February, the month of the Carnival

February is the month of carnival, that this year will invade streets, lanes and squares of all Italian cities from the 25th of February until the 7th of March. So put on your mask, buy or invent a fancy dress and throw yourself into the fun!

Venice is wonderful in every season, but during Carnival it becomes even more magic. Here the carnival will be inspired by Le città invisibili or “Invisible cities”, the marvellous book by Italo Calvino. It follows the seven stories Marco Polo told Kublai Kan, the Emperor of China and the seven campielli or small squares, and lanes of the city will turn into one of the fictional cities. Musicians, jugglers and ballad singers will perform in the streets and canals. The festival opens at twelve o’clock of the 27th of February with the traditional flight of the dove over Saint. Mark’s Square; and on the 5th of March there will be the aquatic train along Canal Grande. Many of the best parties are in public palaces: they give the chance to visit marvellous houses, normally closed to the public. If you will just walk round the streets you will enjoy an absolutely special atmosphere!
For the events calendar: www.carnivalofvenice.com

This time I want to let you know something rare, a new route where you will discover a detail that even Florentines don’t know. Behind the Piazza Repubblica, in the centre of town, there is the Loggia del Porcellino or the Piglet’s Loggia named after the bronze statue of a wild boar that brings you luck if you rub his nose, they say. Thanks to this rumour the poor animal’s nose colour is absolutely different from the rest of his body! In the loggia there is a clothes, accessories and fancy goods market and it has been here since the age of the lords of Florence. If you look at one of the columns surrounding the loggia, you will find out a door: it was the entrance to the stairs leading to the bargaining room, in the roof of the loggia. If you look at it carefully, you will find some of the windows!

Do you want to discover an exotic side of Rome? Japan-mania infected the capital, as well as many other Italian towns. Here you can find a lot of restaurants, clubs and shops inspired by this culture. There are at least four restaurants: from the most luxurious “Soso Asahi” (Via di Propaganda 22), until “Hamasei” (Via della Mercede 35/36), where you can even take food away. There are also many shops where you can buy futon, tatami and Japanese traditional furnishings accessories, like “Cinius” (Largo Arenula 13), for example. The Japanese culture Institute (Istituto di cultura giapponese, Viale Gramsci 74, Rome) offers free exhibitions, concerts, language courses and others activities connected with Japanese culture: we report a series of movies by Kenj Mizoguchi in February.

Have a good February!

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