Saturday, February 16, 2008


Caleb and I and some friends headed down to Venice for the last day of Carnevale. Above are pictures from that day. Below is an explanation of what Carnevale is all about.....

The word Carnevale derives from the latin expression “carnem levare” which means to take the meat away and it refers to the last day of this festivity when the meat was removed from all the tables in order to start the Lenten penitence. Carnevale takes us back to the Middle Ages, when the meat (carne) was a precious food eaten only by rich people and its presence on the tables was a reason for celebration. When we talk about Carnevale, we think about the use of masks. But where do these masks come from? In the past, masks were generally used by actors on the stage. In ancient Greek and Roman theaters the mask was introduced to describe the personality of the character; this was particularly true in the Commedia Dell’Arte, a theatrical and cultural event which took place in Italy during the 1600’s. All the characters of the Commedia Dell’Arte wore masks representing qualities and defects of the human nature.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Istanbul, Turkey

To comply with all the red tape of Italy in order to receive our resident permits, we had to leave the European Union in order to return and have our passports stamped in Italy. (OK, I don't get it either....) In fact we just went to "check in" yesterday at the immigration office with our newly stamped passports and it looks like it will be another year before we even get out residence permits (once again, I don't understand - the 'officials' don't either - so we're in good company). The perk of all this was going to Istanbul. We had just been there in September on our cruise, so it was great to go back and see a couple of the things we missed while there! The pictures above explain it all. It was great to eat food other than pasta! We loved the Turkish, Chinese and Japanese food!!!!