The flight of the Angel: a centuries-old tradition that officially opens the Venice Carnival.

“Il Volo dell’Angelo” (the flight of the angel), which took place today in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is considered the opening ritual of the Venice Carnival, a celebration famous all over the world. This is a tradition born in an edition of the Carnival in the mid-sixteenth century, when an extraordinary event took place: a young Turkish acrobat managed, with the only help of a barbell, to reach the San Marco bell tower walking, in the din of the crowd below in delirium, over a…

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This photo of 1925 testifies the First Selfie-Stick of History?

Is the “selfie stick” really a modern gadget? This photograph, published by the English freelance journalist Alan Cleaver, dates back to 1925 and shows his grandparents who are taking a picture with the aid of a long pole, what today is called “selfie-stick”. The photo was taken in Rugby, Warwickshire (central England) just after his grandparents Arnold and Helen Hogg got married. However, in one of preparatory shots, Arnold inadvertently immortalized the pole used to shoot the photograph from a distance, leaving us with a testimony that would prove, almost…

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The Casalegno Orphanage

The former orphanage “San Giuseppe”, is more commonly know as “Il Casalegno” because it was built at the behest of Monsignor Casalegno. Giuseppe Casalegno was born near Turin in 1839 by a family of merchants and since childhood showed a generous and helpful spirit to help others. On May 22, 1864, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, he was ordained a priest and over the years founded several humanitarian institutions. The construction of the Casalegno Orphanage dates back to 1877 to host the children from Trino Vercellese and Lucedio (where,…

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The “spartito del diavolo” and the mysteries that surround Lucedio Principality. Truth or legend?

As we all know, at the base of every legend there is (almost) always something true, and that human imagination has no limits: it is enough to tell, for example, dark stories of ghosts, witches, curses, infernal rites, to give veracity to events happened (perhaps) a few centuries before. Thus, the presence of a strange musical score frescoed in an Italian church, according to research done by me and another collaborator, would seem something unique: here music assumes demonic valences, in which the notes, depending on the sequence in which…

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The castle that dominates the Italian city of Este.

The Castle that dominates the city of Este, near Padova, in Northern Italy, consists of large towers and a mighty city wall, about one kilometer long, which embraces the extreme southern extension of the Euganean Hills. This building testifies to the role of primary importance that the Este territory played in the Middle Ages. The oldest part of the current fortification consists of a circle of walls with the remains of a small church and the foundations of a small tower, probably dating back to the 6th century AD. The…

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Vercelli: what remains of the Luigi Rossa company (and of chicory coffee).

This establishment, founded in 1858 by Luigi Rossa, represented a reference point for the economy of its ward and especially for the success of this factory the bridge was built on the Cervetto waterway, in order to make the connections quicker with the city. This was the first Italian factory to produce chicory coffee. Until the 20s of the twentieth century, many ties united the inhabitants of the area to the chicory coffee factory, and the development of the village, in part, is also due to the establishment: it seems…

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The incredible infrared photographs of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

N. As we known, the exclusion zone includes the 30 kilometers radius from the center of the explosion that, in 1986, caused the most serious nuclear accident in history, a place from which human beings must keep “away” but in which the animals are back to proliferate undisturbed. The photographer has documented the exclusion zone in a new and creative way, showing it with almost surreal colors. He said that during the exploration he felt an environment that was anything but melancholy, but that looked more like a little paradise…

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The Terrifying Stereoscopic Postcards used to “Educate” Children at the beginning of the 20th century

What child doesn’t dread the unseen monsters potentially lurking under the bed, or stalking around the shadows outside the window? These stereoscopic postcards knew the peak of success during the first half of the 20th century, but they were used until the 70s and 80s. At the beginning of the 1900s the postcards were not limited to portraying monuments and landscapes, but also strange and particular things. Some of these postcards were used to teach notions to children but also to behave well. For example, this story is titled “The…

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The incredible story of the man who fed a family of Polar Bears in Siberia.

In the second half of the ’70s a strange rumor began to run among the inhabitants of the autonomous region of Čukotka, the north-eastern end of Russia that looks beyond the Bering Strait to the United States. Nikolai Machulyak (Николай Мачуляк) a man who worked in an Artel, a cooperative of the Soviet Union, had become friends with a huge polar bear and her puppies, and fed them with meat and condensed milk. These photographs date back to 1976, and depict an adult bear weighing almost 300 kg, with two…

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Albano Castle: a beautiful Roman building totally abandoned.

Historically, It seems that this castle could date back to the Roman age: from the Roman era remains in fact a tile with a funerary inscription. From the tenth century, under the Episcopate of Attone, Albano was among the Vercelli church, and possession of the Bishop of Vercelli was confirmed with the imperial diplomas of Otto III (999) and of Federico Barbarossa (1152) until 1179, when a part was sold to the Municipality of Vercelli. After being the property of various families (Tizzoni, Avogadro and De Albano), in 1335 the…

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Triora: the Italian Village of the Terrifying trial to the Witches.

Triora is a medieval village once a crossroads of considerable importance for trade between Italy and France. In 1587, bad weather and pitiful crops led to a famine, and the desperate residents of Triora, exhausted by the circumstances, needed to find a scapegoat for the errors committed by the landowners, who were the real culprits of the lack of food. Soon they became convinced that only the work of witches could bring such misfortune, and the scapegoat was individuated by a really terrific witch hunt. The Inquisitor of Genoa and…

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24 photographs of the 1930s show the Life conditions in the New York Psychiatric Hospital.

These photos from Pilgrim State Hospital in the late 1930s blended clear-eyed reporting with an almost palpable compassion. The black and white photographs were taken by the LIFE’s Alfred Eisenstaedt photographer, one of the most famous in the 1900s, at the New York hospital in 1938. But what is perhaps most unsettling about the images is how terribly familiar they look, even today, three-quarters of a century after they were shot. “Continuous-flow bath is the best method for calming excited mental cases. With their bodies greased, the patients can remain…

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A Walk inside the Maddalena Hospital, Rovigo.

The sanatorium “Umberto Maddalena”, located in Rovigo, Italy, was inaugurated on February 1st 1938 in order to fight tuberculosis in all this area. Originally, as can be seen from certain postcards of the time, on the façade of the building, instead of the inscription “Ospedale U. Maddalena” there was the word “National Socialist Fascist Institute”. Historically, Umberto Maddalena (Bottrighe, 14 December 1894 – Tirrenia, 19 March 1931) was an Italian officer and aviator. During the First World War he was a seaplane pilot for the Navy deserving three military silver…

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Vercelli Psychiatric Hospital

Historically, Vercelli mental asylum was built in the 1930s and was closed in 1978 after the Basaglia Law, that abolished mental hospitals in Italy. Of its 21 buildings, scattered over an area of 25,000 sqm, only one is still in use and it hosts the office of the environmental association ARPA, while the local health authority, which officially still manages the complex, left the area during the 1990s. This place is well known for the massacre of a group of fascist soldiers that happened between 12th and 13th May 1945…

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Amusement Park Padova: present and past.

Until the cursed day (July 6, 2008) in which a whirlwind triggered throughout the South area of Padua, the Amusement Park (opened in 1991 by the entrepreneur Stefano Viviani) was the most popular playground in the city. 25,000 square meters of paradise surrounded by a green area, that included a mega-gym, a swimming pool, bowling, a children’s area, a small square for music and ballroom dancing, a large billiard room, a minigolf and a well-equipped space for bars and restaurants. Now all this is still there, but the structure is…

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Eduard Gordeev: an Impressionist Cityscape photographer

Eduard Gordeev, in russian Эдуард Гордеев is a really talented photographer who lives and works in St. Petersburg, Russia. He creates artistic landscape photo series of his beloved city St. Petersburg, a magnificent cityscape images look impressive and atmospheric with a bit of effect of acrylic paintings. These urban streets seem drenched in mystery and rain, and the reflections of city lights and all melting colors turn them into extraordinary pieces of art. His urban landscape scenes are a hybrid between painting and photography, with a slightly retro charm, which…

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William Hope: the most famous medium in London and his photographies.

During the period of World War I in England, William Hope was a well known and popular character: he was not only a spiritual medium, able to contact the dead, but is said to be famous also because he was able to photograph the spirits. Obviously the work of medium attracted many criticisms and many accused him of fraud. Despite the criticisms, his work as a medium continued and there were really lot of people who decided to rely on him. Many wanted to know how their loved ones were…

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Crimes, mysteries and ghosts in Beelitz, Germany.

Crimes, mysteries and ghosts: this is Beelitz, a famous abandoned German hospital, located near Berlin, exactly in the south-west part. The entire structure is made up of 60 buildings and was built in 1898. During this period, tuberculosis spread in Germany, and the hospital was built with the intention of hosting the tuberculosis patients, with the function of a sanatorium. This was far from population centers and therefore in the middle of nature, perfect for the sick. However, during the World War I, this structure became a military hospital, dedicated…

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5 Photos of People Laughing in the Face of Death

How would you feel when you are just inches away from a possible death? There are some brave soldiers who have laughed at death during the World War II. These soldiers are martyrs and they have sacrificed their lives for their motherland, and even death could not kill their virtue and honor. All wars cause death and destruction, and the images of the devastation caused by many past conflicts are often terrible. Some photographs, however, cause a special emotion, because are taken in a few moments, or a few hours,…

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16# Rare Vintage Photos of Christmas From the Victorian Era

It’s hard to imagine now, but at the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated. However by the end of the century it had become the biggest annual celebration: many attribute the change to Queen Victoria, and it was her marriage to the German-born Prince Albert that introduced some of the most usual aspects of Christmas. In 1848 the Illustrated London News published a drawing of the royal family celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition that was reminiscent of Prince Albert’s childhood in Germany. Soon every…

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Relationships before Social Networks: 20 old photographs shows a different way to delete the former Friends.

In the past friendship, before Facebook and the other social networks, was an exchange of affection, sharing of common experiences and a direct knowledge of the other that defined a closer relationship than simple knowledge. Now friendship has become really different, often misunderstood between real and virtual, but the most sad thing is that the word “friend” for many has assumed a really superficial connotation. In fact, on Facebook, Instagram and similar, your contacts are all Friends, even if you don’t know at all that person! As in many human…

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11# Christmas around the world: Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Christmas Market in Milan, Italy.

In Milan, the most traditional and most popular of all the events in the Christmas time is the Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Christmas market which, for five centuries, has rung in the Milanese festive season with candies, surprises and of all kinds of gifts. Organized in honour of the city’s patron, Sant’Ambrogio, it is celebrated on December 7th, lasts until the next sunday and it attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is a must-see for both Milanese, tourists and curious. In the market is possible search for the perfect…

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25 old photographs of the Cowboys’ Saloons between the Old West and Alaska.

If we think of the old west, we think of a land that the European settlers, coming from Europe or from the already colonized east of the United States, stole from the Native Americans, also killing and slaughtering them. I think that even we Westerners, we got an idea on the American frontier, thanks to the countless western movies that we have all seen at least once in their lives. This image, is unimaginable without the saloon! It was the movies that created the icon of Saloon, Cowboy, Puritan women…

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Mocha Cat Café. Take a break, with Japanese Cats!

Mocha Cat Cafè it’s a brand very popular in Japan. With ten branches and counting, this popular chain knows how to deliver a cat-cafe experience to every cat lover. It seems that the cat-cafè located in Akihabara (in photo) is one of the most larger. Given the neighborhood, it’s especially popular also with tourists, and staff are prepared to accommodate visitors in English (more or less). There are 28 resident cats, including a lot of very fluffy and pretty cats and exotic breeds. There are three spacious playroom areas, with…

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Villa Sultana was the first casino in Italy: what remains today.

Villa Sultana, located in Ospedaletti, is abandoned for a long time. A building that came to light in 1884 and which, for many years, has been a flagship of the “city of roses”, together with other buildings of the same town and nearby Sanremo. Villa ‘La Sultana’ was immersed in a luxuriant park of about 14,000 square meters and full of tall trees, palm trees and others, about 250 meters from the sea. It was built by architect Sebastien Marcel Biasini from Nice, together with the lords Jeausoulin from Menton…

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Live: High Water in Venice.

Venice sinks from when it was born because the sandy soils with time are compacted and are settled. The phenomenon is called subsidence. The subsidence became very fast in the twentieth century when the industrial center of Marghera began to extract rivers of productive waters from the underground aquifers. If the old photos dated back a century ago show a proud Venice, high on the water, today it is a city sitting on the water’s surface. At the phenomenon of subsidence has been combined with excavation in the lagoon and…

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Tokyo’s Akihabara Electric Town

A great place to walk around and absorb the japanese metropoli’s sights and sounds is Akihabara (秋葉原) district. Just two stops from Tokyo Station, Akihabara is a neighborhood known for its electronic superstores. There’s a reason that it’s known as Electric Town, but the neighborhood is so much more. Originally this Tokyo’s neighborhood was a gateway used mainly by merchants to enter into the city proper, and was born out of a devastating fire in 1869. After the disaster locals began reconstruction with a shrine to a fire protection deity,…

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Exclusive: the sad fate of the historic Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.

The Japanese capital prepares itself for the 2020 Olympic Games, and the historic Tsukiji fish market is now closed forever. Following years of delays and plenty of controversy, Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale fish market, one of the city’s most popular destinations for tourists closed definitively its doors. A revolution that, it seems, did not like anyone, not because of passatism, but because of identity. Saturday 29 September 2018 was the last day of the largest and most famous fish market in the world. And from that day on, the public could…

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Tashirojima: a paradise for cat-lovers in Japan.

Tashirojima (田代島) is a small, rural island off the coast of central Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture. Informally known as “Cat Island”, It’s just over three kilometers long and It is the paradise of a large colony of felines, which are cared for and worshiped by the island’s human residents. It is part of a group of about a dozen “islands of cats” in Japan, small places where there are more feline residents than humans. More than a hundred cats roam the island (about 120), and they are owners of…

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The mystery of the ghostly house along the Martesana watercourse.

There are some stuffed animal, a big bear, some dolls, a Santa Claus probably beheaded. And a stationary clock, who knows how long, without hands. Those who pass by, along the pedestrian cycle road, cannot do whitout notice it: along the Martesana watercourse, in via Idro, here is a house that seems like something out of a horror movie. Many stop to immortalize it, on the web many people ask who are the owners (because it seems that no one has ever seen nobody). Of course, it is a ghostly…

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