Island Hotel Katarina or Paradise With Some Drawbacks

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View of Rovinj from Sveta Katarina Island, Croatia.

View of Rovinj from Sveta Katarina Island, Croatia.

A picturesque island, Sveta Katarina is located in front of the city of Rovinj in Istria, Croatia. It is an island-hotel called Maistra Hotel Katarina. The last owner of the island—Count Milewski, who bought it in 1905—wanted to make it a true paradise to receive guests and use as his own residence. For 21 years, he did a great job, the results of which we are able to see today. The island is a paradise indeed, but… only at first glance.

When you gradually acquaint yourself with it, you notice some really paradoxical and even shocking things, although Count Milewski bears no responsibility for them. More on that later; I don’t want my comments to have a negative influence on your opinion about this wonderful place from the first lines. Let’s be fair.

View of Sveta Katarina Island from the bell tower of the Saint Euphemia Church. Rovinj, Croatia.

View of Sveta Katarina Island from the bell tower of the Saint Euphemia Church. Rovinj, Croatia.

So, for 124 Euros (about 907 Kuna) per day in the Hotel Katarina, Istria, in August, you have:

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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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Ellis Island: Gateway to a New Life

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I love theater and restaurants, but more than that, I love history. New York’s history may not be as deeply rooted as that of Europe, but the building of a country in the New World has a historical significance of its own. Ellis Island, which is partly in New York and partly in New Jersey, played an important role in nation building. It was the busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 to 1954. Millions of immigrants from many different countries, mostly European, passed through the doors of the Immigration House. Imagine how many destinies were resolved here, how many people started a new life, sometimes successful, sometimes not, but most times better than what they left behind.

During the War of Independence, Samuel Ellis, a merchant from New York and owner of Ellis Island, opened a tavern on the island and provided products for local fishermen. The first immigration law, The Naturalization Act of 1790, said that any white man who has lived for two years in the United States becomes a citizen. In 1808, Ellis Island was sold to the state of New York, but retained its name. In the same year, the island was sold to the Federal Government for $ 10,000.

The first immigrant passed through the center on Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 15-year-old Irish girl who received official congratulations and $ 1,000 ($10 gold coin).

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