DISCOVER MY WORLD Go to www.revit.eu to discover Randy du Puniet’s world for yourself, with the complete collection of REV’IT! motorcycle gear.
FAST LUCIO CECCHINELLO’S MESSAGE
Dear Supporters and Friends, macroeconomics events that marked the end of 2008 and the beginning of this year, have been so strong that we almost may call them a financial “Tsunami” reaching every coastline of the world. MotoGP world (FIM, Dorna and team association – IRTA ), equally hit by this overall crisis, had a powerful reaction, introducing immediately some new technical and sport rules (as the reduction of number of tests, number of practices, maximum number of engines available..) causing prompt cost lowering without decreasing the show we give. It’s also important to mark that, although this particular economic situation, Honda HRC has maintained and also enhanced the investments also towards the satellite teams, providing them with high tech pneumatic valve engines, same chassy used on their factory bikes, all very important elements to give an important further boost to our racing competitiveness. I would like to close up this short introduction deeply thanking all the companies that, even if this tough moment, have trusted in our team, giving us the important task to keep promoting their brand awareness around the world, as well thanking the new partners jumped “on our bike” !!
INDEX THE TEAM RUN UP THE ENGINES
TEST DAYS 2009
PLAYBOY PHOTO SHOOTING
STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGIES THE RC212V
COUNTRY TO VISIT 2009 CALENDAR
firstname.lastname@example.org _ www.givi.it
55 LITRES: THE MAXIMUM CAPACITY ON THE MARKET. CONCEIVED AND COSTRUCTED LIKE NO OTHER CASE IN THE WORLD.
predisposition for rack holder
Optional new soft backrest
Interchangeable painted cover
Optional kit twin stop light
Opening and detaching Innovative system of single handed use for easy opening and detachment
optional remote control k e y integrated d e v i c e
THE ITALIAN SIGN OF MOTODESIGN
RUN UP THE ENGINES
LCR Honda MotoGP TEAM START 2009 WITH NEW TITLE SPONSOR A 13-year experience in the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, an 8-year collaboration with Honda HRC, 71 podiums (21 victories), fourth year working with the very fast Frenchman Randy De Puniet and many dreams are the numbers and factors driving Lucio Cecchinello and the LCR Team towards the 2009 season “kick off” backed up by the highest determination ever. After gaining Honda HRC trust for the fourth consecutive time in the premier class and after making official its collaboration with De Puniet last September, today the LCR Team is happy to get on track, for the first part of this season, “along with” the legendary rabbit in tails! The LCR Team, in fact, has created the “Event Title Sponsor” format, which allows the design of communication and visibility programmes focusing on individual events, and in 2009, apart from the long-standing Title Sponsors, Playboy, the brand of erotism “par excellence” will dress all the No. 14 of the RC212Vs and Randy de Puniet. Lucio Cecchinello: “We have been in touch with Playboy US for a long time and, taking advantage of the opportunity given by the presence of some American top executives part of Hugh Hefner entourage during his latest visit to Europe, we have defined the guidelines of a project allowing us to start negotiations with some of this evergreen brand’s global licensees. Playboy Italy has positively assessed the project and confirmed the sponsorship for the early stage of 8
Y ON BOARD ON
THE MotoGP HOTTEST TITLE SPONSOR
the season (MotoGP Championship Launch during the tests in Jerez de la Frontera, GP in Japan and Spain as Title Sponsor, GP in Qatar...unfortunately, we all know the kind of problems for that) linking it to their activities in the view of relaunching the magazine in Italy. Currently, there are further ongoing negotiations with licensees in more countries, who have been presented with our “projects by event” concept, which does not imply any millionaire investments”. Let’s get back to the competitive aspect of the season just starting. The “kick off” will take place in Qatar next 12 April with all the 18 riders of the line-up, ready, more than ever, to battle on the tracks worldwide for the sought-after podium. Randy de Puniet join the battle in full. The 28-year old Frenchman is longing for revenge after a 2008 season where great performances during the tests were alternating with lacklustre performances in the races. Lucio Cecchinello: “I have spent 22 years of my life on the circuits worldwide, 15 years riding a motorbike, and I believe I can judge a rider. Randy is talented, he’s fast, he has defeated riders like Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Elias etc.., he has been on the podium for 17 times, technically he has grown up impressively and we have to continue to work close together because I’m sure, and he proved it, that the MotoGP podium is not out of his reach”. Randy de Puniet: “This is my fourth year with the LCR Team. During first year in 2003 in the 250cc class I had a lot of fun and I keep good memories. Last year wasn’t as easy and we didn’t achieve the results we were hoping for, therefore I trust this season to be the best with the LCR Team. I believe our potential is higher this year and I’m very confident”. Lucio Cecchinello: “It’s clear that 2007 and 2008 for the independent teams were not easy years. Since the 800cc class made its appearance, it has become harder than ever to oppose the performance 10
of the Factory Teams. Now we are approaching a phase where the Factories can even supply the satellite Teams with the state-of-the-art technologies and this will make us more competitive. In particular, Honda, for the year 2009, has really made a big effort by giving us the same engines as the ones they use, featuring the pneumatic valves technology and all the relevant managing software. Now it’s up to us working hard together with Randy to be ready to battle and, where possible, challenge the Factories riders”. Randy de Puniet: “The first impression I got from the motorbike was very positive. The engine is more competitive compared to last year’s, especially as far as its maximum speed is concerned. However, the first competitive test in Malaysia didn’t go as well as we were hoping for, but later, in Qatar, we have improved the fine tuning and I hope for a further improvement in Jerez. I already have a 2-year experience with Bridgestone but the front tyre is now different. I will have to adjust my riding style to this grip but in Qatar we have already done a lot. I can still improve the feeling with the front tyre and be faster. We will have to work hard also on the racing set-up but there are all the prerequisites to have a highly competitive bike on track. My goal for the season is to race to the top even though my opponents are very tough. The Team and I want to show our potential but it’s too early to anticipate my placing”. The current global economic situation as hit all sectors including professional sports. FIM and DORNA have worked together with MSMA (the building contractors association) providing quick and objective solutions in order to cut costs. Lucio Cecchinello: “The current situation is not easy, however, drawing on a sentence from Max Mosley speech (FIA president) during the Motor Sport Business Forum in Monte Carlo, I agree on the fact that: stock markets quotations can come down, the currency values can drop, the economy can slow down but if we continue to
PLAYBOY’S PHOTO SHOOT: pag. 28
offer the show I’m sure the number of TV viewers and fans following us on the circuits around the world won’t drop. When we think of the future we must think of keeping up with the show made of overtakings, breathtaking races, close finishes, burn out, wheeling and so on...These are all show aspects that can be offered to our public watching us on Saturdays and Sundays, even within the cost-cut policies. And if we are willing to give space to the use of new technologies we must make sure they satisfy a Factory’s objective and substantial interest. Referring to the cost saving we made a big step forward yet, but I am sure there are furthers actions to do without reducing the show!”.
Randy de Puniet: “The global economic situation is not easy and it is affecting our world. Some changes aiming at cutting the Team managing costs have been made, including the reduction of winter tests and the cancellation of Friday mornings testing sessions. Honestly, riding a motorbike is my passion and my work and the more time I spend on track the more chances I have to prepare my motorbike to the best and have fun. Maybe these changes won’t damage us as riders or maybe they will… it’s too early to say it. What I’m sure about is that the costs involved in the participation in a MotoGP season are really high and I wish the situation can improve keeping up with the show, which is the life blood of this sport”.
Champions working together
Aimont , leader nel mercato delle calzature di sicurezza, sponsor ufficiale LCR Honda MotoGP TEAM. 速
MALAYSIA FIRST DAY
2009 FIRST OUTING FOR DE PUNIET AT SEPANG LCR Honda MotoGP racer Randy de Puniet joined his premier class colleagues today at Sepang track for a three-day test session after the winter break. This represents the first opportunity this year for the competitors to begin work on their 2009 prototypes. Sunny skies and hot temperature (31°) welcomed the 19 premier class riders 16
2009 for the first day of testing and De Puniet rode his Honda RC212V 2009 spec. for 61 laps at the 5.542 km Malaysian track. The Frenchman posted his best lap time of 2’04.882 (15th overall) working on new Honda machinery equipped with Bridgestone tyres and focused his efforts on suspension setting and tyres development. Today’s frontrunner Capirossi on Suzuki topped the timesheets with a best lap time of 2’01.869.
DE PUNIET: 15th - 2’04.882
De Puniet: “It was very hard opening day but I feel quite satisfied. I came in this morning focused only on the new bike set up because the lap time was not my main target. We had a lot of things to adjust: suspension, tyres and so on. At the beginning I struggled a bit with the engine brake but my crew found the solution and I could ride as I like. The tyres are working well but there’s a lot of work to do yet. However this first outing was very productive for us and we’ll keep on working on the base set up to make the bike more suitable to my riding style”.
SECOND DAY SECOND DAY IN SEPANG FOR DE PUNIET Typically high temperatures and a dry track made conditions helpful for the premier class riders involved in the second day of testing at Sepang track. The 19 riders were able to go about their business throughout the whole day and the Australian rider Casey Stoner topped the timesheets with a best lap time of 2’01.483. LCR Honda rider Randy De Puniet continued to put miles on the clock of the Honda RC212V 2009 spec. focusing his day’s work mainly on suspensions setting and tyres tests. Continuing his learning process, the Frenchman completed 48 laps wiht a best lap time of 2’04.507 (17th overall) but he lacks confidence aboard the Brigestone-shod Honda machinery, DE PUNIET: 17th- 2’04.507
De Puniet: “It’s very difficult for me to ride in these conditions. We tried many things to adjust the setting but I still struggle in corner entries. I can not face the curves as I normally do. If I push a bit more I can easily crash and this is very frustrating.
Meanwhile the engine performance is getting better and this makes me more confident for the future. I know that my Team is working hard to find a solution. The season is very long and this is just the first test”.
LAST DAY FINAL DAY OF TESTING AT SEPANG FOR DE PUNIET Three days of testing at the Malaysian circuit of Sepang concluded today with Casey Stoner on the top of the standing with the best time of 2’01.043. Riders from Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki have been putting their new bikes through their paces since Thursday before the next night test session in Qatar on the 1,2 and 3 of March. LCR Honda MotoGP Team racer Randy De Puniet completed 50-laps today aboard the Bridgestone-shod LCR Honda RC212V 2009 spec. clocking his fastest lap time of 2’03.418 (13th position). The Frenchman proceeded with his tyres testing and setting set-up throughout the whole day thanks to the favourably warm conditions at the Malaysian track.
DE PUNIET: 13th – 2’03.418
De Puniet: “We improved the lap time but it’s not enough for me: last year I was 4th here in the same test session. There’s a lot of things to adjust but this first outing gathered us important data for next test session in Qatar. This morning we took a step forward and I knew I could improve more in the afternoon but we suffered some brake problems and we skipped the session for more than one hour. Today I feel more positive than yesterday but I need more time to adjust the bike”. 19
QATAR FIRST DAY
MOTOGP RUN-OUT AT QATAR HIT BY THE RAIN Losail, 1 March: Under the state-of-theart lighting system at the desert circuit of Losail, the premier class Teams and riders completed their first day of testing before the season opening on the 12 of April. Despite the typical desert conditions riders’ performances were interrupted by a rare rainstorm and the 20
session was immediately red flagged. The premier class riders, including LCR Honda MotoGP Team racer Randy De Puniet, watched the weather from the pit lane for several hours. The Frenchman aboard the Honda RC212V no.14 went round the Qatar circuit 18 times gaining the 10th place with a 2’03.580 best lap time. Nicky Hayden topped the timesheets with a best lap time of 2’00.717.
DE PUNIET: 10th - 2’03.580
De Puniet: “After the first test session in Malaysia I was eager to ride again but today’s conditions were really bad. We completed only 18 laps because some parts of the track were very slippery because of the rain and the sand coming from the desert. We have a job-list to follow on the bike setup… Let’s see what will happen tomorrow!”.
SECOND DAY POSITIVE NIGHT TEST FOR DE PUNIET AT LOSAIL TRACK Losail, 2 March: The second evening of MotoGP floodlit test at Losail circuit ended with LCR Honda MotoGP rider Randy De Puniet in 11th position on the timesheets with a 1’58.936 best lap time. After yesterday’s rainstorm which interrupted riders’ performance for the major part of the session, the premier class riders have been putting their new bikes through their paces since 6.00 pm local time continuing their set up process at the 5.380 km desert track. Randy completed 55 laps aboard the Bridgestone-shod Honda RC212V working on chassis and suspension regulations carrying out further development at the circuit which hosts the first round of the season. Today’s frontrunner Casey Stoner topped the board with a 1’57.139 lap time. DE PUNIET: 11th - 1’58.936
De Puniet: “Luckily the weather improved though a strong wind blew sand from the desert to the track so we could not repeat last year’s time. However I feel more confident than the first test session in Malaysia. We found a good base to develop and we focused
mainly on setting regulations to improve my feeling in corners entries. I tested only two tyres because my target was the bike set up and not the lap time but we have some ideas for tomorrow’s last day and I think I could easily improve my position”.
LAST DAY DE PUNIET FASTEST HONDA RAIDER AT LOSAIL TRACK Losail, 3 March: The three day MotoGP test held at the floodlit 5.380 km Losail circuit in Qatar came to a close at midnight local time tonight and LCR Honda MotoGP Team racer Randy de Puniet was the RC212V fastest rider with a best lap time of 1’57.401 (7th) boosting his confidence ahead of the first race of the season at Losail on the 12th of April. The Frenchman made significant improvements chasing a good set up for his Brigestone-shod Honda RC212V completing 77 laps and now feels more confident aboard the machine than the last test in Sepang. Today’s pacesetter Casey Stoner produced a best lap time of 1’55.744. The premier class riders will be back on track on the 28th and 29th of March for the Pre Season Official Test in Jerez de la Frontera.
DE PUNIET: 7th – 1’57.401
De Puniet: “It was a very interesting and positive last day of testing for me and my squad. We made a good improvement working on engine map and engine brake and I feel more comfortable on the bike than the last test in Sepang. We tested the hard compound tyres and I got a better feeling on the front: I could brake later in the corners riding as I like. This good result makes me very confident for the future”.
SPAIN FIRST DAY
DE PUNIET IN GOOD FORM AT JEREZ FIRST DAY OF TESTING Jerez de la Frontera, 28 March: The first day of MotoGP Official Test at Jerez opened with less-than-ideal conditions for the premier class riders, with heavy early rainfall leaving the track wet. The situation improved at lunch time so the riders and the teams began chasing a good set-up for their bikes with ambient temperature of 16°C (20°C on the ground). After yesterday’s 24
important announcement, de Puniet’s LCR Honda RC212V machine displayed the famous Playboy bunny logo and the 28-yearold clocked his best lap time of 1’41.168. De Puniet completed 77 laps working on tyres testing and new 2009 engine regulations and, at the end of the day, he feels satisfied about the first outing in Europe after the winter test in Sepang and Qatar. Today’s frontrunner Lorenzo set the pace with a 1’39.791 lap time.
DE PUNIET: 13th - 1’41.168
De Puniet: “It was a good day and we did a good job even if the position is not so brilliant. However this is our first outing in Europe and we had to put miles on the clock to clear up some points. I am pretty sure we can improve our lap time tomorrow because today I lapped with hard compound tyre. Honestly our target is different: we expect to qualify between the 6th and 10th position. We have got a good level and I am aware that Stoner, Rossi and Lorenzo are very fast but the following positions are still open. I am getting used to these tyres and think we will keep on working on engine map in tomorrow’s last day of testing. We also kept one tyre to test and will do a race simulation after the BMW competition”.
LAST DAY PRODUCTIVE LAST DAY TESTING FOR DE PUNIET AT JEREZ Jerez de la Frontera, 29 March: LCR Honda MotoGP Team has completed today the first “official” pre season test of the year at Jerez de la Frontera by making some important improvements to the performance of its 2009 machine. Sunny sky welcomed the premier class riders this morning at the Spanish track so they continued their set up work during the 3-hour session before the BMW M award that got underway at 14.00 local time. LCR Honda MotoGP rider Randy de Puniet qualified 14th this morning with a best lap time of 1’41.637 but was not able to complete his “to do” list because of heavy rain after the lunch break. Stoner on Ducati registered a 1’38.646 lap and took the BMW machine but the session was prematurely closed due to a rainfall at three minutes to go. The majority of the 800cc riders stopped their work beforehand but the 28-yearold Frenchman preferred to do a couple of runs in the wet after having achieved the 13th position (1’40.646) in the 45minute session. The LCR Honda MotoGP Team will move to Losail (Qatar) for the first GP of the season on the 12th of April.
DE PUNIET: 13th – 1’40.646
De Puniet: “Before the 45-minute session we worked especially on used tyre to find a better grip and we fixed some points on the chassis and suspension set up. We found good solutions as I set a good lap time on used tyre but I expected something better on soft tyre in the qualifying session. Maybe 3 or 4 tenths faster than this but I made a small mistake in my last lap. Anyway we must continue our job because I am sure we can close the gap with the middle group. Honestly my intention is to qualify in the top ten and my squad is doing a very good job to adjust the machine for the first race in Qatar”. 27
PHOTO SHOOTING ACTION!
LO SAPEVI CHE: AREA A AREA B
Nessun intervento permesso Zona tergicristallo conducente ad esclusione dell’Area A Riparazione permessa fino ad un cerchio di 15mm AREA C Zona tergicristallo passeggero ad esclusione dell’Area B Riparazione permessa fino ad un cerchio di 25mm AREA D Parte restante del tergicristallo ad esclusione delle Aree A, B e C Riparazione permessa fino ad un cerchio di 40mm N.B. Se le riparazioni da effettuare sono due, esse dovranno trovarsi ad una distanza minima di 100mm l’una dall’altra.
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INFO LINE IN TUTTA ITALIA:
STATE OF THE ART RC212V
COUNTRY 2009 CALENDAR
In 1825, the city of Doha was founded under the name Al-Bida. The name “Doha” came from the Arabic ad-dawha, “the big tree.” The reference is to a prominent tree that must have stood at the site where the original fishing village arose, on the eastern coast of the Qatar peninsula. In 1825, during the war between Qatar and Bahrain, Doha had been severely damaged and Abu Dhabi was helping Bahrain. The following year, the Ottomons made Sheikh Thani bin Muhammed the Hakim of Doha, and he ultimately became Hakim of Qatar.  In 1882, al Rayyan built the Al Wajbah fortress, in southwestern Doha. The fol38
Capital: Doha Official languages: Arabic Government: Absolute Monarchy Area: 11,437 Km² Population: 1,450,000 Currency: Riyal (QAR) Time Zone: AST (UTC+3)
lowing year, Sheikh Qassim led a Qatari army to victory against the Ottomans. The city was made capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916, and when the nation gained independence in 1971, Doha remained the capital of Qatar. In 1917, the Al Kout fortress, which is located in the center of the city, was built by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Qassim Al-Thani. Still, during the early 20th century, much of Qatar’s economy depended on fishing and pearling, and Doha had about 350 pearling boats. However, after the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearls in the 1930s, the whole region, including the town of Doha, suffered a major depression and Qatar became a poor country, plunged into poverty. This lasted until in the late 1930s, when oil was discovered. However, the exploration and exportation was halted due to the second world war. Today the nation as a whole produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. In 1969, the Government House opened. Today it is considered to be Qatar’s most prominent landmark. In 1973 the University of Qatar opened, and in 1975 the Qatar National Museum opened in what was originally the ruler’s palace in 1912. The Al Jazeera Arabic sa
tellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996, with headquarters and broadcast center in Doha. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani currently rules in what some consider to be Qatar’s most beautiful city.
For thousand of years, falconry has been associated with nobility and wealth. While we don’t know just when falconry originated, it is thought to have been practised in Iran in 3000 BCE. It is also referred to in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Summerian epic poem and one of the earliest known works of fiction, originating in 2000 BCE. Throughout history, images of kings and sultans can be seen with birds on their arms as they ride out to hunt. However, in Arabia the bird was also used as a practical hunting tool by the nomadic Bedouin. In the harsh desert environment, the keen eyed falcon could see for long distances, and was an excellent way of augmenting a meagre diet with meat.Unlike much of the rest of the world, falconry in the Arab states has remained popular until the present day.
Tokyo went on to suffer two major catastrophes in the 20th century, but it recovered from both. One was the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, which left 140,000 dead or missing, and the other was World War II. The bombing of Tokyo in 1945, with 75,000 to 200,000 killed and half of the city destroyed, were almost as devastating as the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. After the war, Tokyo was completely rebuilt, and showcased to the world during the 1964 Summer Olympics. The 1970s brought new high-rise developments such
Capital: Tokyo Official languages: Japanese Government: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy Area: 377,873 km² Population: 127,433,494 Currency: Yen (¥) (JPY) Time Zone: JST (UTC +9)
as Sunshine 60, a new and controversial airport at Narita in 1978 (some distance outside city limits), and a population increase to about 11 million (in the metropolitan area). Tokyo’s subway and commuter rail network became one of the busiest in the world as more and more people moved to the area. In the 1980s, real estate prices skyrocketed during a real estate and debt bubble. The bubble burst in the early 1990s, and many companies, banks, and individuals were caught with mortgage backed debts while real estate was shrinking in value. A major recession followed, making the 1990s Japan’s “lost decade” from which it is now slowly recovering. Tokyo still sees new urban developments on large lots of less profitable land. Recent projects include Ebisu Garden Place, Tennozu Isle, Shiodome, Roppongi Hills, Shinagawa (now also a Shinkansen station), and the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station. Buildings of significance are demolished for more up-to-date shopping facilities such as Omotesando Hills. Land reclamation projects in Tokyo have also been going on for centuries. The most prominent is the Odaiba area, now a major shopping and entertainment center. Various plans have been proposed for tran-
sferring national government functions from Tokyo to secondary capitals in other regions of Japan, in order to slow down rapid development in Tokyo and revitalize economically lagging areas of the country. These plans have been controversial within Japan and have yet to be realized.
NEW DISCOVERIES OF AKIHABARA Akihabara is a major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, and otaku goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chūōdōri, with many kinds of used items found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3-chōme. First-hand parts for PC-building are readily available from a variety of stores. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and similar items are found in the cramped passageways of Soto Kanda 1-chōme. Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other speciality shops near the station, though there is more variety and lower prices at locales a little further away. Akihabara gained some fame through being home to one of the first stores devoted to personal robots and robotics.
VISITING MADRID MADRID
From 19th century to present day: In the late 1800s, Isabel II could not suppress the political tension that would lead to yet another revolt, the First Spanish Republic. This was later followed by the return of the monarchy to Madrid, then the creation of the Second Spanish Republic, preceding the Spanish Civil War. Madrid was one of the most heavily affected cities of Spain by the Civil War (1936– 1939). The city was a stronghold of the Republicans from July 1936. Its western suburbs were the scene of an all-out battle in November 1936 and it was during
Capital: Madrid Official languages: Spanish Government: Parliamentary demo-
cracy and Constitutional monarchy
Area: 504,030 Km² Population: 46,661,950 Currency: Euro (€) Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
the Civil War that Madrid became the first city to be bombed by airplanes specifically targeting civilians in the history of warfare. (See Siege of Madrid (1936-39)). During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, especially during the 1960s, the south of Madrid became very industrialized, and there were massive migrations from rural areas of Spain into the city. Madridâ€™s south-eastern periphery became an extensive working class settlement, which was the base for an active cultural and political reform. After the death of Franco, emerging democratic parties (including those of left-wing and republican ideology) accepted King Juan Carlos I as both Francoâ€™s successor and as the heir of the historic dynasty - in order to secure stability and democracy. This led Spain to its current position as a constitutional monarchy, with Madrid as capital. Benefiting from increasing prosperity in the 1980s and 1990s, the capital city of Spain has consolidated its position an important economic, cultural, industrial, educational, and technological center on the European continent.
THE BULLFIGHTING The tradition, as it is practised today, involves professional toreros (toureiros in Portuguese; also referred to as toreadors in English), who execute various formal moves in order to subdue the bull itself. Such maneuvers are performed at close range, and can result in injury or even death of the performer. The bullfight usually concludes with the death of the bull by a sword thrust. Forcados are dressed in a traditional costume of damask or velvet, with long knit hats as worn by the campinos (bull headers) from Ribatejo. Bullfighting generates heated controversy in many areas of the world, including Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Peru, and Portugal. Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition, while animal rights groups argue that it is a blood sport because of the suffering of the bull and horses during the bullfight.
Twenty-first century In order to alleviate social tensions in the inner suburbs and revitalise the metropolitan economy of Paris, several plans are currently underway. The office of Secretary of State for the Development of the Capital Region was created in March 2008 within the French government. Its office holder, Christian Blanc, is in charge of overseeing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans for the creation of an integrated Grand Paris (“Greater Paris”) metropolitan authority (see Administration section below), as well as the extension of the subway network to
Capital: Paris Official languages: French Government: Unitary semipresidential republic Area: 674,843 Km² Population: 64,473,140 Currency: Euro (€) Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
cope with the renewed growth of population in Paris and its suburbs, and various economic development projects to boost the metropolitan economy such as the creation of a world-class technology and scientific cluster and university campus on the Saclay plateau in the southern suburbs. La DéfenseIn parallel, President Sarkozy also launched in 2008 an international urban and architectural competition for the future development of metropolitan Paris. Ten teams which bring together architects, urban planners, geographers, landscape architects will offer their vision for building a Paris metropolis of the 21st century in the Kyoto Protocol era and make a prospective diagnosis for Paris and its suburbs that will define future developments in Greater Paris for the next 40 years. The goal is not only to build an environmentally sustainable metropolis but also to integrate the inner suburbs with the central City of Paris through large-scale urban planning operations and iconic architectural projects. Meanwhile, in an effort to boost the global economic image of metropolitan Paris, several skyscrapers (300 m (984 ft) and
higher) have been approved since 2006 in the business district of La Défense, to the west of the city proper, and are scheduled to be completed by the early 2010s. Paris authorities also made public they are planning to authorise the construction of skyscrapers within the city proper by relaxing the cap on building height for the first time since the construction of the Tour Montparnasse in the early 1970s.
THE FRENCH HAUTE CUISINE Haute cuisine (French: literally “high cooking”) or grande cuisine was characterised by French cuisine in elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses that were produced by large and hierarchical staffs at the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe. Georges Auguste Escoffier is a central figure in the modernization of haute cuisine as of about 1900, which became known as cuisine classique. The 1960’s were marked by the appearance of “nouvelle cuisine” as chefs rebelled from Excoffier’s “orthodoxy” and complexity. Within 20 years, however, chefs began returning to the earlier style of haute cuisine, although many of the new techniques remained.
Florence’s origins date back to the Etruscan era, when Fiesole, an important center in Etruria, dominated the valley. Before conquering Fiesole in the first century B.C., the Romans set up camp by the River Arno in a place that then became Florentia, “destined to flower”. Florence survived the dark centuries of the Middle Ages and then became an important city, until it became a Municipal Borough in 1115. The dispute between the Guelfs, who were faithful to the Pope, and the Ghibellines, loyal to the Emperor Frederick II, that resulted in the Guelfs being exiled from the
Capital: Rome Official languages: Italian Government: Parliamentary republic Area: 301,338 Km² Population: 60,045,068 Currency: Euro (€) Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
city, was extremely interesting. When the Emperor died, however, the Guelfs took the upper hand once more and Florence enjoyed a period of prosperity. Great importance was given to the Corporazione delle Arti and the architectural beauties, which make Florence such a unique city, began to be built. Art & Culture were in great ferment and the people’s desire to educate themselves gave rise to the first work in the vernacular language, in the poetic style of “Dolce stil novo”, which then brought about the works of Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio and finally, a century later, the “Accademia della Crusca”. It was Boccaccio who documented the plague of Florence, a tragedy that started off the people’s dissatisfaction, which culminated in the “tumulto dei Ciompi” riots in 1378. After a short period in which the people ruled the city, the Medici dynasty then took over, first with Cosimo and then with Lorenzo il Magnifico, who brought the Humanist Age to Florence, together with the wonderful architecture by Brunelleschi. After Lorenzo il Magnifico’s death (1492), and in later centuries, the city oscillated between Republican agitation and Medici
revenge, while geniuses such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci became famous names in art and literature. In 1865, Florence was chosen to be the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and remained capital until 1871. In later years and until the beginning of the twentieth century, Florence was famous for its literary happenings, that produced works such as Pinocchio and which brought writers such as Papini, Palazzeschi, Pratolini to the fore, who were all members of the historical Literary Caffè group the “Giubbe Rosse”.
TASTE THE BEST ITALIAN WINE The many contributions the Romans made to the art of wine-growing included using props and trellises, improving the Greek presses used for extracting juice, classifying which grapes grew best in which climate, and increasing the yields. The Romans exhibited good taste by deciding that aged wines tasted better and preferred wines that were ten to twenty-five years old. They discovered that wines which were kept in tightly closed containers improved with age and became the first to store it in wooden barrels. They may also have been the first to use glass jars and they also used corks. Today Italian wines are considered by critics to be amongst the best in the world. As there are twenty different regions to choose from, each with different varieties, it is never difficult to find a fine Italian wine!
The foundation of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to Hercules 400 years before the building of Rome thus the name Βαρκινών; . The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family, in the 3rd century BC. About 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the “Mons Taber”, a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or,
Capital: Barcelona Official languages: Catalan, Spanish, Aranese
Autonomous Community Area: 32,114 Km² Population: 7,354,411 Currency: Euro (€) Time Zone: GMT +1
in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco (modern Tarragona); but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba survive. Some important Roman ruins are exposed under the Plaça del Rei, entrance by the city museum (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat), and the typically Roman grid-planning is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic (“Gothic Quarter”). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as basilica La Seu is said to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early fifth century, by the Moors in the early eighth century, reconquered in 801 by Charlemagne’s son Louis who made Barcelona the seat of Carolingian “Spanish Marches” (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona. The Counts of Barcelona became increa-
singly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia. In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged by dynastic union by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon and their titles were finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon which conquered many overseas possessions, ruling the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the thirteenth century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona’s decline.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF ANTONI GAUDI
Barcelona gaudi architecture inside the Sagrada FamiliaGaudi’s work is admired by architects around the World as being one of the most unique and distinctive architectural styles. His work has greatly influenced the face of Barcelona Architecture and you will see Gaudi’s work all over the city. Antoni Gaudi was born in Reus in 1852 and received his Architectural degree in 1878. From the very beginning his designs were different from those of his contemporaries. Gaudi’s work was greatly influenced by forms of nature and this is reflected by the use of curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, and organic-like forms which are traits of Gaudi’s Barcelona architecture. The combination of original design, interesting shaped stonework, and vibrant colours in Gaudi’s work give the viewer a truly breathtaking visual experience.
Amsterdam was originally founded as “Aemstelredamme”, which meant nothing more or less than “ dam in the Amstel”. The Amstel was, and still is the river that comes floating from the south as the sum of the rivers the “Drecht” and the “Kromme Mijdrecht” and ends its course in the “IJ”, the water right behind the Central Station. In the olden days, before Cornelius Lely constructed the “Afsluitdijk” (1927-1932), the IJ had an open connection with the Northsea and so the Amstel estuary was floaded by salt water every six hours or so.
Capital: Amsterdam Official languages: Dutch Government: Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
Area: 41,526 Km² Population: 16,500,156 Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) Time Zone: CET (UTC +1)
Hence the decision of the early settlers to build a Dam to keep their virtile farmlands protected. “Waterdoors” constructed in the Dam would be opened at low tide to let the Amstelwater flow into the IJ, and closed at high tide, to keep the salt water out. As activity grew, and the settlement with it, the primitive dikes that were build in support with the Dam were fortified and turned into roads to transport the goods that the, by now developed, harbour generated. Today we still walk over the “Nieuwendijk” and the “Haarlemmerdijk”, The “Zeedijk” and the “Zeeburgerdijk” and of course the “Schellingwouderdijk”, but I’d be surprised if you could pronounce that. The “Funen” windmill. Converted into a modern brewery; Brouwerij het IJ. All this activity and industriousness didn’t go unnoticed in the rest of the Netherlands, of course, and so in 1275 the Amstelredamme dwellers were granted the right of transport of goods and merchandise throughout the Netherlands, free of toll. The original document states a “damage that was done to the folk of Amstelredamme that has to be made up for, and bought off”, but today no-one knows exactly what
damage is being referred to. Around the 17th century, as the city expanded, more horseshoe shaped canals were handdug around it, crossed by smaller canals, thus making it possible to refresh the canalwater with Amstelwater, as well as having a means to inexpensively transport goods all over the place. “Herengracht”, “Keizersgracht” and “Prinsengracht” (yes, that’s right, our gracht) are the result of this expansion, and a thick wall around the now called “Stadhouderskade” was built to become the new line of defence. To house the labourers, a whole new housing area was put up on the side of the city. It’s name is probably a derivate from the French word for “garden”, and we still know it as the “Jordaan” today.
THE BEAUTIFUL DUTCH WINDMILL The development of the mills is most certainly attributable to Holland, as it is unrivaled in the diversity of types of mills. The advent of technology though, brought a quick end to the mill’s usefulness. First the steam engines, then the internal combustion engines and finally the electric motor all gradually took over the jobs previously undertaken by wind or water. The mills were no longer profitable and were either destroyed or used for storage. By 1923, only three thousand out of 10 thousand mills remained, which further declined to just over 1,000 remaining today. Fortunately, these living monuments are now protected and many of them are open to the public, at set times.
SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY
The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 12th most populous city in the United States, with a 2008 estimated population of 808,976. It is the second most densely populated major city in the U.S. and is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the larger San Francisco Bay Area, a region of more than seven million people. The city is located at the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco 52
Capital: Sacramento Official languages: English Government: Federal constitutional republic Area: 423,970 kmÂ˛ Population: 36,553,215 Currency: United States dollar ($) (USD) Time Zone: UTC -8/-7
Bay to the north and east. In 1776, the Spanish established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush in 1848 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth, transforming it into the largest city on the West Coast at the time. After being devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. During World War II, San Francisco was the send-off point for many soldiers to the Pacific Theater. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, and other factors gave rise to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a liberal bastion in the United States. Today, San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination renowned for its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture and its famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the cable cars, and Chinatown.
THE PLACE OF THE MAGIC WAVES Southern California is also home to a large surf culture. Companies such as Volcom, Quiksilver, O’Neill clothing division, No Fear,Lost Enterprises, Sector 9, RVCA, Body Glove and Surfline are all headquartered here. Professional surfers Rob Machado, Tim Curran, Bobby Martinez, Pat O’Connell, Dane Reynolds, and Chris Ward live in Southern California. Some of the world’s legendary surf spots are here as well, including Trestles, Rincon, The Wedge, Huntington Beach, and Malibu, and it is second only to the island of Oahu in terms of famous surf breaks. Some of the world’s biggest extreme sports events including the X Games, Boost Mobile Pro, and the U.S. Open of Surfing are all in Southern California.
The Reunification While the GDR was celebrating its 40th birthday in 1989, a growing number of East Germans were deeply dissatisfied with their lives in confinement. Taking advantage of the changing political climate and the newly open borders in Hungary, many tried to flee to the FRG. Back in East Germany, protestors thronged the streets demanding political change. After it became obvious that the Soviet Union would not support any repression of 54
Capital: Berlin Official languages: German Government: Federal Parliamentary republic Area: 357,021 KmÂ˛ Population: 82,217,800 Currency: Euro (â‚Ź) (EUR) Time Zone: CET (UTC +1)
the demonstrators, the government was forced to make concessions. Finally, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Twelve months later, the GDR held its first democratic elections - and voted itself out of existence. On 3 October 1990, Germany was reunited. In 1991, public vote decided to move the country’s capital back to reunited Berlin. Reunification, however, did not proceed without problems. West and East Germany differed greatly in their standards of living and their economic output. The collapse of East German’s state-run economy resulted in a high unemployment rate among East Germans while many West Germans resented the financial weight of reunification. Even though some still harbour nostalgic feelings for old life in East Germany (Ostalgie), a lot has changed: The border posts have disappeared, it is difficult to make out where the Wall once stood and Angela Merkel, a former East German, has become Germany’s democratically elected Chancellor.
THE GERMAN BEER GARDEN FOR YOUR BEST RELAXING PLACES If you travel to Berlin during the summer, when the days are long and the city is ripe with action, you won’t want to miss a trip to one of its many beer gardens. They’re a casual way to relax outdoors and rub elbows with the locals, especially when sitting at one of those long, communal, picnic-style tables. Go tradition with a Weissbier or Hefeweizen, or with Berlin’s version of the wheat beer, a Berliner Weisse, often spiked with raspberry, woodruff herb, or lemon syrup. Other options include Pilsner, Schwarzbier or Alster, a mixture of Pilsner and usually Sprite or 7-up that’s also known as a Radler. Here are some of the best beer garden options out there.
VISITING LONDON HISTORY
21st Century London An icon of 21st century London: the London Eye. At the turn of the 21st century, London hosted the much derided Millennium Dome at Greenwich, to mark the new century. Other Millennium projects were more successful. One was the largest observation wheel in the world, the “Millennium Wheel”, or the London Eye, which was erected as a temporary structure, but soon became a fixture, and draws four million visitors a year. The National Lottery also released a
Capital: London Official languages: English Government: Constitutional monarchy Area: 130,395 Km² Population: 51,092,000 Currency: Pound sterling (GBP) Time Zone: GMT (UTC0)
flood of funds for major enhancements to existing attractions, for example the roofing of the Great Court at the British Museum. The London Plan, published by the Mayor of London in 2004, estimated that the population would reach 8.1 million by 2016, and continue to rise thereafter. This was reflected in a move towards denser, more urban styles of building, including a greatly increased number of tall buildings, and proposals for major enhancements to the public transport network. However, funding for projects such as Crossrail remained a struggle. On 6 July 2005 London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics. However, celebrations were cut short the following day when, on 7 July 2005, London was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks. More than 50 were killed and 750 injured in three bombings on London Underground and another aboard a double decker bus near Russell Square in King’s Cross. London has been voted the best holiday destination in the world in by travel agents.
LONDON EYE VOTED WORLD’S BEST ATTRACTION The London Eye (also known as the Millennium Wheel), at a height of 135 metres (443 ft), is the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over three million people in one year. At the time it was erected, in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang (160 m) in May 2006, and then the Singapore Flyer (165 m) on 11 February 2008. However, it is still described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel” (because the entire structure is supported by an A-frame on one side only). The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Brno as such was acknowledged to be a town in 1243 by Václav I, King of Bohemia, but the area itself had been settled since the 5th century. From the 11th century, a castle of the governing Přemyslid dynasty stood here, and was the seat of the nonruling prince. During the Hussite Wars, the city remained faithful to King Zikmund. The Hussites twice laid siege to the city, once in 1428 and again in 1430, both times in vain. During the Thirty Years’ War, in 1643 and 1645, Brno was the only city to successfully defend itself from Swedish sieges, 58
Capital: Prague Official languages: English Government: Parliamentary republic Area: 78,866 km2 Population: 10,476,543 Currency: Czech koruna (CZK) Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
thereby allowing the Austrian Empire to reform their armies and to repel the Swedish pressure. In recognition of its services, the city was rewarded with a renewal of its city privileges. In the years following the Thirty Years’ War, the city became an impregnable baroque fortress. In 1742, the Prussians vainly attempted to conquer the city, and the position of Brno was confirmed with the establishment of a bishopric in 1777. In 1805, The Battle of Austerlitz took place 6 miles southeast of Brno. In the 18th century, development of industry and trade began to take place, which continued into the next century. Soon after the industrial revolution, the town became one of the industrial centres of Moravia — sometimes it even being called the Czech Manchester. In 1839, the first train arrived in Brno. Together with the development of industry came the growth of the suburbs, and the city lost its fortifications, as did the Spielberg fortress, which became a notorious prison to where not only criminals were sent, but also political opponents of the Austrian Empire. Gas lighting was introduced to the city in 1847 and a tram system in 1869. Mahen Theatre in Brno was the first building in the world to use Edison’s electric lamps.
During the “First Republic” (1918–1938) Brno continued to gain importance — it was during this period that Masaryk University was established (1919), the state armoury (Československá Statni Zbrojovka Brno) was established (1919), and the Brno Fairgrounds were opened in 1928 with an exhibition of contemporary culture. The city was not only a centre of industry and commerce, but also of education and culture. Famous people who lived and worked in the city include Gregor Mendel, Leoš Janáček, Viktor Kaplan, Jiří Mahen, and Bohuslav Fuchs. In 1939 Brno was annexed by Nazi Germany along with the rest of Moravia and Bohemia. After the war, the ethnic German population was expelled.
BOEMIA CRYSTAL AS A LUXURY SOUVENIR Bohemia crystal (glass and crystal have the same meaning in the Czech language in the context of grind-decorated glass) is a decorative glass made in Bohemia and Silesia since the 13th century. Oldest archaeology excavations of glass-making sites date to around 1250 and are located in the Lusatian Mountains of Northern Bohemia. Most notable sites of glassmaking throughout the ages are Skalice(Langenau), Kamenicky Senov(Steinschönau) and Novy Bor(Haida). Both Novy Bor and Kamenicky Senov have their own Glass Museums with many items dating since around 1600. It was especially outstanding in its manufacture of glass in high Baroque style from 1685 to 1750. In the 17th century, Caspar Lehmann, gem cutter to Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, adapted to glass the technique of gem engraving with copper and bronze wheels.
Native Americans who lived in the area included the Miami and Lenape (or Delaware) tribes, who were removed from the area by the early 1820s. Indianapolis was selected as the site of the new state capital in 1820. While most American state capitals tend to be located in the central region of their respective states, Indianapolis is the only capital to be in the exact center of its state. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; literally, Indianapolis
Capital: Indianapolis Official languages: English Government: Federal constitutional republic Area: 36,418 sq mi Population: 6,345,289 Currency: United States dollar ($) (USD) Time Zone: UTC -6/-5
means “Indiana City”. The city was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade. The capital moved from Corydon on January 10, 1825 and the state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L’Enfant, and he helped L’Enfant plan Washington, DC. Ralston’s original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only one square mile (3 km²). At the center of the city sat Governor’s Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the governor’s mansion. Meridian and Market Streets converge at the Circle and continue north and south and east and west, respectively. The governor’s mansion was eventually demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a 284-foot (87 m) tall neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. The surrounding street is now known as Monument Circle. In the 1970s and 1980s, Indianapolis suffered at the hands of urban decay and white flight. Major revitalization of the city’s blighted areas, such as Fall Creek Place, and especially the downtown, began in the
A WONDERFUL PLACE TO PLAY GOLF The origin of golf is unclear and open to debate. Some historians trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, which involved using a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. According to one view, paganica spread throughout several countries as the Romans conquered much of Europe during the 1st century BC and eventually evolved into the modern game. Others cite Chuiwan (“chui” means striking and “wan” means small ball) as the progenitor, a game played in China in the 14th–17th centuries. It is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Other early games included the game known as cambuca in England and chambot in France. This game was in turn exported to the Low Countries, Germany, and England (where it was called pall-mall, pronounced “pell mell”). Some believe golf descended from the Persian chaugán. Kolven was played annually in Loenen, Netherlands, beginning in 1297, to commemorate the capture of the killer of Floris V, a year earlier.
1990s and led to an acceleration of growth on the fringes of the metropolitan Area. The opening of Circle Centre in downtown Indianapolis jumpstarted a major revitalization of the central business district. Indianapolis’s future appears bright as the city continues to invest heavily in improvement projects, such as an expansion to the Convention Center, upgrading of the I-465 beltway and an entirely new airport terminal for the Indianapolis International Airport, which is now open. Construction of the Indianapolis Colts’ new home, Lucas Oil Stadium was completed in August 2008, and the proposed hotel and convention center expansion is expected to open within the next three years.
SAN MARINO REPUBLIC
SAN MARINO HISTORY
The government of San Marino made United States President Abraham Lincoln an honorary citizen. He wrote in reply, saying that the republic proved that “government founded on republican principles is capable of being so administered as to be secure and enduring.” In World War I, as Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915, San Marino remained neutral and Italy adopted a hostile view of Sammarinese neutrality, suspecting that San Marino could harbor Austrian spies who could be given access to its new radiotelegraph station. Italy tried 62
Official languages: Italian Government: Parliamentary republic Area: 61.2 km² Population: 29,973 Currency: Euro (€) (EUR) Time Zone: CET (UTC +1)
to forcibly establish a detachment of Carabinieri on its territory and then suspended any telephone connections with the Republic when it did not comply. However two groups of 10 volunteers each joined Italian forces in the fighting on the Italian front, the first as combatants and the second as a Medical Corps operating a Red cross field hospital. It was the presence of this hospital that later caused Austrian authorities to suspend diplomatic relations with San Marino. During World War II San Marino remained neutral. Despite that, on 26 June 1944 it was bombed by the RAF, which mistakenly believed that the country had been overrun by German forces and was being used to amass stores and ammunition. Sixty people were killed during the operation. San Marino was refuge for thousands of civilians who sought safety on the passing of Allied forces over the Gothic Line. The head of state is a committee (council) of two captains-regent. San Marino also had the world’s first democratically-elected communist government, which held office between 1945 and 1957 and again between 2006 and 2008. San Marino is the world’s smallest republic, although when Nauru gained indepen-
dence in 1968 it challenged that claim, Nauru’s land mass only being 21 square kilometers. However Nauru’s jurisdiction over its surrounding waters is much greater than the territory of San Marino. San Marino became a member of the Council of Europe in 1988 and of the United Nations in 1992. It is not a member of the European Union.
RIMINI SEASIDE: BEACH AND FUN! Rimini is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, near the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient Ariminus) and Ausa (Aprusa). Coast navigation and fishing are traditional industries and, together with Riccione, it is probably the most famous seaside resort on the Adriatic Riviera. In Romagna, when people think nightlife, they think Rimini. While most of the locals don’t actually go there very often, it is like the hub of nightlife, comparable to what Hollywood Boulevard is in L.A.. All that you can find in smaller beach communities, the restaurants, the bars, the arcades, the pubs, the shops, is multiplied by the size of Rimini’s beach walk and by its fame and popularity. Long traffic lines in summer weekend nights are common, when people from all over Italy and beyond flock to town.
VISITING LISBON HISTORY
Portugal was one of only five European countries to remain neutral in World War II. Ceremony of the handover of Macau to the People’s Republic of China, in December 1999. In December 1961, the Portuguese army and navy were involved in armed conflict in its colony of Portuguese India against an Indian invasion. The operations resulted in the defeat of the isolated and relatively small Portuguese garrison which was forced to surrender. The outcome was the loss of the Portuguese territories in the Indian
Capital: Lisbon Official languages: Portuguese Government: Parliamentary Republic Area: 92,345 Km² Population: 10,676,910 Currency: Euro (€) Time Zone: WEST (UTC+1)
subcontinent. Also in the early 1960s, independence movements in the Portuguese overseas provinces of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea in Africa, resulted in the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). In April 1974, a bloodless left-wing military coup in Lisbon, known as the Carnation Revolution, led the way for a modern democracy as well as the independence of the last colonies in Africa shortly after. These events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal’s African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique), Portugal’s last overseas territory, Macau, was not handed over to the People’s Republic of China until 1999, under the 1987 joint declaration that set the terms for Macau’s handover from Portugal to the P. R. of China. In 2002, the independence of East Timor (Asia) was formally recognized by Portugal, after an incomplete decolonization process that was started in 1975 due to the Carnation Revolution. From the 1940s to the 1960s, Portugal was a founding member of NATO, OECD and EFTA. In 1986, Portugal joined the European Union (then the European Eco-
nomic Community). In 1999, Portugal was one of the founding countries of the euro and the Eurozone. It is also a co-founder of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), established in 1996 and headquartered in Lisbon.
LISTENING FADO MUSIC TO PASS YOUR WONDERFUL EVENING Some enthusiasts claim that fado’s origins are a mixture of African slave rhythms with the traditional music of Portuguese sailors and Arabic influence. There are two main varieties of fado, namely those of the cities of Lisbon and Coimbra. The Lisbon style is the most popular, while Coimbra’s is the more refined style. Modern fado is popular in Portugal, and has produced many renowned musicians. According to tradition, to applaud fado in Lisbon you clap your hands, while in Coimbra one coughs like if clearing one’s throat. Mainstream fado performances during the 20th century included only a singer, a Portuguese guitar player and a classical guitar player but more recent settings range from singer and string quartet to full orchestra.
Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland, which is both the worldâ€™s smallest continent and the worldâ€™s largest island, The island of Tasmania, and numerous other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.N4 Australia is the only place that is simultaneously considered a continent, a country and an island. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east and New Zealand to the southeast. For around 40,000 years before European
Capital: Sydney Official languages: English Government: Federal Parliamentary
democracy and Constitutional monarchy
Area: 7,686,850 km2 Population: 21,807,000 Currency: Australian dollar (AUD) Time Zone: UTC+8 to +10.5
settlement commenced in the late 18th century, the Australian mainland and Tasmania were inhabited by around 250 individual nations of indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the immediate north, and European discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, The eastern half of Australia was claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales, founded on 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in the following years; the continent was explored, and during the 19th century another five largely self-governing Crown Colonies were established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies became a federation, and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth realm. The population is just over 21.7 million, with approximately 60% concentrated in and around the mainland state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. The nationâ€™s capital city is Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Australia is a prosperous multicultural country and has excellent results in many
international comparisons of national performance such as health care, life expectancy, quality-of-life, human development, public education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australian cities also routinely rank among the worldâ€™s highest in terms of livability, cultural offerings, and quality of life. It is a member of the United Nations, G-20 major economies, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, OECD, and the WTO.
DISCOVER THE ABORIGINAL ART Indigenous Australian art (also known as Aboriginal art) is art made by Indigenous Australians, covering works that pre-date European colonization as well as contemporary art by Aboriginal Australians based on traditional culture. These have been studied in recent decades and gained increased international recognition. Aboriginal Art covers a wide medium including painting on leaves, wood carving, rock carving, sculpture, sandpainting and ceremonial clothing, as well as artistic decorations found on weaponry and also tools. Art is one of the key rituals of Aboriginal culture and was and still is, used to mark territory, record history, and tell stories about the dreamtime. Similar to how Christians have their own story of the creation of the Earth, the Dreamtime is how the Aboriginals believed the world was created.
KUALA LUMPUR HISTORY
During World War II, Kuala Lumpur was captured by the Japanese army on January 11, 1942. They remained in occupation until August 15, 1945, when the commander in chief of the Japanese Seventh Area Army in Singapore and Malaya, SeishirĹ? Itagaki, surrendered to the British administration following the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kuala Lumpur grew through the war, the rubber and tin commodity crashes and the Malayan Emergency, during which Malaya was preoccupied with the communist insurgency. In 1957, the Federation of Malaya gained its independence from British rule. Kuala
Capital: Kuala Lumpur Official languages: Malay Government: Federal constitutional
monarchy and Parliamentary democracy
Area: 329,847 kmÂ˛ Population: 27,730,000 Currency: Ringgit (RM) (MYR) Time Zone: MST (UTC+8)
Lumpur remained the capital through the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963. On May 13, 1969, one of the worst race riots in Malaysia took place in Kuala Lumpur. The May 13 Incident was a riot between the Malays and the Chinese. The former being dissatisfied with their socio-political situation at the time. The riot resulted in the deaths of 196 people, and led to a major reform in the countryâ€™s economic policy favouring the Malays. Kuala Lumpur later achieved city status in 1972, becoming the first settlement in Malaysia to be granted the status after independence. Later, on February 1, 1974, Kuala Lumpur became a Federal Territory. Kuala Lumpur ceased to be the capital of Selangor in 1978 after the city of Shah Alam was declared as the new state capital. On 14 May 1990, Kuala Lumpur was celebrated 100 years of local authority. The new federal territory of Kuala Lumpur flag and anthem were introduced. In 1998, another political movement known as Reformasi took place mainly in this city. The movement was a result of the sacking of former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and resulted in a chain of
protests until 1999, where supporters of Anwar Ibrahim took to the streets to demand reforms in the governmentâ€™s administration, among others. On February 1, 2001, Putrajaya was declared a Federal Territory, as well as the seat of the federal government. The administrative and judicial functions of the government were shifted from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya. Kuala Lumpur however still retained its legislative function, and remained the home of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King).
PENANG ISLAND FOR YOUR RELAX The island is the fourth largest in the country with an area of 295 km2. It is also the most populated island in the country with an estimated population of 678,000. The island is connected with mainland Peninsular Malaysia by the Penang Bridge. The bridge begins at Gelugor on the island and ends in Perai on the mainland. The mainland portion of the Penang state is known as Seberang Perai (formerly known as Province Wellesley), and together with Penang Island and other smaller islands, form the state of Penang. The eastern portion of the island facing the mainland Province Wellesley is highly urbanized and built-up with either industrial, commercial or residential areas. The western portion which serves as the green lung is generally less developed and hilly.
The origins of present day Valencia date back to the former Kingdom of Valencia, which came into existence in the thirteenth century. James I of Aragon led Christian conquest and colonization of the existing Islamic taifas with Aragonese and Catalan people in 1208 and founded the Kingdom of Valencia as a third independent country within the Crown of Aragon in 1238. In 1707, in the context the War of the Spanish Succession, and by means of the Nueva Planta decrees, king Philip V of Spain subordinated the Kingdom of Valencia, and the rest of the counties belonging to the
Capital: Valencia Official languages: Valencian and Spanish Statute of Autonomy Area: 23,255 kmÂ˛ Population: 5,029,601 Currency: Euro (â‚Ź) Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
former Crown of Aragon and which had retained some autonomy, to the structure of the Kingdom of Castile and its laws and customs. As a result of this, the institutions and laws created by the Furs of Valencia were abolished and the usage of the Valencian language in official instances and education was forbidden. Consequently, with the House of Bourbon, a new Kingdom of Spain was formed implementing a more centralized government than the former Habsburg Spain. The first attempt to gain self-government for the Region of Valencia in modern-day Spain was during the 2nd Spanish Republic, in 1936, but the Civil War broke out and the autonomist project was suspended. In 1977, after Franco’s dictatorship, Valencia started to be partially autonomous with the creation of the Consell Pre-autonòmic del País Valencià (Pre-autonomous Council of the Valencian Country), and in 1982 the self-government was finally extended into a Statute of Autonomy creating several self-government institutions under the Generalitat Valenciana. The Valencian Statutes of Autonomy make clear that Valencia is intended to be the modern conception of self-government of
the Valencian Country from the first autonomist movements (autogovern) during Second Spanish Republic, but also joining it to the traditional conception of Valencian identity, as being the successor to the historical Kingdom of Valencia (furs). In fact, after a bipartisan reform of the Valencian statute of autonomy in 2006, it records the foral civil law, using the traditional conception of a kingdom, and, on the other hand, it also recognizes Valencia as a nationality, in accordance with the modern conception.
NIGHTLIFE IN ALICANTE CITY Alicante or Alacant is a city in Spain, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of the Alacantí, in the southern part of the Valencian Community. When night falls, everything is transformed. Music and vibrant color come to life in the Alicante nights. You’ll find outdoor terraces, cocktail bars, and pubs in the old quarter area “el barrio” and the Port. There is something for every taste: calm and low-key, salsa clubs or dance clubs.
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Rapid Bike. La passione e la tecnologia Dimsport per donare alla tua moto performances straordinarie.
Dall’esperienza Dimsport Technology, Rapid Bike: la centralina che ottimizza le performance dei motocicli in base alle più personali esigenze di guida. Modulabile per Scooter, Superbike e Custom con cablaggi e software speciﬁci.
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Published on Sep 23, 2009