Tag Archives: travel

A Tour of Sicily

Visiting Sicily has been in our plans for a while.

We wanted to go for many reasons. The food, of course, was the most important aspect that drew us to the island. But then there was the landscape, and the chance to enjoy warmth and seaside life. We wanted to see the trace that history, cultures and people had left behind. We wanted to see Sicily’s beauty and its difficulty, with our own bare eyes.

I wanted to share some highlights from these two weeks with you, mainly visual. I took a lot of photos along our journey that took us from Palermo to San Vito, Scopello, Erice and Marsala during the fist week; and then across the island, through Enna and the Iblei, to land in Modica, Vendicari, Noto and finally, Siracusa. Many times, though, I left my camera behind, capturing what I saw with my pupils only – sometimes with my phone, too. As a result, I have few images from each and every single place I visited, but many more sensations stored in my memories, and perhaps more things to tell and to put down in words.

Here we go. 

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72 Hours in Copenhagen

I so love this place, I said. I really think I could live here.

‘You can’t judge a place by how it shows itself in the summer. You must visit it in the midst of winter to really understand whether or not you would want to live there’.

I have been traveling with different eyes lately. The eyes of someone who doesn’t simply visit a place, but who is at the same time evaluating the elements of a life in that place. What does it feel to live here, I was thinking while walking through the neighborhoods of Copenhagen – along its lush parks and pedestrian streets. What does it feel to be able to bike everywhere, not having to take a crowded train to work, and living this lifestyle which seems so laid back, relaxed and human?

We left London on a rainy, misty day at the end of May and landed in a place where the sun didn’t seem to ever go away. Days were long and warm, and we were pushed to the edge of our energies, eager to suck it all in, to see it all, to breathe the fresh air of a city where bikes outnumber cars and buses, where the breeze from the harbour clears the sky and
allows the sun to shine bright, as high up as I had never seen before.

We have been lucky, they told us. It isn’t always like that in Copenhagen, they said. Winters are long, and dark and harsh and demand a great leap of faith – the certitude that daylight will abound once again, sometime soon– to get through them. We were oblivious of all that for a while – everything was too bright and beautiful and warm and so very colourful in comparison to what we had left behind to picture such times would ever come. Only after a couple of days were we brought back to reality during a lunch at The Nordic Food Lab. We were, funnily enough, talking about the weather, praising the glorious days we had been gifted with, when one of the visiting interns said something that, for simple that is was, stuck with me since. ‘This is just like any other day in LA’.

 These thoughts, see, these glimpses would never even occurred to me if I was simply visiting Copenhagen; if I wasn’t rather considering moving there. Would I be able to take it – the dark, the long winters, the cold, the expensive citrus? Would it be much different from London in that respect? Would I trade a life in a place that is warm and summery and where I would feel like a living human being for most of the year for a life somewhere beautiful, slow-paced, functioning, yet so expensive and just, simply put, so Nordic?

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Rome Postcards

This time – our second in Rome – we stayed in Testaccio. The courtyard of our tiny apartment seemed to belong to an old Italian movie: climbing roses, clothes hanging from the windows, old pensive(or rather nosy?) ladies at the balcony, and neighborhood cats. Emiko‘s little one really loved the cats – just as much as I did.

We spent our handful of days wandering aimlessly. It seems to be our favourite way to get to know a city – only second to plan visits around restaurant reservations. I got to peep through the keyhole at the top of the Aventino hill, the one where the edges make a perfect frame of St. Peter’s dome. We idled around the Orange Gardens, filling our lungs with the scent of orange blossoms, smiling at the sight of many inedible Seville oranges peeled, bitten and abandoned on the floor. Scenes from the stunning movie that is The Great BeautyLa Dolce Vita and Roman Holidays didn’t seem to apply any longer – came to mind along the way: nuns chasing pigeons, the deadly view from Gianicolo, the feeling of decadence, of langueur

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My Naples Food Guide

Although we landed in Naples for reasons other than tourism, we still managed to fill our spare time with many leisurely stroll, and as much food as we could possibly manage.
What we quickly realised is that Naples isn’t the sort of city that leaves you indifferent: nothing is neutral, everything is bold, challenging, dense with meaning. The same, in a way, can be said about its food.
I only had two days to spend in the city, barely sufficient to truly get to know the breadth of its cuisine, but still enough to get the gist of it. I collected some of my favourite places to eat from the trip, and distilled them into this small food guide, which I hope I’ll get to expand upon another trip sometime soon.

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