Christmas Trees

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The Biggest Christmas Tree in the world is in Umbria’s little town of Gubbio. It is truly spectacular to look at once lights are on.
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Christmas tree in Todi, Umbria.
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How thick is an ancient column?

Dear Reader,

there are those things that arouse my curiosity and push me to find answers to the most unusual questions, such as: how thick is an ancient Roman or Greek column?

This came after I was face to face with a dissected Greek column in Selinunte, Sicily. I had never seen one before, at least not cut down like that 😀

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Glad the weather permitted it, this is my own favourite photo of Selinunte. Note the sea in the background 🙂
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A perfectly dissected Greek column cut in many roundels. These are the remains of Temple G. In Selinunte, unlike other sites, each temple is identified with the alphabet letters.

The city of Selinunte rises on a hill, not far from the sea, between Marsala and Agrigento. First inhabited by Sicani and then by the Phoenicians, Selinunte was a Greek colony since the end of the sixth century B.C. Now this site is considered as the most imponent in all Europe, quite rightly. Here I found numerous temples, shrines and altars.
All the temples here in Selinunte are all built following to the canons of the Doric order which is the oldest greek architectural style. It is easy to identify as its main features are simplicity and essentiality which give a sense of order and divine immortality, contrasting the fleetingness and frivolous chaotic world.
The Doric order has columns with no base and with a very simple capital. In other words, Doric buildings were the least decorated. Archaeologists believe that Doric architectural buildings, which were built in stone and covered in stucco, evolved from wooden buildings that were very similar.

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Doric style column, this one seemed smaller than the previous Ionic styled. These are the remains of Temple F. 

 

The distance between each column as well as their diameter can vary greatly: some of them are constituted by sixteen grooves with a diameter of 1.72 m (see my first photo with the dissected columns) while others have twenty grooves and a bigger diameter, ranging from 1.84 m to 2.00 m.

 

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This is what’s left of Temple A, a temple dedicated to the dioscuri Castor and Pollux.

 

Below I’m sticking out of Temple G.

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Earth Day

Dear Reader,

Today is Earth Day, an occasion to remind ourselves of the beautiful yet threatened planet we all live on.
As a gentle reminder, I have here some of my favourite nature photos I took on my trips and adventures 🙂

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This is happy turtle that was swimming in front of me. Cabo Pulmo, Baja California, Mexico.
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Wilde Baja California towards Ventanas. Baja California, Mexico.
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Relaxing female sea lion. Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos.
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Sea lion at sunset. Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos.
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Bird picking on iguana. Isla Isabela, Galapagos.
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Meditating iguana, Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos.
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Very cute lonely yellow bird, San Cristobal, Galapagos.
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Animals do get anxious around food. These two giant tortoises were fighting over food, San Cristobal, Galapagos.
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Stanito and giant tortoise, San Cristobal, Galapagos.
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Close-up of Monarch Butterfly, Michoacán, Mexico.
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Me and the Monarch Butterflies swirling around, Michoacán, Mexico.
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Friendly fox approaching us for food, Sibillini, Marche, Italy.
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Curious camel on the road, Matmata, Tunisia.
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Infinite palmarie, Tuzeur, Tunisia.

Happy 2016!

Dear Reader,
Happy belated New Year 🙂
Stanito staff is back home in  Mexico after a European adventure tail: Italy, Czech Republic and surroundings.
Some quick photos have been uploaded on the road but now is time to dig in the deep stories of the places we have visited starting from this week! So stay tuned in, dear Reader!

Before we dig into new stories I’ll share with you another short gallery of photos of Italy and Czech Republic. Photo quality is phone so please wait until I upload the real pictures 🙂

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This is Pitigliano. Also known as the Jerusalem of Italy due to its Jews community.
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The Old Spanish Synagogue of Prague. A true jewel.
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The beautiful Castle of Prague
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The Old Town Square of Prague.
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Cathedral of the Castle of Prague

Biggest Christmas Tree in the World

Dear Reader,

this is just one photo of this wonderful creation: the biggest Christmas tree in the world is in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy!

Stay tuned for the entire story on my next post 🙂 !

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This is the Christmas Tree seen together with the amphitheatre of Gubbio. 

White Foggy Christmas

Dear Readers,

Happy holidays everybody 🙂 I hope you had a lovely Christmas and ready to have an exciting New Year!

Stanito and Travel Buddy are on the move again, this time focusing on Europe.
Starting from Italy and soon heading to Prague, Stanito caught the White Christmas everyone on Europe dreams of, only this the white element is not exactly  snow this time… Have a look.

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Corbala.
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Monte Castello di Vibio, looking from the main piazza over to Todi in the distance.
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Looking towards Todi.
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Todi

Still counting as White Christmas atmosphere, Stanito is still thrilled.
High pressure mixed with cold temperatures have created this never ending fog but luckily not too bad as we could still enjoy the Umbrian beauties during day time.

 

The Smallest Theatre in the World

Yes dear Reader,
the smallest theatre (or theater) in the world is precisely in Italy, more specifically in a little town of Umbria. The Teatro della Concordia as we were saying

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The cutest little theatre you can imagine. it’s the smallest theatre not in terms of number of seats it offers but because it is the smallest architectonic representation of the typical Italian theatre of the 700th century. It is the typical teatro all’italiana in Goldioni style.

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Impressive affreschi decorate the ceiling of this marvellous theatre.

It was built by a bunch of rich families during the occupation of Napoleon and it officially opened in 1808.

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The thing is, dear Reader, that as you can imagine the name “smallest theatre on earth” sparked some considerable controversy as in fact many other theatres around the world claim the same record.

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This is a 2002 Italian post stamp showing the Teatro della Concordia

However, dear Reader, only Concordia is the true and faithful model of the great Italian and Europeans theatres. Here is why:

It has a bell-shaped floor plan, a proscenium, fresco decorations on the entire surface and in the foyer, dressing rooms, a meeting room, a grand staircase entrance, a lobby, a ticket booth…

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Travel Buddy gently offered to pose in this photo to give you an idea of the size of the theatre and the number of seats.

All the classic architectural elements of the “Italian theater” are here, thrown together in the cutest mini teeny tiny scale.

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Stanito is on stage to give you an idea of how petit it really is.

Teatro della Concordia has 99 seats squeezed in 68 square metres and the stage measures 50 metres with a foyer of about 30 metres.

Isn’t it adorable? 🙂

 

 

A girl at the Italian Military Airplane Space

Dear Reader,

Few weeks ago a fellow Reader asked me about old Italian military aircraft and I thought to myself, if you like Italian military and war “stuff” then this is the place for you 🙂
It is regarded as the oldest military museum in Italy and Stanito spotted it for you.

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Stanito is posing in front of a single-seat FIAT aircraft built in 1933. 

You’re probably wondering why would I want to visit this place… Thing is that I have “a thing” for war items especially if I can see them dissected. In fact here for the first time in my life I saw a missile and aircraft wing totally opened. Fascinating 🙂
Anyway, the museum collects aircrafts and engines that represent the evolution of aviation in Italy. But it also houses important collections related to photographic equipment, radio equipment, weapons, on-board equipment, both individual and collective.

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Among the activities that relate to the museum is the recovery and restoration of historic aircraft in order to preserve the national heritage aircraft.

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Travel buddy in front of a Grumman S2F-1 Tracker aircraft.

It’s built and exposed on four large exhibition hangars with a collection of more than 60 aircraft, engines and memorabilia that take you back in time and tell you about the history of the Italian military aviation and the men who led to its prominence.

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The first hangar you see as you enter the museum is the one dedicated to the Pioneers, the Airships, the First World War (hangar Troster, as soon as you enter on your right side)

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Then you’ll find the epic North Pole flight aircraft of General Nobile, the Large Cruise Massa, the Schneider Cup, more aircrafts between the two Wars (hangar Velo), the Second World War and the great airplanes (hangar Badoni), to finish with the last pavilion illustrating the post-war revival of Italian Air Force, which includes jet aircraft from a more contemporary stage (hangar Skema).

How cool is it? 🙂 Happy Sunday!

The Mafia Saints of Italy

Dear Reader,

One of my home countries, Italy, is a true gem of culture and surprises altogether. Italy is home to things that happen almost ONLY there.

If you’re traveling to Italy you should know that Religion plays a phenomenal role as powerful people often turn out to be venerated as saints once they pass away. It has happened in Napoli, it has happened in the south of Italy and now it happened in Rome.

Today is the case of Vittorio Casamonica. Vittorio Casamonica was the head of the mafia family and of the homonymous criminal clan. They are big in drug dealing and usury, and unsurprisingly they have never been convicted even though they are known to most people as one of the four main famiglie who rule the drugs and racket underworld of Rome.

Thing is, Dear Reader, Vittorio Casamonica passed away on Wednesday night and his funeral has attracted the viral attention of the media and widespread criticism from people in general. The family never seemed to hide their lavish lifestyle and even for the funeral they paraded their black horses carriages and Rolls-Royce:

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On August 20th the Italian media gave plenty of coverage on the sumptuous funeral for Vittorio Casamonica. The Godfather music in the background, lavish carriage, Rolls-Royce, helicopter throwing rose petals, all in the San Giovanni Bosco cathedral, south east area of Rome where the clan used to have its biggest activity.

This is how mafia bosses are regarded. Still.