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Venice, Los Angeles

Venice is a beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is known for its canals, beaches and circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Enjoy Your Time with Rome’s Special Events

Romans are fun-seekers round the year. The locals can always find reasons to celebrate so that they can indulge in feasts and merriment. However, as the city is quite lively throughout the night and day, every day seems like a festival to the tourists who come to Rome. But the real festivals are those in which the entire city shuts down on important religious holidays. From costume parades to calorific blowouts, every district of Rome celebrates these special events in groups that march out of their homes to make the most of the occasion. It is difficult to name just a few events that are more important. However, some of Rome’s special events include:

The White Night

In the first or second week of September, a big event takes place in Rome called the White Night. This event dates back to history in 1984 when Jean Blaise founded a research centre for cultural development in Europe. Since then, Europe adopted this festival of opening art galleries and museums overnight on one day every year. Many activities like fireworks and the scarlet sail tradition are to be enjoyed at this festival. In the Scarlet Sail tradition, ships with scarlet red sails are set out to sea to deliver a message of celebration in Rome. The entire city participates in the event and all shops, galleries, museums and clubs are teeming with people, joyously celebrating all night long. Poetry, music, circus arts, theatre, dance, and exhibitions turn the entire city into a carnival. There is also a special dance performed by mystic saints, whirling in their connection to the Universe on wide terraces. The dance takes place continuously until the dawn spreads its rosy light on the city.

New Year’s Eve

The beginning and ending of the year is the best time to visit Rome, because the grandest festivities are seen on New Year’s Eve. Huge colorful fireworks displays mark the coming of the New Year at midnight. The whole night is filled with cracker blasts, fireworks, and sparklers; whether you take part in private parties at homes or huge public gatherings in the central squares. The smaller surrounding towns are not far behind on this day of celebration. They build bonfires in one of the central squares and all the townsfolk congregate at the time of dawn. If you stay near the coast in Rome, you will even hear ships and boats blowing their horns to participate in the festivities. Outdoor concerts with rock and pop bands are also organized throughout the city.

Easter in Rome

The two weeks of Easter are one of the busiest times of the year when the whole city unites to send prayers and follow the traditions of the event. Pilgrims in tens of thousands gather to mark the most important event in the Catholic calendar. Catholics from Rome march to the Vatican City to hear the Pope giving a sermon on Easter Sunday and to receive his blessings.
Where tradition, religion, culture, and fun are concerned, Romans win the hearts of many people by celebrating events in the perfect way.

Rome - The Vatican

Rome Colosseum

Rome Palatine Forum

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Go East: 5 German Cities Reborn after the Fall of the Iron Curtain

Emerging bowed but unbroken from nearly 50 years of Communist rule, the former East Germany has exploded with renewed energy and an up-and-coming, youthful attitude. Though packed with plenty of Soviet-era drab buildings, these five cities have much to offer a visitor. Head behind the Iron Curtain and immerse yourself in the restored beauty, explore things to do in Germany and spirit of one of Europe's best-kept secrets.

1. East Berlin 
East Berlin today may be rejoined with the West, but the feel is decidedly different, so be sure to include the former capital of the German Democratic Republic in your itinerary plan. Start with a jaunt through the Brandenburg Gate, one of the city's most enduring symbols and the site of U.S. President Ronald Reagan's famous "tear down this wall" speech. You'll be passing through some seriously contested territory, as the gate once stood in a barren strip separating the East and West halves of the city. Swing by the Alexanderplatz as well--this local meeting place is one of the best examples of dubiously-titled "Communist chic." Horrifically grey buildings aside, stopping by the square grants you a killer view of the looming TV tower and plants you squarely in the center of former East Germany's public life.

Berlin Museum island
Berlin Museum island

2. Leipzig
 Take a trip to Germany back to the glory days of pre-war Germany by exploring the charming cafes and stately buildings of old Leipzig. One of Germany's historical centers of trade, the city hasn't lost its edge for industry and development. Wander in the Altstadt, or old town center, and soak up the part-medieval, part-Renaissance splendor mixed with ornate 18th-century architecture. Don't miss stopping by the Old Town Hall to learn even more about the life and times of this lively town, and spend some time in the bustling Market Square to get a feel for this powerhouse of a city.

3. Potsdam
 Head for Potsdam to feel like you're living large with Frederick the Great and the monarchs of Europe's decadent age of the 18th century. Forget the fact that this is a suburb of Berlin--the atmosphere is hardly the same as that of the capital. Packed with vintage mansions, palaces, and sculpted gardens, this town is also the country's biggest World Heritage Site. Take in the splendor and luxury of Sanssouci Palace and the adjoining Sanssouci Park, two of Frederick the Great's most prized properties, and you might begin to understand how well European royalty lived. You’ll pass ornate wing after ornate wing of the huge residence, sporting carved statues, decorative molding, and golden triumphal monuments.

4. Dresden 
 Resilient Dresden is a real-life story of a town rising from the ashes--after Allied bombing obliterated its beautiful city center during World War II, the the city rebuilt many of its historical attractions. Soak up Dresden's former glory by wandering its cobbled streets and grand promenades, lined with centuries-old, pastel-colored stately homes and residences. Head to Zwinger, a part of the city's old fortress, and get your fill of its luxurious Rococo architecture and gardens bursting with decorative fountains. Alternatively, architecture buffs can opt for a visit to Pillnitz Castle and Park, a fabulous tan-and-orange Baroque mansion that, even more enticingly, stands on the foundations of a medieval estate.

5. Wernigerode
 Don't leave this town without making your way to Wernigerode Castle, a masterpiece of a Baroque mansion with towers, turrets, and peaked rooftops that pay a classic tribute to its 13th-century heritage. While the original owners may be gone, the castle's charm remains, so give yourself plenty of time to explore this extensive complex that recalls images right out of a fairy tale. Afterward, stroll the grounds to admire the picturesque building from a distance. The town itself features a fair bit of nightlife in the form of bars and restaurants, so hit the town for a traditional meal or a few cold pints of famous German beer.

Catch the spirit
 For a good part of the 20th century, eastern Germany couldn't catch a break, with economic depression, devastating war, and brutal oppression casting a serious pall over many of its cities and towns. However, delving into some of its most notable cities shows you that this hasn't broken the region's upbeat spirit, and you can find plenty of bustling urban centers, idyllic residences, and noble splendor.