On March 17th, the world turns green again with Global Greening!

On the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, Global Greening is back, the Irish Tourism event, which sees iconic monuments around the world light up with green. Born to bring a sign of friendship to the over 70,000,000 people around the world linked to the emerald island, over the years it has assumed a value of communion between peoples, a value that this year is also strongly associated with a message of hope and peace.

Overall, the cultural initiative will globally involve over 700 sites and monuments, with strong support from Italy with 30 illuminated goods. For the next edition of Global Greening, now upon us, significant numbers are still awaited, with the confirmation of some monuments such as the Tower of Pisa, the Well of San Patrizio in Orvieto, the Isola del Liri Waterfall, the Trajan’s Column, Villa Spada and the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola in Rome, the Terrazza a Mare in Lignano Sabbiadoro, the Rocca in Lonato del Garda, the Torre del Bramante in Vigevano, the Bollente in Acqui Terme, the Palazzo del Municipio in Parma, and several others . Procida, Capital of Culture 2022, participates for the second consecutive year with Palazzo Merlato.

Torre di Pisa
Pisa Tower

The Adriatic city returns to pay homage to Ireland and the writer James Joyce, whose “soul is in Trieste”. In fact, the statue that portrays him walking on the Grand Canal will be tinged with green. In addition, for the occasion, the historic lighthouse “La Lanterna” will also be dressed in the color of Ireland, built on a previous defensive structure reminiscent of the Martello Tower of Sandymount, setting in which the famous novel Ulysses, conceived by Joyce, opens. right in Trieste.

Milan, where the Irish Week will be in full swing, will light up the UniCredit Tower, the fountain in Piazza Gae Aulenti, the Spirit de Milan and Porta Romana in green.
Among the new entries at national level: Castel Nanno in Val di Non, Palazzo Cabrino in Novara, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Loreto in the Alta Valle Intelvi, the War Memorial in Castiglion della Pescaia.

Global Greening kicked off 13 years ago in Australia with the green lighting of the iconic Sidney Opera House, which will also join the celebrations this year.
The 2022 appointment represents one of the initiatives scheduled in the rich calendar of international events to celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland.
Also this year the official hashtag of the initiative will be #globalgreening.

Art exhibitions between Austria and Italy: a look at 2022

Until 27 March the exhibition “Klimt, the Secession and Italy” will continue to enchant visitors with the works of the Viennese master – many of which come from the Belvedere in Vienna, curator Franz Smola – exhibited at Palazzo Braschi in Rome. In the meantime, other Italian and Austrian cities will enter into art dialogues: from February 23, “Titian and the image of woman”, a major exhibition organized in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, will arrive from Vienna at the Royal Palace in Milan. by Sylvia Ferino.

Speaking of Titian we are talking about Venice. The Belvedere will dedicate “Viva Venezia” to Venice and the myth of the lagoon city from 17 February in the rooms of the newly restored Lower Belvedere. At the Venice Biennale the Austrian pavilion will be animated by the multimedia installations “Invitation of the Soft Machine and Her Angry Body Parts” by Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl (curator Karola Kraus).

Again at the Belvedere in Vienna the focus will be on Rome and Naples with an exhibition of the works of Joseph Rebell. This is the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to this artist, born in Vienna in 1787 who, starting from 1813, worked in Italy for several years. In Naples he was part of the “Posillipo School”. His paintings were held in high esteem among painting enthusiasts of the time throughout Europe, and after his return to Vienna, Rebell was called by Emperor Francis I to direct the Belvedere Imperial Painting Gallery.

Useful dates and links

7 good reasons to visit Bologna

Bologna is the city of towers also called the “learned”, the “red” and the “fat” and, so far, nothing new. But have you ever wondered what is so beautiful in Bologna besides a plate of tortellini (in broth) or one of the oldest universities in the world?

1. The arcades

Image by gustavozini from Pixabay

Bologna is much more than some famous monument that the Emilian capital can show off to the world. Bologna from July 2021 has finally seen its infinite kilometers of arcades (38 + 15) recognized by UNESCO which has included them in its exclusive list of world heritage sites.
The arcades of Bologna are not only a typical architectural beauty of the city, but also a monument for the citizens who have always felt “protected” by them
Imagine being able to visit the shops in the center and go shopping on rainy days without worrying about bringing an umbrella while 38 km of arcades in the historic center will cover you. And if you want to take a nice walk up to San Luca, here too you will find other arcades starting from Porta Saragozza and then from the Arco del Meloncello to the Sanctuary.

2.The culinary tradition

Photo by Francescolainok from Adobe stock

I cannot deny, however, that Bologna has a great reputation for its rich and delicious culinary tradition and, if like myself you have had a Bolognese grandmother, you can only confirm everything and add more.
Those who come to visit Bologna expect to find excellent lasagna, traditional tortellini and maybe even the typical mortadella of the city. Over time, the tradition has become somewhat lost, in the sense that lasagna with green pasta, béchamel and Bolognese sauce, with slow cooking from the time of our grandparents, have given way to some slightly more “neglected” and rapid.
Tortellini, which in the Bolognese tradition should be prepared strictly with broth or in the variant with cream, have been “raped” with some sauce or even with meat sauce.
In the city there are excellent restaurants, but also some “tourist traps” which, as in every city in the world, exist and survive the purpose. Personally, I find the farmhouses a little out of town very tasty, but as an inveterate traveler that I am, I understand that without a rental car or a good network of public transport, it is difficult to get anywhere.

3. The hills

Image by alexnetit from Pixabay

While we are on the subject of travel. If you come to Bologna you absolutely cannot miss the Bolognese hills (yes! Those of Cesare Cremonini’s song called “50 Special”).
The Bolognese hills are the greenest part of Bologna and the area where the richest people of the city usually live. In spring and summer it becomes a bit of a destination for everyone to find some lawn to relax and cool off with the air of the hills, while in the evening many go there to admire the city with the lights of the night.
Tradition has it that bringing your partner on the hills is not a good omen and probably after this event the couple will separate. I don’t know how true that is but, for some it “worked”.

4. Monuments and legends

Canal Bologna, Piella street – Italy – Hdr

In Bologna there is water.
If you want to see it with your own eyes, all you have to do is walk along via Indipendenza (the shopping street in Bologna) and when you are about halfway through, look for via Piella, a small street parallel to it. Here is a window (or a bridge on the opposite side) where you can see an underground canal of the city. With a little patience you can also take some photos (there is often a queue of people). Some argue instead that Bologna is empty in its subsoil and nothing is enough to make it sink. For this reason we cannot think of a subway line or underground works of a certain importance.
The university tradition has instead two important (among others) myths about the city: If you are a student in Bologna, it is bad luck to cross Piazza Maggiore (the one in front of San Petronio to be clear) diagonally and it is not recommended to climb the two Towers until you graduate. I know people who have tried to dispel these myths and still got the coveted degree, but it depends on how superstitious you are to decide what to do.

You can always ask Neptune for advice first and … who knows who won’t answer you!

5. The sea

Rimini…Photo by Fabio Tura on Unsplash

If you are born or come to live in Bologna then you will end up falling in love with the sea and Romagna.
The sea is not that of the Caribbean but the people are wonderful and you can eat like God here too!
Rimini is an hour and a half away by train, the Ravenna Riviera (Cervia, Milano Marittima and Cesenatico) about eighty kilometers away, while the Ferrara coast and the Po Delta, a little further away but always excellent for a weekend or a day trip.
The sea of Romagna for the Bolognese (but also for all Emilians) is a must that cannot be missed in spring and summer. The piadina, the beach, the trips in the pine forest, the evenings out and … the long queues on the highway on Sunday to return …
But it’s always worth it …

6. Car and motorcycle

Lamborghini Museum…Photo by Toni Zaat on Unsplash

If you are passionate about motors, Bologna and a large part of Emilia Romagna are good fertile ground. Arriving at Marconi airport you will already notice how important Lamborghini is in the area. A 640 horsepower Huracàn Evo with the inscription “follow me in our beautiful Country” whizzes through the runways of the Bologna airport “piloting” the airliners towards the gates. But it does not end there, because next to one of the entrance (or exit) doors of the airport you will also find a small space with two Lamborghinis on display and a small shop dedicated to the car manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese..
In the museum Lamborghini instead there is the story of the founder Tonino Lamborghini and his engineering works. From the beginning, when he started creating tractors, then moving on to cars: the Miura, the legendary Countach and much more.

Borgo Panigale is home to one of the most famous motorcycle manufacturers in the world: Ducati. Here too you will find a large dedicated space with museum and Factory .
A few tens of kilometers from Bologna you reach Modena, where the heart of other Italian supercars beats. The best known is undoubtedly Ferrari. In Maranello there is the test track for the Formula 1 single-seaters and one of the two museums(the other is in Modena not far from the train station) which contain the whole history of what is the tradition of one of the most important car manufacturers in the world.
If you were not satisfied yet, you can go to the Imola racetrack where the formula 1 circus has returned for a couple of years. Near the Tamburello curve you can also find a bronze statue dedicated to Ayrton Senna who lost his life here in an accident in 1994.

7. The scents of the city

Image by francesco lucignano from Pixabay

Bologna has a different smell for every corner of the city or the province you walk through.
The scent of roasted chestnuts at Christmas along via Indipendenza or that of pizza by the slice in front of Altero.
Bologna smells of alcohol at night in the university area or dog piss (will they be dogs?) Under some porch.
The scent of hot croissants in the morning at 6.30 in via Carracci that I never understood where it comes from or the smell of the basement of the central station.
Bologna smells like the evening in the hills. So much so that one would want to get out of the car even if it is already late just to breathe and smell that beautiful scent of nature.
Bologna smells of burning fireplaces, of Christmas holidays and, when summer arrives, even of torrid asphalt …

… but above all … Bologna smells like home …

10+ 3 abandoned European villages that only a truly brave solo traveler should visit

It may happen that, between one trip and another, we feel like trying our luck and organizing something a little more exciting than usual. You know, traveling alone can mean a few more unexpected events but, if for one reason or another we decide to get away from everything and everyone, here are some cities or villages around Europe that only the bravest should visit traveling alone.

These are some villages that for various reasons (geological events, wars or more), have been evacuated and never returned to their original state. The inhabitants have been relocated en masse to new nearby settlements and now only onlookers, photographers and wildlife roam here.

1.Oradour sur Glane: This French village not far from Limoges is remembered for a massacre that took place on June 10, 1944, during the Second World War. Here 642 people lost their lives and, since then, only a museum of memory has been established here. Everything else is in a state of neglect. If you decide to come here, remember what happened and that it still remains a place of memory.

Wrecked car in Oradour Sur Glane (Photo by Guitou60 from Adobe stock Photo)

2.Doel, in Belgium, has a very special history: up to the 1970s it had a thousand inhabitants but with the new project to expand the port of Antwerp it was decided to start demolishing houses here. However, there are still a few hundred “dissidents” who do not want to know about selling their house and, today, Doel has become the village of street art and murals.
So there remain closed windows and doors and walls full of incredible drawings. Maybe a visit here could be worth a few hours of your trip if you are passionate about street art

Doel: facade of an abandoned house (Photo by Ronny from Adobe stock Photos)

3. Pripyat also has a very special history. It was evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster, the well-known accident at the nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 that initially caused 65 deaths. Pripyat, evacuated after the disaster, can now be visited thanks to some Kiev tour operators who organize excursions here. On the way back, if you just can’t resist the idea of visiting this desolate place, there are still many radiation checks. It even seems that a few hundred inhabitants managed to escape control and now reside permanently here.

Pripyat: Abandoned bumper cars-Photo by Robert Armstrong from Pixabay

4.If it is already hard to think of going to the Svalbard Islands (either alone or with others), trying to get to Pyramiden could prove to be fascinating but somewhat prohibitive.
Founded as a mining town in 1910, Pyramiden bears this name due to the shape of the mountain behind it. In 1998 it was abandoned by the last Russian miners after being used by several mining companies for years. Since 2011 it seems to have been inhabited again for tourist purposes. If you do not like the idea of coming here to meet bears, birds, wild animals and some humans, however, know that on the Svalbard Islands you can visit 3 other ghost towns:
-Advent City
-Grumantbyen ( photo below)
… unless a polar bear eats you first

Grumant settlement at Svalbard, Spitzbergen

5. Belchite, in Spain, was also destroyed by a war. We are in the period of the Spanish Civil War and on 22 August 1937 a siege begins which will only end at the beginning of September. Belchite will be completely destroyed and only a monument of the heroes will remain here. Some films will also be shot after Belchite. But what you see in the photo below is what remains of the historic center of the city.

a view of the remains of the old town of Belchite, Spain, destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and abandoned from then, highlighting the San Martin de Tours church

6.Craco is a small town in the province of Matera in Italy and in the 1950s it began to depopulate due to a landslide that endangered the stability of its houses. At the beginning of the 80s Craco became a ghost town even if today it is a real tourist destination and even a film set on some occasions. Surely a destination within the reach of even the most fearful.

Craco: a donkey grazes the grass at the foot of the abandoned town

7. Dvigrad is a medieval Croatian city also called Due Castelli. Its history has been full of battles and continuous sieges which it has often resisted thanks to its fortifications but, only in 1715, after a strong malaria epidemic, even the last inhabitants were forced to leave

Aerial view of the abandoned village of Dvigrad

8.Not much information about Jantuha, a city in Abkhazia, one of the autonomous republics in which Georgia (formerly the Soviet Union) is divided, but it is certain that looking at the image probably even the most fearless of solitary travelers would find it difficult to enter such a desolate and abandoned place.
Doesn’t it remind you of a scene from the film “Eurotrip”?

Abandoned mining ghost-town Jantuha, Abkhazia. Destroyed empty houses, the remains of the cars, remnant of The Georgian-Abkhazian war

9.This is a real gem and, even if we don’t recommend sleeping at night, it’s sure to be worth a visit. Kayakoy is a completely abandoned Greek-style village that overlooks the Aegean Sea but stands, or rather once stood on the Turkish coasts. The inhabitants now live in the valley and tourism is certainly not lacking here thanks to these splendid ruins surrounded by greenery. For all types of travelers.

Kayakoy, Fethiye, Turkey

Ten. Irbene and Skrunda-1 in Latvia are two Russian military bases with giant radars that are also abandoned. If you want to take a beach holiday, here we are not very far from the fresh seas of Northern Europe and, judging by the photos, already inside the abandoned site, you can see some sand dunes. There are also some hotels in the area. Think about it!

Foto: Edijs Pālens, http://www.edijsfoto.lv