Venice Carnival 2014: Our First Carnival Outfits

By Irina

My masquerade mask at the Venice Carnival 2014. Italy.

Victor’s masquerade outfit. Venice Carnival 2014.

We both love Italy and come back here at every opportunity, but it was our first visit to the Venice Carnival. The experience was unique and fascinating simultaneously—you did not only put on a Venetian mask, you tried another life for a while. The carnival costume is like your new persona. You don’t recognize yourself!

Sometimes I have ingenious ideas. Once, when we intended to spend a couple of spring days in Rome, I thought: Why not in Venice and why not in masquerade costumes? A small amount of adventurous spirit inherited from someone from my family forced me to Google “Venice Carnival 2014.” Well, the carnival would take place in the second part of February, and this is the best time for us for the next five years. It’s time to fly!

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The Laocoon Group–My Favorite Greek Mythology Sculpture of the Vatican Museum


The Laocoon Group sculpture in the Vatican Museum. Rome, Italy.

The Laocoon Group sculpture in the Vatican Museums. Rome, Italy.

The Laocoon sculpture is a perfectly performed Death itself. I was a child when I first saw this statue. I did not realize its value. I just looked at the beautiful bodies of a grandfather and his grandchildren. Oh yes, I did not know it was the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus. If there is a beard, then he must be an old man, period! But this old man was in such perfect physical condition that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I guess the ancient Greeks knew some kind of secret of getting into such a shape and keeping it without using the steroids that we need nowadays in order to recreate such an appearance.

This is the only statue that in my childhood I failed to draw successfully from the catalogue due to the huge amount of detail. It was much easier with Venus de Milo or Apollo sculptures. And now just imagine how much effort it took to cut it out from a solid marble block. As I learned later, there were two blocks, but still, does it make the process easier?

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Amalfi Coast – the Most Awful Road in My Life

The Amalfi Coast. Italy.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. Our topic today is the Amalfi Coast of Italy. My God, who doesn’t know the beautiful Amalfi Coast? Excuse me, sir… What? You don’t know? Well, if you will ask His Majesty Google to show you the Amalfi Coast you will see several million beautiful pictures showing levels of multi-colored small houses, cottages, palaces, and churches, among picturesque rocks rising out of the sea – rocks covered with lemon trees (this is the region of the famous liqueur, Limoncello). And sun, sun, and sun, always and everywhere.

This is the Mediterranean Sea, and this is Italy. Small cities of the Amalfi Coast remind me of a handful of colored toys that God took and threw into the mountains. It worked well.

However, you will notice one strange thing: almost every picture is taken either from a helicopter or a yacht; that is, from the sea. What did you say, madam? You have noticed it too and want to visit this nice coast? I understand. My wife felt the same: she saw, wanted, and we started our journey. However, we did not take the yacht, and have not used our helicopter (joking). We rented a small car.

Dear Lord, thank You very much for Your kindness. You are so wise and farsighted. Thank You for sending us a SMALL car. Thank You, thank You…

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