are among the thousands of spectators and watch le sfilate dei carri (float parades) from below, definitely your first thought will be that life is too short and that’s why you should dedicate it to immediate happiness and joy, not to long-term plans and unreliable predictions. I would say this is the mindset of locals which I like really very much. I myself can explain it with the long tradition in the spell of the Carnival of Viareggio which was born some 147 years ago. It had been evolving every year since the beginning and that way it’s managed to rank between the world famous carnivals. Continue reading

The Spell of Carnival

Burlamacco has been the official mask of the Carnival of Viareggio since the 30s of last century. The lady of his heart is called Ondina. 🙂

Surely, there are three extremely famous carnivals worldwide. There is no doubt that the most notorious, colourful and eye-catching one is held by the Motley Cariocas before Lent annually. The feast of Rio de Janeiro is really a parade of colours and opulent costumes. The other two carnival feasts are here, on the Old Continent. The first one is in the amazing Drawing Room of Europe whose splendid Piazza San Marco is the heart of one of the most marvelous Carnevali in the world, i.e. il Carnevale di Venezia (the Venice Carnival). And the second one is also in Italy, in Tuscany this time. It’s the unforgettable …. Continue reading

Burlamacco nella Cittadella (Burlamacco in the Little City)

B   U   R   L   A   M   A   C   C   O

The town of Viareggio in Tuscany is famous for its one-month festival. It is the longest one in Italy and it ranks second in terms of popularity after that nella città sull’acqua (in the city on Water) in Europe. It also has its symbol. This is the clown-like figure called Burlamacco that was created by Umberto Bonetti in the summer of 1930. Where has his name derived from, why and how? What does he symbolize? And where does he “live”? Who is the lady of his heart? Here are the answers to some of the questions in the paragraphs below. Continue reading

Wine and Love

Wine and Love. 🙂 Vino e amore. 🙂 May you be always drunk on love. 🙂

We, the Bulgarians, are really very lucky on February 14. We have two celebrations which we respect equally. We celebrate both Saint Valentine’s Day and the Vine and Wine Day which is better known as Saint Trifon Zarezan. So, you yourselves see that ancient Greek Goddess Aphrodite (Venus in Roman mythology) and ancient Greek God Dionysus (Bacchus in Roman mythology) go hand in hand in Bulgaria on that day. One of my Italian friends found it very interesting and exclaimed once upon a time: Great. Wine makes love easier. Continue reading

Two Taps

If one travels to the United Kingdom or some of her Majesty’s ex-colonies on the Old Continent and beyond, they’ll stumble upon one very funny tradition, namely British homes have separate hot and cold taps. This fact always strikes tourists and visitors, and it’s too inexplicable to them. However, this especially “British phenomenon” shouldn’t be that strange to people since there are reasons for not having sink mixer taps which can be easily divided into 3 groups – historical, legal and economic & aesthetic reasons. Let me tell you briefly why the Brits have two taps instead of sink mixer ones. Continue reading

άλφα, βήτα,γάμμα (alpha, beta, gamma) …

The world of letters 🙂

The Greek language is supposed to be the oldest language on the Old Continent and the first one in the world (it was born in the 9th century BC).  Latin is based on it as well as Greek has influenced other languages (mainly English) and has played a really very important role in the world culture.  Science and technical biases (e.g. mathematics, geography, biology, astronomy, etc.) still use terms of Greek origin.  Ordinary people use words starting with ”ph” such as philosopher, photographer, psychology and so on, on a daily basis and they are surely Greek words. So, you yourselves see that the language is alive not only in Greece and Cyprus, but also in other languages where its presence is well tangible in terms of vocabulary, syntax and even literature. Continue reading