Italian Festivals: Festa della Rificolona

festa_della_rificolanaWho doesn’t love a local festival inspired by dowdy farmers, reenacted for hundreds of years by a procession of lanterns (that end the evening in flames) and children with spitball assault rifles. Answer: no one. Do I have your attention?
Welcome to the (seemingly innocent and wholesome) Festa dell Rificolona! To the uneducated eye, it is a perfectly quaint event involving one contingent of children processing with lit lanterns while another (perhaps slightly more unusual) contingent uses long pipes and putty to shoot spitballs at the passing paper targets. Everyone involved seems perfectly happy with the situation, so you assume it’s all part of the fun. It is. And it is fun, if a bit of an odd way to honor the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary.
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Photo of the Week: Notte Bianca

Photo of the Week: Notte Bianca

This is not photoshopped.
 
On April 30th, the city of Florence celebrated Notte Bianca, an all-night event with performances, exhibitions, and late opening hours for stores and museums all over the city. The night leads up to May 1st, the day of the worker, a holiday from work for almost the entire city. Each year the Notte Bianca events focus around a theme that plays out all over the city’s main piazzas and public buildings. The theme this year was “Volare,” to fly, and it included incredible displays on tightropes, dances the sides of buildings, opera singers hoisted into the air by cranes, and enormous sculptures floating overhead, such as the one pictured above in Piazza Santa Croce.
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Photo of the Week: Buona Pasqua! (Happy Easter!)

Photo of the Week: Buona Pasqua! (Happy Easter!)

Happy Easter!

From your team at Select Study Abroad

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Photo of the Week: Carnival!

Photo of the Week: Carnival!

This past weekend we were back in Rome and to our delight and surprise we found ourselves right in the middle of the Carnevale celebrations. As per usual, this involved people in costumes (not quite to the level of the famous Carnevale in Venice, but a valiant effort nonetheless), children in adorable mini costumes (very similar to Halloween in the states), and confetti. Lots and lots of confetti (see image above). I have always enjoyed these February festivities and nothing beats accidently and fortuitously stumbling into a gaggle of mini people dressed up as zebras and princesses chucking confetti everywhere. This year, however, I realized that I really had no idea what any of it had to do with the Catholic religion. So, I did a little research. Turns out, not much…not directly anyway.
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Photo of the Week: Happy New Year!

Photo of the Week: Happy New Year!

Happy everything & everything happy for 2013!

From your team at Select Study Abroad!

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