La Scarzuola, Umbria: New Life of St. Francis Monastery

By Irina.

The ideal city of La Scarzuola, Umbria, Italy.

The ideal city of La Scarzuola, Umbria, Italy.

We stumbled upon the information on the St. Francis Monastery, La Scarzuola, Umbria, Italy, accidentally. Its pictures in the Internet looked like a hello from a wonderful private estate, Quinta da Rigaleira, Sintra, Portugal, that we visited a couple of years ago. Then we found the website of La Scarzuola with minimal historic information, but with an Italian telephone number and email. So, it was possible to agree on the date and time of our visit. Why?

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Pavlovsk Palace: Not so Much a Palace as a “Home, Sweet Home” of Russian Emperors

The Greek Hall of the Pavlovsk Palace, Pavlovsk, Russia.

The Greek Hall of the Pavlovsk Palace, Pavlovsk, Russia.

On September 3, 1941, the first Nazi tank was entering Pavlovsk from the west. The last Soviet tank was leaving the city, desperately shooting back with covering fire for three trucks. There were a driver and a woman in a lilac beret in the last truck. She was carrying a treasure that an uninformed person could have mistaken for a pile of garbage, just junk. But she knew better. She was sure the Pavlovsk Palace would be demolished by Nazis. She was also sure she would come back with Russian tanks, retake the former residence of Russian emperors and empress, and restore it down to the smallest detail. And this “garbage” would help her to do it.

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Are You 50+ and an Actor at Heart? Visit the Venetian Carnival!

The Venetian Carnival dress of Irina. Venice, Italy.

Irina’s Venetian Carnival dress. Venice, Italy.

A carnival and Venice. Two words—two miracles. While any carnival is a wonderful event, the city of Venice is a wonder on its own. Yes, this lady is demanding to your wallet. But you are 50+, you worked hard for most of your life, and your financial advisor will not commit suicide if you spend 3-4 thousand Euro to realize your lifelong dream: to play a role in a show where you are the director, costume designer, sponsor, and superstar. The venue of the show is Italy, the theater is Venice, the stage is the city streets.

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