Mantova

And when I was about to start writing the greatest post of my entire existence, I stumbled.

Yes, I was about to tell briefly about the past grandeur of Mantua, the city born on a swampland, raised by fame and Family Gonzaga to a pearl for arts and architecture…

Then yeah I was about to progress in the post with the visit of the main buildings-museums, totes superb..

I was certainly all-in to talk about the immense work in progress around the castle and palace, the cranes, the sadness to hear it’s still because of the earthquake’s damages in 2012..

Yes, I was also adding the general mood of the city centre, the porches, the stones, the vivid colours on the walls. Not by any chance I would have missed to mention the human-sized streets, so personal and full of personality…

I was for sure bragging about the serene ownership of the streets by old men with a lovely accent. Or about delicious food…

I think at the end I would have been also able to put a chapter about locals claiming to win a prize for most humid city – by the way the crown for funniest sentence goes to ” There is too much humidity here ( x Ntimes). And we have lots of porks around here” I found it a sublime supplement-.

But I saw the pictures and they are awful to explain, to accomplish my urge to show off Mantova. Damn. I tagged only one image as ‘enough good’ and here there is:

porches

What now? In an escalation of feelings, swinging from demolished pride to childish sadness I am going to show you the personal disaster, a.k.a. the class “How not to take a picture 1.0”. Enjoy the circus:

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The Blurry One

piazza

The Sloping One

The Sad One

The Sad One

The Dammit Stay Still Not Happening One

The Dammit Stay Still Not Happening One

The Underexposing One

The Underexposing One

I’d love to blame something else, but the reason is simple: for the first time after a year travelling solo I had someone along. Shame I totally neglected the quality of the images, I was seriously on a mission to fill the gap created by 3 hideous years without unexplainably seeing the person next to me. Let’s call it a draw, shall we?

I moved around the town and I saw its shape and colours, but I don’t think I completely understood it. I wasn’t struck by lightning,  mostly the opposite, I found it familiar. I must admit I have something I might call thirst of romance with new cities, where my biggest natural dream is to madly fall in love with the surroundings, find spots and take striking pictures and develops new brilliant thoughts but I was so distracted by just walking and generally being happy with the Mister. Maybe it was the weather, more certain an excuse to go back another time.

This guy often ends with a  “Who knows?…”. I do, I do.

P.S. I don’t really understand why the “Anarchical Cycling” hates me, but I guess they are right.

Anarchical Cycling

Fall in Venice

Venezia. Venice. Venedig. Venecia, البندقية, 威尼斯, ヴェネツィア. Or the best one, in original dialect: Venessia.

Venice

A typical day in Fall

 

One of the most used and abused city in the world, top destination for tourists, pigeons and seagulls, even dog poo organises strategic tours there. Seriously, what to add about Venezia that somebody else hasn’t brilliantly already said? But -imho- I think I have it.

Ladies and Gents let me introduce you to a person who actually lived there: me.

#Fact: I am a former resident in Venice.

#Fact: There is a way to live and avoid the mass of tourists and enjoy the city as well.

#Fact: Venice is a pure pain in the ass to live in, but when the sun shines it’s the most compelling place to be. Yes, Venezia is as difficult as wonderful.

#Fact: I lived in Cannaregio and in the end loved it.

Cannaregio is the neighbourhood up North-East, facing the land of sea before Italy starts. It develops in length, through 3 wide streets and when just the first one is being walked by tourism, the other two are populated by shops, local restaurants, churches and friendly cats.

Venice cannaregio

madonna degli orti

Cannaregio

The Jewish Ghetto is the most famous spot and its square is generous in space, letting kids and dogs to stroll around and play.

Venice cannaregio

Venice cannaregio

Write this down: I have favourite places around the island, but the bridge facing Cannaregio’s harbour in Corte Vecchia has one of the most romantic and quiet aura.

Venice cannaregio

Venice cannaregio harbour

Quicken up because of a train to catch I soaked in a sea of fog and hit&run we-are-all-professional-photographers tourists in San Marco Area. I hope this is not the only Venezia they will experience.

tourist and palazzo ducale

Leftovers:

cannaregio bridge ghetto

venice hospital

breakfast

Castello

View from San Marco

Election 2013 – Italy

In the past few days I’ve been busy reading and preparing this table sheet with a comparison among the political programs promoted by the 6 largest parties in Italy. The election day is coming very soon and I in collaboration with a friend have felt the urge to fill the gap/lack of information with a simple and more intuitive summary. Let’s vote, Italy!

Una pratica tabella di comparazione con sintesi dei programmi elettorali di 6 coalizioni per le imminenti elezioni italiane, con l’invito a condividere e far circolare… andiamo a votare!!

December, end of the journey.

The last month of the year was about going back to my roots.

It was an unexpected, lovely month, started with bad news, ended with good hopes. When I was there to write about a trip I programmed, I was blocked by snow. A December with snow sounds both magical than inspiring, and puts you on the right track for the holidays..

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Frankly, it has been a quite difficult year for me, as I experienced the hugest-for-humans amount of nos and disappointments, which put me poorly in a miserable state all the time; the snowflakes spinning and spinning over my thoughtful head could have been seen as another impossibility to move, to improve, to heal. Au contraire, I read it as a “take it slow, have a break” epiphany. That was the best choice, so to be able to enjoy the cold weather, take some quality time for photos, Christmas lights, markets and presents. Loads of presents for my family and friends (the secret is to wrap everything!).

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After several years I celebrated with my family, back from where I started with the dreams. I managed to clean up my old room, finding treasures from my teenage messy period.

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It was overall a feeling of tenderness, a sweet way to keep going and doing. Because. Because I’ve done a lot to get where I am now, because there are so many things to do and experience, so many words to find deep inside yourself.

Snow in Berlin, fog in North Italy. That cold Winter holidays time reminded me to find my own way to move, keeping my existence in action.

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Viktoriapark in the snow, Berlin

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Ponte degli Alpini in the fog, Bassano del Grappa

2013, I salute you with a smile, we’re going to do great things together. Onwards and upwards.

November: Padova

I waited a bit before writing this chapter, in part because i was expected to travel more, but also because I didn’t want to tell about November in a very personal, quite cheesy way.
Since a blog is personal, alright I’ll spill the beans you about my trip back to Padova.

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I spent four years at University in Padova, enjoying almost every minute of it. The city is home of one of the oldest University in Europe and the centre is a lovely mosaic of squares, beautiful buildings, street markets and porches.

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God only knows how much I missed walking through the porches. A porch is protection from rain and sun, selection of sight, meeting with strangers: there’s more contact on a porch than on a normal pavement, you can feel the humanity and the history that the columns have been holding.

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The reason I went back was a special wedding/celebration. Imagine that:
A friend of mine, after 5 years at University left to find better luck in New Zealand; there he met a Japanese gal, they fell in love and lived together. For a cruel matter of visa, they both had to go back to the home countries. They stayed together almost 2 years, seeing each others when possible, here and there. I remember talking with my friend before one of his trip to Tokyo: he was working an average of 14 hours per day in order to save enough money to live there for a month. He wasn’t complaining at all about that, actually couldn’t hide his joy to hug soon her dream girl.
Eventually they managed to get visas for Canada and moved for good. They got married in June without many among family and friends and so this November they organised to travel and celebrate their love with the Italian side; next year they’ll do the same in Japan.
Love always finds its way, when determination holds on.

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Now, I could I miss this occasion? My friend and his beautiful bride reminded me how simple true feelings are even in the difficulties. I’ve always been touched by choices made with the heart and I felt like I wanted to be part of that party, so to convince myself that happy endings are still possible.
Yes they are.

Goodbye Italia, goodbye memories.

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P.S. Still, no room for my camera in the hand-luggage, forced to take pics with my decent not-so-much-brilliant camera. Apologies for the quality, feel free to insult me for the lack of professionalism.

P.P.S. I’ve come to the age that I travel to see people getting married and have child. What’s my age again?

May: Bibione

A peculiar funny trip this month. Everybody can recognize himself in what I am writing, I bet.
What about a family trip?
And what about a family trip when adult? Yes, no? Good, bad? If Asked me only 5-10 years ago, the answer would have been totally the opposite.
But in May 2012 the answers were yes and good: welcome to Bibione, little sea center and last town of Region Veneto, famous site for sick and old people due to the thermal area.
Bibione is the perfect destination for a middle class Venetian Family, small and cozy, or better unknown by many.
We have two major topics here on the plate, my friends: one, as mentioned, is the family trip; the other one is the beach holiday during low season. Pretty interesting both, innit.
Funny fact about me: I come from a big family and it’s fortunately like in the best sitcoms on telly: there are always laughters and celebrations and people in somebody else’s house but also lots of mutual respect and affection. Like a bunch of engineering students at the university pub. I repute myself a very lucky gal (also of the fact I don’t have engineers in the family, to be fair).
Said so, I’ve never been educated to family trips, when kid the chance to travel were few and I used to spend Summer with grandparents or just friends or worse just working; since last year I’ve changed my mind because it’s nice to have a moment of pure sharing (and honestly blast) with the big reunited family. And this good vibrations are transferred to the place too.
I am pretty sure Bibione was a bit shocked and rocked by us.

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The crew singing to the waiter: have I mentioned I have a big happy family?

And so, family trip even if you are an adult, why not? It can be the right thing to do to remember the value of family, the feeling of being surrounded by people who love you for real and think that you are awesome just being yourself. People who look into your eyes, listen to you, talk to you and not just speak, and tell you they believe in you. I know it’s not always like that, that’s why I tell myself I am lucky and that I have an excellent ground to build my future family on.

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Young generation coming up to take control soon

About the other topic, beach holiday in Springtime, or in general during low-season I have something totally pro to state: low season holiday are the best possibility to enjoy a place, even a nowhere place like Bibione, and suck its life blood out. The place is empty of people – tourists, the weather is never too extreme, the silence gives you space to think and listening to the music on an empty beach is deeper than ever.
You breathe, you understand yourself. And you find again motivations to move on and believe that the good is out there, as the sea is showing you on its silent terms.
I think there’s nothing else I can add; the rest, the left difference in my descriptions, will be made by the pictures I took those days.

Watch, and breathe.

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