Viareggio Carnevale 2014

This is our third year heading to Viareggio’s Carnevale celebration and each time, the floats and costumes never cease to amaze us.  The parade of Carnevale 2014 presented 15 floats, with some reaching heights as tall as 20 meters (over 65 feet)!  Over 1,000 people in 25 different artisan firms worked an entire year to create these giant floats made from paper mâché and their work definitely paid off.  At 15 Euro per ticket, the Viareggio Carnevale was able to bring in roughly 3 million dollars over the course of 5 different parade days.

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Visiting Lands Unknown – Romania & Serbia

And this is the drop-off on the other side

I think most people have an idea of what traveling to Italy, France, or Spain looks like.  There are thousands of guides on the internet, Rick Steeves books, and friends/family members/colleagues that will give you advice on what to see or do.  On the other side of the spectrum, there are countries like Romania and Serbia in which most people know little about.  This is not to say that they are less special or culturally-rich countries; the countries are just a little off the beaten path.  After spending Christmas in Budapest, we drove to Timisoara, Romania, where we visited (yet) another Christmas market and then headed on to Belgrade, Serbia, where we toured the town and met up with another Olmsted Scholar and his wife.

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Carnevale 2013

Beautiful princess

This is the second year we’ve traveled to Viareggio, on Tuscany’s Mediterranean coast, for Carnevale.  The city is celebrating its 140th year for the parade this year, and it expects more than one million spectators to visit in its two week duration.  Viareggio’s Carnevale is known for the satirical papier-mâché floats, highlighting political figures from Europe and America.  Each float can take up to a year to design and build!

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