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The weekend before finals I headed into il centro one night with mio ragazzo to see gli sbandieratori, or the flag-throwers for il Palio.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them.  However, there was a crowd around il duomo so we headed over there to see what was happening.  Outside, there were several guardie (guards) along the entrance, and, heading inside, a mass was being conducted with all of the people involved with il Paliogli sbandieratori, la corte – everyone was there and most were in costumes.  It was pretty cool!  (taken 2.5.2015)

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For those who don’t know – I just got back to the States.  However, I have a few pictures of my last few days in Italia that I have yet to post.  So here’s the first one: a picture of the night sky looking away from Ferrara.  This was taken on top of a building that has a pretty awesome view of both la città and the outskirts (which is what we see in this picture).  (taken 2.5.2015)

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I also headed to Venezia one last time with mio ragazzo.  It was a little dreary but I didn’t get lost for the first time!  Maybe the fourth time is the charm for Venezia.  (taken 26.4.2015)

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The past weekend there was an international kite festival out in Parco Urbano so I went with a few friends.  The kites were pretty wicked – all these geometric designs and such.  I have absolutely no idea how people are able to actually get those up into the air (we, unfortunately, did not see anyone flying the giant ones – there wasn’t enough wind).  (taken 25.4.2015)

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So every year at the end of May, Ferrara holds a Palio, which is basically a horse race around a circle (the most famous is in Siena).  It is something that comes from the ancient ages and, in Ferrara, also includes people role-playing the royal court and the various families.  There was a parade of the costumes for the families the other week, and a little “show” that was held as well.  I got to see several medieval dances, an actual sword fight! (of course it was choreographed but it was with real, knight swords – it was so cool!), and the sbandieratori (flag throwers) also performed.  It was extremely exciting.  My host sister is involved with the court – she is in the last picture (in the rich blue dress).  (taken 19.4.2015)

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So I saw these and started to take a picture of them.  It was a little awkward because the owner was out in his driveway and saw me taking a picture of them.  He waved or smiled at us, which was nice, but I’m sure he thought that I was crazy.  (taken 17.4.2015)

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Just look at that stylish little guy getting ready to eat some delicious grass!  He lives in my backyard along with two other little guys.  Awww . . . he’s so adorable!  (taken 14.4.2015)