There are so many things that Italy mixes in its cauldron: gondolas that travel along olive-green rivers, scorching sun that, like a juice, flows into the bottle of Pisa Tower, entwined spagetti of streets and crusts of squares covered in a mixture of Italian herbs and dialects. Also, it has ducks in its teasury. Oh yes, it is these creatures that allow you feel a flavor of genine national distinctive. And this ducktale is over thirty years old.
It stems from a distant year 1982. Small Italian village San Miniato situated on a hill nearby Balconevisi used to be a farmers' settlement. There have always been few local citizens. And in 1950s-1960s after military actions and other troubles only a couple dozen families remained.
But in 1980s some families started coming back to their native lands. And in order to revive the place somehow they decided to arrange a festival where they intended to treat everyone with mushrooms and white truffles that the area is famous for. And in several years, specifically in 1982, orchestrators decided to boost interest in the festival - and traditional truffle'n'mushroom meal turned into a garnish to a main dish. It was because since than "duck races" became the most spectacular act of the festival - not consumption of gastronomic delicacies.Photo unagraficamondo.wordpress.com
Duck festival (Palio del Papero) that is also called Palio Racing is traditionally held on the second Saturday of October. It is exactly the time when autumn ahas already visited people yet they still want to have a party and some lively emotions.
In order to compete for the main prize, four neighboring towns Formacino, Il Borgo, Buecchio and Fondo di Scesa have to introduce their marathon runners. All the perticipants present a couple of ducks-runners each and call them after native towns. Birds have to cover a distance of 150 meters. At that their 'tutors' have to encourage the feathered in order to bring them to finish sooner then their rivals do and save them from getting into a soup. The latter one is a joke of course. Attitude towards ducks is subject to control. During races it is forbidden not only to push birds - even to touch them, it is allowed to hurry them using voice alone. Even observers are invited to the festival; they check out conditions that runners are kept in, process of their preparation for the race and make sure that coaches don't 'let loose with their fists'.
Spectators come up with prognoses, make real bets and watch competitors cover the distance. Ducks evoke real excitement because their behavior is rather unpredictable.Photo usbalconevisi.it
On conclusion of races those who take part in festivities make pictures with birds, participants of finals, argue about racers and celebrate together with winners.Spectators also witness of a historic parade: it depicts events that took place in the lands of San Miniato. The act refreshes recollections of locals on dates and events and tourists get a review of the town's past thus learning something new and unknown. People are fascinated with history of places that gave Italy and the whole world outstanding personalities like poet Franco Sacchetti, composer Mario Mascagni, directors brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and others.
After sports and culture performance the time comes to try traditional Italian cuisine and taste delicacies. White truffles grown in suburbs of San Miniato are famous for theit large size and remarkable qualities. Traditions of growing, cherishing and trading white truffles in this area reach as far back as hoary Middle Ages. So locals know a thing or two on the subject and will treat you with the tastiest products of high quality.
This entertainment is strictly forbidden in almost all countries of the world. But lovers of cockfights do not stop. Partly illegal competitions always gather full halls or courtyards, depending on the fact where the deadly bird fights are. Spectators literally savor the way the birds tear each other to shreds, without showing pity for themselves and their rivals.
Stores, shopping malls, markets - all these places are an integral part of daily goings-on of almost every person on our planet. It would seem there is nothing special about them: they are all alike, just goods and prices vary depending on country or city. In fact, it is not quite true since some markets are only accessible via waterways. Our today’s story is about them.
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?".
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
Perhaps, everyone who is going to plunge into fun holiday has already planned spectacular routes and scenic spots. In order not to spoil your trip and not to see gates to the desired gateway closing right in front of your nose, we encourage you to read our selection of locations forbidden for visits.
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
What do you imagine when you hear the word "abbey"? I'm sure most people will first of all think of Westminster. But what if I said that in fact it is no longer an abbey? So what makes these medieval buildings so special? Let's look at the example of buildings from different European countries.
If what they show in cinematograph is true than a typical samurai appears to be austere, taciturn and even slightly unsociable person. But this image in actual fact doesn’t get in line with reality... You don’t believe it? Our journalist Elena Rasenko suggests you make sure of it for yourself.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue...
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
Have you ever thought how many grains of history are stored in each item sold at little booths in Thailand? Yet, strolling along those souvenir stalls you are browsing craft records of the whole nation, briefly looking through notes survived from a thousand years ago to the present day. Some pages have thinned to transparency, but marks did preserve their former accuracy.
Our journalist came back from Ecuador with unique experience and we share it with you. For the first time I was suspected of drug trafficking. Alone, in the country where there is no Ukrainian Embassy, I was standing and feverishly figuring out if someone could plant something on me on the way to the airport.
How can you understand the nature of finance, if there is no desire to go deep into the jungle of science? It is better to see once, than to read a hundred times: a trip to the island of Yap in Micronesia replaces the entire university course of monetary theory. Yap roads are lined up with giant doughnut-shaped, carved disks the size of a millstone - rampant inflation has made the world biggest money into fun for tourists.
Carpets hang on walls as a symbol of wealth, lay on floors to create coziness and are presented as expensive gifts. Studying fancy pictures in the shapes of diamonds and stars on them attempting to figure out their meaning is a fairly amusing thing to do. Globally spread carpeting traditions were borrowed from eastern peoples who were the first to learn how to make yarn and fabric out of fibrous materials.
Upon hearing word combination “Hindu woman” an image of a beautiful woman wearing sari and definitely with numerous adornments and pictures on her body emerges in our imagination. Where does passion for body decoration come from in national traditions of this people?
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning,...
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple.
How many kinds of tourism are there? Gastro, ecotourism, shopping — there are probably as many varieties of them as travelers themselves — everyone choose what they want. Today we talk about people visiting places that have become locations for shoting famous movies.
“To drag a goat with one’s hands” is a national entertainment of Tajik men however it enjoys huge popularity around Central Asia in the whole. As a rule a couple dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred, skilled and nimble horse riders gather to drag the goat. There is such a throng during the event that people fall off their horses, lose consciousness and even get maimed.