Ciao! Pope

23 Mar

 Stroy about Pope Benedict’s

Getting all of Pope Benedict’s luggage loaded into the limo, (and he doesn’t travel light), the driver notices the Pope is still standing on the curb. 

‘Excuse me, Your Holiness,’ says the driver, ‘Would you please take your seat so we can leave?’ 

‘Well, to tell you the truth,’ says the Pope, ‘they never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a cardinal, and I’d really like to drive today.’ 

‘I’m sorry, Your Holiness, but I cannot let you do that. I’d lose my job! What if something should happen?’ protests the driver, wishing he’d never gone to work that morning.. 

‘Who’s going to tell?’ says the Pope with a smile. 

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 205 kms.. (Remember, the Pope is German..) 

‘Please slow down, Your Holiness!’ pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens. 

‘Oh, dear God, I’m going to lose my license — and my job!’ moans the driver. 

The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio. 

‘I need to talk to the Chief,’ he says to the dispatcher. 

The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he’s stopped a limo going 155 kph. 

‘So bust him,’ says the Chief. 

‘I don’t think we want to do that, he’s really important,’ said the cop. 

The Chief exclaimed,’ All the more reason!’ 

‘No, I mean really important,’ said the cop with a bit of persistence. 

The Chief then asked, ‘Who do you have there, the mayor?’ 
Cop: ‘Bigger.’ 

Chief: ‘ A senator?’ 
Cop: ‘Bigger.’ 

Chief: ‘The Prime Minister?’ 
Cop: ‘Bigger.’ 

‘Well,’ said the Chief, ‘who is it?’ 

Cop: ‘I think it’s God!’ 

The Chief is even more puzzled and curious, ‘What makes you think it’s God?’ 

Cop: ‘His chauffeur is the Pope!

In Italy at each end of month you will see Pope in Vatican!


Arts From Heaven

23 Mar

Italy is an art lover’s paradise. It has been likened to one vast museum. No other country in the world has such a rich heritage of artistic creativity. A UNESCO study placed 40% of the art of the world in Italy.

The Italian art developed in the Italian peninsula since prehistoric times. During the Roman Empire, Italy was the center of an artistic culture that for the first time created a universal language for the homogeneous world of Europe and the Mediterranean. In some periods of Italy was the country’s most artistically advanced in Europe.

During prehistoric times some cultures flourished in Italy, among which the Valcamonica, the Villanova, that of the Piceno and that of the Samnites.
The Magna Graecia and Sicily was one of the most culturally active greek world. Among the most important evidence has come down to us are the temples of Agrigento, Selinunte and Paestum. 
The Etruscan art, which counts among its masterpieces works in bronze, terracotta, Buccheri and fresco paintings, was the most important cultural expression of pre-Roman Italy. Noteworthy were the contacts with the Magna Greece and the cultural contribution to the nascent Roman art. 

The Romans developed their own unique artistic culture after the Punic Wars, and thanks to the conquest of the cities of Magna Graecia and Greece itself is deeply influenced by ellenismo. The Romans did it in a sense the heirs of Hellenistic classicism, although with significant differences. In architecture, there was an extraordinary development of construction techniques that enabled the construction of a huge complex monumental painting and sculpture inspired by Greek art, but the contribution of the popular roots and Italic also allowed the emergence of new forms of art not made by the Greeks such as the historical and portrait. 
But perhaps one the most influential Italian art expressions is during the Renaissance period.
The Renaissance began in Italy in the fourteenth century, from revivals of humanistic literature of Petrarch and Boccaccio. The rediscovery of Roman art, perspective, proportion, use of light in body revolutionized the world of European art. The first center involved in the new figurative art was Florence, closely followed by other courts of Italy (Mantova , Ferrara, Urbino …), and papal Rome. The artists to start this revolution were Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti in architecture, Masaccio, Filippo Lippi and Botticelli in painting, Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti for the sculpture. The Venetian art discovered the aerial perspective and use of color ever experienced before (Giorgione, Titian). On the eve of the sixteenth century came to the fore three genes versatile, gifted in several disciplines (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raphael Sanzio), who created some of the most famous masterpieces of world of fine art.

Venice Film Festival

23 Mar

One of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world, the 68th Venice Film Festival kicks off this year on August 31 and runs through to September 10, 2011 when the complete group of winners will be announced.

The full official lineup of this year’s nominees will be announced in late July 2011, when almost two dozen films in the festival’s official competition are unveiled.

Opening last year’s festival was “Black Swan”, a thriller starring actress Natalie Portman, centering on the rivalry between two dancers at a New York ballet company.

Taking home the Golden Lion top prize was US entry, “Somewhere” by director Sofia Coppola, examining the life a a Hollywood actor and the relationship with his daughter, starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning.

Venice Carnival!

23 Mar

History of Venice Carnival

The word carnival comes from the Latin for “Farewell, meat!”. As Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday) obliged people to fast, during the period up to Ash Wednesday all meat, butter and eggs had to be used up. This religious formality became the excuse for a party that echoed pagan festivities. In late Rome Saturnalia and Lupercalia were moments when licentiousness and wantonry were celebrated – a deliberate upturning of the usual social order. Christianity licensed a comparable period of celebration from Twelfth Night until the midnight of Shrove Tuesday. Popes Clement IX and XI and Benedict XIII were among those who tried hardest to bring Carnival back within proper religious limits, but they didn’t have much influence over Venice.

 The history of the Venice Carnival tradition began after 1162. The Republic defeated Ulrico, Patriarch of Aquileia in that year, and began a tradition of slaughtering a bull and 12 pigs in the Piazza San Marco around Shrove Tuesday to commemorate the victory. This celebration gradually grew and 1268 dates the first document mentioning the use of masks.

Carnival Masks

Masks made the Venetian Carnival unique. If you cannot identify the wearer of the mask, you do not know his social status. In this way, Venice temporarily overturned her social order. Some of the masks depicted Commedia dell’Arte characters. Others were more sinister. The white-beaked mask so famous from photographs is that of the plague-doctor; the beak echoes a doctor’s long breathing apparatus that held a sponge doused in vinegar, thought to hold the plague at bay. The Doges were frequently exercised by the dangers masks allowed, and passed laws limiting their use to within the carnival period; if you wore a mask at any other time of year, penalties were severe.

 Masks are a big cottage industry in today’s Venice, and sold all year round. If you are looking for a mask for carnival, one of the better mask shops is Carta Alta – their website not only gives you a catalogue of masks for sale, but flash movies showing how the masks are made.