Le trappole per i turisti (Tourist Traps)

Italy is among the world’s famous tourist destinations and one of the most visited countries on the Old Continent. Of course, it’s due to the unique combination of numerous historic (UNESCO) sites of great importance and historic heritage, charming and open-minded natives, delicious food garnished with various amazing local wines, mild climate and beautiful nature, shining sun, crystal clear sea water and dream beaches. For sure, it’s natural that it also offers a great number of le trappole per i turisti (tourist traps). And which are they and how can tourists jump into a trap as a tourist nel Bel Paese? Continue reading

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Big Fat Weddings

Do you remember this sweet comedy that recounts us about the great love between a young Greek woman (a daughter of Greek immigrants across the Ocean) and young native school teacher? Do you remember all the funny struggles and situations they are put into when it comes to keep her Greek origin and family’s heritage and cultural identity? I believe you do as well as I think you still have memories of their Big Fat Greek Wedding.   Continue reading

The Birthplace of the Cyrillic Alphabet

Very few people from all over the world might know where Bulgaria is situated. Most of them can immediately say it’s a Balkan country and its capital is Sofia. So far so good… 🙂 But lots of fellows could barely know much about the country. Just on the opposite, they wouldn’t be aware of the fact that Bulgaria is the cradle and crossroad of lots of various ancient civilizations like the Thracians, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians (Bulgars) and ancient Romans who have left their imprint and impact over our cultural heritage consisting of long history, fine literature, unique folklore and Cyrillic (Bulgarian) alphabet, of course. Continue reading

The Farina Fragrance

You know it and most probably you use it on a daily basis. It’s a marvellous scent which makes you happier and even more beautiful (it applies especially to the fair gender). Maybe you already know what I am talking about. If you don’t, let me not stress you more and tell you that the topic of today’s post is perfume. The word is of Latin origin and its meaning is “through smoke”. It’s a very natural name because the earliest and the very first perfumes ever “created” in antiquity and later on were incense based. On the other hand, various spices and herbs like coriander and frankincense.

As a matter of fact, the earliest perfume of modern type was a blend of essential oils and some alcohol solution and to be more precise I will add that fragrant blend was of rosemary, thyme and verbena in brandy. It was specially made for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and that’s why it’s better known as “Hungary Water”. It was used either as tonic water or perfume. It was also a treatment prescribed by physicians and it was gargled against any kind of ailments. Continue reading

The Ford of the Franks

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We’ve already seen and visited a greater part of Mainhattan and we’ve had a walk in the timber frame Old Town but I don’t remember telling you where the name derived from. I just mentioned that the first to settle down here in 83 AD were the Romans who created a military camp near a Roman road. After that the settlement became the court of Franconian Kings in the Merovingian era when they made their journeys in the area. Thus it gained its name Franconovud (Ford of the Franks) in 794 owing to Emperor Charlemagne who built a council for himself here. Continue reading

The Timber Frame Old Town

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Moving forward in Mainhattan we’re reaching the very heart of Frankfurt am Main and the first emblem of the city we shall stumble upon is the red sandstone Paulskirche (St. Paul’s Church) which is the symbol of German democracy. It was consecrated in 1833 and it started as a Lutheran Church. The holy building is the symbol and cradle of German democracy because it housed the Frankfurter Nationalversammlung (the first Frankfurt National Assembly of 1848). Unfortunately, it was severely destroyed in the WWII, in 1943-1944, and it was one of the first edifices to be fully reconstructed after the war due to its symbolic significance. Today it is a church no more but it is used for prize and award ceremonies. Continue reading

Mainhattan

After having already visited Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium and having had fun in Längste Theke der Welt (The Longest Bar in the World), it is high time we headed to the heart of Germany and its fifth but most international city which lies on the two banks of the Main River. It’s the largest financial hub of Europe which is comprised of numerous grand banks and financial institutions such as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, etc. All of them are housed in high skyscrapers on the two banks of the river (and especially in Bankenviertel or the Banking District) and that’s the reason why the smallest metropolis in the world is often compared to Manhattan and it’s usually nicknamed as Mainhattan or Bankfurt. Which is this city in your opinion? You’re correct. It is ….. Continue reading