Beautiful and Christmassy Milan

Hello lovelies,

It’s almost Christmas, isn’t it? I love this period of the year: everything looks so glittery, the atmosphere is warm and cozy and families finally get together after one year without almost seeing each other. I have just come back few days ago from England and I found Milan colder and obviously, foggy. Anyway, I am really happy to be home with my family and old friends. A couple of days ago I wandered around to buy the last presents and I found the city more beautiful than ever. So here are just few tips if you are gonna spend a weekend in Milan around Christmas time.

  1. Look at the Duomo: the beauty of the cathedral leaves people speechless. Seriously. Even if you live in Milan or you pass by every day to go to work, in winter the atmosphere gets really fascinating. The fog creates an air of mystery around the Duomo and the square, the colorful glass windows of the Duomo are visible from the outside while you are walking down the main road and the gold ‘Madunina’ glimmers in the dark. I swear you just want to sit in front of the church and stare at it for hours and hours. Nothing more.
  2. Look at the Christmas tree: okay, we all love Christmas trees, right? I mean, who doesn’t? They are the symbol of Christmas and donate a sensation of joy whenever they are around. It is even better when they are big and glittery. That is why you should stop in front of the tree in Piazza Duomo and simply admire it. Maybe with a hot chocolate and a friend, just before walking around the lovely Christmas market right close to it. Oh, I love Christmas!

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  1. Go for a walk in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: so, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was called the ‘Salotto dei Milanesi’ many years ago because it was the place where people from Milan and the suburbs used to go on a Sunday afternoon to have a stroll around and window shopping, sitting in a café and chatting with friends. Today, it is mainly a posh place, where expensive restaurants and luxury brands attract curious tourists. However, it is still a lovely place to go to have a look around the shops, enter in the beautiful bookstore close to Piazza della Scala and most importantly, during Christmas, admire the beautiful tree by Swarovski and the stunning lights on the ceiling of the Galleria. Oh my, they are so beautiful that you would just sit there and watch them forever. Seriously. Judge by yourself.

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  1. Look at La Rinascente: this is a very famous multi brand shop which is a symbol of Milan. There is a bit of everything, from clothing to toys, from gadgets to cosmetics. It is worth to take it into consideration for two reasons: first, there is an adorable terrace on the last floor which is a restaurant/cafè (perfect for a break during the hectic shopping days) where you can see the city and the Duomo from above. Second, they design wonderful and very creative shop windows that look like artworks. And over Christmas it is even better because they set up a multitude of lights on the facade of the building and this year even a waterfall of lights right in front of the entrance in the gallery. Beautiful.
  1. Pop into a Laudurée shop: okay, so if there is something I really really love is to buy a macaron from Ladurée. As you enter the shop, it feels like Alice entering wonderland: countless types of macarons in light colours and chocolate in cute forms welcome you as you open the door. If you had a tough day at work or you simply need to buy the last present for someone you love, Ladurée in Via Spader 6 is always a good idea. They have the best macarons in town with the best flavors and colours. So don’t hesitate to pop into the shop and treat yourself. It’s Christmas time, after all!

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After a lovely day in Milan I felt relaxed and excited to celebrate Christmas with all good food and good company. Oh Milan is always Milan. I missed it so much and it always feels great to come back to my city.

Have a lovely Christmas full of love and laughs and a fun Boxing Day with all your loved ones,

merry

Giulia

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Discovering Design

Hey world, I’m back in town, literally. I’ve been quite busy over the last week because I moved back to England and I have started classes on Monday. Pretty tough. Being back at uni is a weird sensation: it means summer is officially over, winter is coming and I will have to start caring about my future again. SO STRESSFUL. However, before coming back to the north, I had a lovely week with my family and friends and I took the opportunity to visit a quite new museum: the Museo del Design in Via Borsi 9, Milan. So, in this post I want to briefly talk you through this beautiful experience I made. Let’s start.

I discovered the existence of this museum when I got lost (my boyfriend is actually to blame) around the area of the Navigli one hot afternoon of August. I saw a glass construction and I was intrigued by it; I looked around and I saw signs reading “Museo del Design 1880-1980”. Amazing, I thought! Finally a proper museum dedicated only to a fairly new art: design. I have to be honest with you: I don’t know much about design, but I have always been interested in it. So one of the last days I was home I went there with my mum to have a look around and enjoy a relaxing sunny day.

The Museo of Design offers a collection wanted by Raffaello Biagetti, a previous painter very interested in design in period when design was not even a thing. Biagetti, with the help of Giovanni Klaus Koenig, Filippo Alison and Giuseppe Chigiotti, created an amazing collection in 1988, involving many famous designers such as Gae Aulenti. The museum first opened in Ravenna but mainly because of its hidden location it didn’t get much notice; then last year the collection was brought to Milan for the Salone del Mobile and it became a permanent collection in summer 2015 with its personal museum. The collection has more than 130 pieces realized by the most prominent designers of the time, starting its journey from the Art Nouveau with Mackintosh and Thonet until the second postwar with mainly Italian designers.

The museum is  very well-designed (well, it couldn’t be otherwise): the space is not too big and the pieces are set in a well-organized manner on black stands. The atmosphere  is modern with a little touch of vintage in the appearance of some design elements, which have been used and consumed by the owners. Among the pieces I liked the most there is the chair “Midway” realized by Van Der Rohe in steel and textile, the Cradle designed by Peter Keler who was a representative of the Bauhaus movement and the super famous armchair by Alessandro Mendini which was one the first to be all decorated by hand.

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It is very interesting to look around the museum: I actually realized how innovative these pieces were for the time they came out and how many ideas are still used today in our modern concepts of design. Also the use of specific techniques, materials or simply shapes is something that was completely different from the style that dominated society until the end of the 19th century. I know design might sound simply part of everyday life, but I do really recommend you to go and visit the museum because it is an experience that will make you think about the changes in history and society. You will then probably need to search for some background information about the artists and the pieces they invented (I had to do it), but it is surely very stimulating to get to know more about our own heritage and creative opportunities. So have a stroll around and enjoy the beauty of design.

Address: Giosuè Borsi, 9 Milano

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Have a lovely weekend,

Giulia

Take a stroll around Milan

Hey guys, hope you had a wonderful weekend and a nice start of the week. For me this is the last week at home…I’m kinda of sad about it because it means the summer is officially over and I have to head back to England to start the new University year. But I had fun working during the summer and I’m happy I found great people I will never forget.

So this weekend I wanted to experience Milan at its best since in a week time I’ll leave this beautiful city and I’ll be back only in winter. When I was younger I didn’t really appreciate Milan that much, I thought it was too grey and not very interesting. Today my opinion has changed completely! I’m so grateful to live in the city of fashion, art and let’s say it, fog. Milan has grown so much in the last few years: a lot of new initiatives take now place here, many interesting museums opened and many catchy shops could keep you busy for days. Mostly, I do like the small bistrot/cafès that have opened in huge amounts in the last five years, the ones where the atmosphere is magic, where it’s like being at home, with nice staff and cozy rooms. This is why when I read on some blogs about a new coffee shop that opened recently near Corso Garibaldi I was really curious to go and try it out. So, on Saturday I took my boyfriend with me and we went to Porta Garibaldi to have a stroll around and have a go at the fantastic Macha Café. As its name says, the specialty of the Macha Cafè is the Matcha, which is a type of green tea. In the last months everyone has been crazy about Matcha and its positive effects, which include being an energizer, improving the mood and detoxing the body. A good cup of Matcha is a good compromise when you had way too many cups of coffee but you still need something to keep you going through the day!

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But, before getting to the Macha cafè we stopped at a new amazing shop. I have to say that I always love window-shopping: it’s so easy and you can find amazing occasions. At a certain point, after many famous brands, I stopped in front of  Toiletpaper which is a very fun place. I didn’t know what it was till few days ago when I read somewhere that a new shop inspired by the magazine Toiletpaper opened in Corso Garibaldi. So I looked it up and I found some information:  the two fathers of this project are Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari who paired as photographers in order to give birth to irreverent and unique images. Since they were both attracted by interesting and surreal images, they decided to create this publication which became also a shop where you can find all the extravagant things you see on the paper. It’s all about the power of images, of playing with visuality and society. Walking around the shop is a weird experience where everything seems to have lost its sense. Objects are assembled together in a challenging and controversial way and you lose contact with reality. It’s nice to walk around and let yourself go in a new parallel world, while witty representations of life are displayed in a peculiar setting.

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Finally we made it to the Macha (after stopping at every window shop, obviously)! I have to say I very much liked the Macha Cafè! It’s pretty small (I actually expected it to be much bigger) but very cozy. The atmosphere is calm and relaxing and the staff very nice. I ordered a matcha iced latte and chocolate-jam pancakes. To be honest with you, I have to say that I am not a huge fun of green tea in general and, even if I liked my matcha drink, I won’t start drinking matcha every day instead of black tea. However, it’s been a very nice experience and once in a while it’s nice to have something different. What I absolutely loved was my portion of pancakes. They very exquisite. I had matcha pancakes (the flavor of matcha was not too strong, but you could still taste it) filled with dark chocolate and mixed berries, decorated with edible flowers. Just one word: heaven. The great part was that even if I ate pretty much, I didn’t feel it and at the end of the afternoon I wasn’t full at all. Considering the place, the decorations at the Matcha are very nice, everything is in Japanese style and there is a wall full of origami in a shape of birds.

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So guys, if you’re around there, have a try at the Macha Cafè and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Have a nice day,

Giulia

Hello September

Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic summer and you are now ready to welcome September with sparkles in your eyes. It’s been a while since I wrote the last post on the blog, I know, but I have been so busy with work. I am still at the beginning of my blogging path and actually I have realized that it is pretty hard to fit everything in a single day made only of 24 hours! I don’t want blogging to become a chore, so for now I just write something here when I have the time and I am in the right mood for sharing experiences with you. However, I am thinking of planning my posts a little bit in advance and try to write posts twice a week. This is my new goal and from next week on I’ll try to keep at it.

Ok, now that I wrote down my resolution for the next months, I can start sharing with you what happened in the last few weeks. My last post was about packing for the summer holidays (so sad it’s all gone) and from then a lot happened. I went to Croatia with my boyfriend and some friends and I literally LOVED Krk. It’s a wonderful island, the sea is crystalline and the atmosphere is magic. Unfortunately I was there just for a week, but we had so much fun together.

A day after coming back from Croatia, my boyfriend and I went to Rome for a romantic 5-days trip. In today’s post I’ll share with you some of the most beautiful and interesting places you should go to if you have just few days to spend in Rome. Let’s start:

  • Very touristic, but also very enchanting is the Fontana di Trevi. I imagined it to be smaller, but actually its size is pretty big and it occupies most of the small square where it is placed. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi in the 18th century. It represents the theme of the sea: the big statue you see in the frontal niche is Oceanus, the god of the sea, while on his sides we can find the statues of Salubrity and Abundance. The square is always crowded and it is difficult to find a spot where to sit and watch the beauty of the fountain, but trust me, it is really worth it. Also, you should really watch here the beautiful runaway show by Fendi where the models walk on the Fontana di Trevi, amazing.

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  • The second place worth visiting is the Fori Romani (Imperial Fora). We spent one entire morning walking around the Imperial Fora because they LOOK pretty small, but actually they ARE very big. You never stop discovering hidden places and by walking up you end up being on the Colle Palatino. The Imperial Fora were fundamental during the period of the Roman Republic and of the Roman Empire because they were the cultural, political and administrative heart of Rome. Wandering around, you will find the beautiful arch of Titus and Septimius Severus with all their accurate decorations.dscn0421dscn0423
  • It doesn’t matter if you are not a religious person, when traveling it is always a good idea to give a look inside churches. Here, you can find beautiful decorations, amazing glass windows and stunning ceilings. This is why when I read that the Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane was designed by the famous architect Francesco Borromini, I didn’t waste other time and I got inside it. I couldn’t have taken a better choice: the church is a small masterpiece of the baroque style with a geometrical design. It is not full of opulent decorations, on the contrary its beauty relies on its complex simplicity. What I loved the most about the church was its white, geometric ceiling that gave me a sense of peace and perfection. You can’t miss it.

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  • After days walking around Rome, a yummy Tiramisù is what you need to take a rest and enjoy the rest of the day. I have a sweet tooth, so I’m always happy when I find a nice place where I can eat my beloved sweets at a reasonable price. Pompi is an amazing bakery bar where you can find all the Tiramisù tastes you’ve been dreaming about. I tried the strawberry one and it tasted so good I wanted to buy another one! In addition to Tiramisù, you can find all kinds of pastries and in some place even nice salty food. The good thing is that everything is fresh, tasty and quite cheap. For a portion of Tiramisù (pretty big) it’s only €4 which is a perfect quality snack to eat on the way to Piazza di Spagna, where you can go shopping and enjoy its elegant atmosphere.
  • The last place you should definitely visit even if you’re going to Rome for few days is Via Margutta. It’s a narrow street you can access from Via del Babuino and it leads you to Piazza del Popolo. Originally, it was known for its artistic background and also today you can find  art galleries, modern design shops and original restaurants. It’s so relaxing to walk on this way because it is isolated from the chaos of the city, the houses are full of plants and the shops are catching. This street became famous also thanks to Roman Holiday, one of my favorite movies with audrey Hepburn, because here Gregory Peck had its modest abode. Let yourself go and breathe the magic atmosphere of this beautiful place.

I hope you enjoyed my little tips about places to visit in Rome and let me know if you’ve been there too and what you liked most about it. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and I promise, see you in few days with a new post.

Giulia

Let’s pack

Hey guys, finally it’s time for holidays! I’ve been packing these last two days because tonight I’m leaving for Croatia. I’ve never been there and I’m really excited to spend a nice week with my boyfriend and friends, relaxing and having fun together.

Since I travel quite a lot I have to pack quite a lot and I became quite skilled handling my suitcase. Usually I fly, so I cannot bring too much stuff and I always have to leave something home. This time, since we’re gonna go by car, I can bring pretty much everything I want and this is really great!

In this post I want to share with you a way for packing in peace because I know that packing is most of the time stressful for many people. But it doesn’t have to be like that, seriously. Packing can be relaxing if taken in the right way. So…let’s start!

First, it is important to create the right atmosphere for packing. Personally, I really like to light up some candles (these days I’m using vanilla candles), put some music on (you can choose on the infinite list on Spotify), prepare a nice smoothie  (mine is a mixture of peach, watermelon and ginger) and get some nice chocolate. In this way, you have a gentle start that gets you into the right mood. Once you’ve done that, you can start with writing a list of things that you want to bring with you. I usually make two lists, one for the big suitcase and one for my personal bag.

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SUITCASE: If you’re going on holiday in summer, always remember to bring suncreams, a swimsuit and sunglasses in your suitcase. Once you have these three items. you’re ready for everything! Mine is quite big for just one week, but I didn’t want to limit myself with clothes or shoes (for once I don’t have to mind about the weight, it’s better to take advantage of it).

 

Now, once we’re done with the suitcase, it’s time to think about your hand luggage. This time I opted for my small Armani bag ’cause it’s very spacious and handy. What to bring with you? First, it is essential to remember the documents and some money. Then, you can start thinking of all other things you might need. In my bag I put my make-up case, a bottle of water, my phone, my camera, all the charges, a book , a notebook to write down all my thoughts and a nice headband. I don’t want it to be too heavy, so I just put the basic stuff in it.
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Well, at this point you’re more or less ready for leaving! Don’t forget to plan your travel outfit the day before, so you don’t panic when you actually wake up and have to leave. I hope you enjoyed this little piece of advice and let me know if you  have something that you always bring with you when you travel. So guys, it’s time to say goodbye for now and see you in a week, with a lot more to tell and share with you. Wish you all a wonderful holiday if you haven’t been anywhere yet and see you in a bit.

Giulia xx

Heya Liverpool!

Hi everyone!

I’m back again, finally! I’m really sorry I completely disappeared for months (ehm an entire year), but I was super-busy with university and I didn’t have any time to carry on my little blog. But now, since summer has started, I’m back again and this time I promise I’ll stay for a bit longer! In the meantime, I am trying to modernize my blog and make it a little nicer, so I hope you’ll like it after!

Anyway, in this article I want to talk about my little trip to Liverpool. Since I’m studying at Lancaster, before coming back to Italy to enjoy the beautiful sun, I went to Liverpool for a weekend with a friend. It was a very nice experience, even though the weather was pretty awful both days (well, that’s England!), so I though it could be nice to share a couple of things we did with you!

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The first day we arrived was a Saturday and since the weather seemed not too bad, we decided to go to the Docks and have a walk around there and get a coffee. I really liked there: nice atmosphere and very enjoyable place to spend an afternoon with friends. Unfortunately, because of the weather everything seemed a little bit too grey, but it is definitely a place worth visiting.

 

Then, when it started raining we decided to visit the beautiful Museum of Liverpool and I have to say that it is incredible! There are three floors full of history about Liverpool and Britain, from the Railway to the Beatles, and I really liked the interactivity of the museum. So if you’re around Liverpool, my advice is to spend a couple of hours walking around this place which is completely free to enter.

On the next day my friend and I walked around Liverpool and then we visited the Walker Art Gallery, one of the biggest art collection in Britain. The collection is vast and it includes: decorative art, fashion, paintings, sculptures and video and installations. For me, the best room of the Gallery is the one dedicated to the Greek sculpture: a room full of beautiful white marble sculptures located all around the space. A true paradise for every art lover!

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Finally, after a long day of walking we decided to get ourselves a reward and we stopped at a very nice cafè. I always like sitting in cafès and watching people passing by while enjoying a nice Cappuccino and a massive slice of cake

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And that was it. I hope you liked this little insight into my trip to Liverpool and I advice everyone close by to pay a visit, even for one day, because it’s a very nice place to spend a day off and relax!

Thank you for reading and see you next time,

Giulia

 

My dear San Francisco

I do love San Francisco. Seriously, I think I have fallen in love with this city. Well, it would not be the first time, but with San Francisco it’ is different: it’s been a slow and long falling in love. It’s not been so easy, like with Paris, or quick like London. It needed time, time to  elaborate the different opportunities, the beautiful landscapes and the tasty restaurtants the city had to offer.

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“If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair”. This lovely song by Scott McKenzie is totally right: if San Francisco were a person, she would be a bohemian-hippie girl. I’m totally sure of that! The atmosphere in the city is relaxed and almost out of the world. C’mon guys, we are in California, where the sun never stops shining. Well, in SF is not always like this: the weather is weird because it never gets too hot or too cold and when it rains, it rains a lot. But fortunately most of the time the sun is up in the sky and I love it!

I learnt to appreciate the sunshine on the skyline of the city, I learnt to listen to people and to talk to them randomly, without an apparent reason, I learnt that beauty really exists and that a beach can be very long and sandy and soft.

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For me San Francisco means freedom and happiness, contrasts and improvement. You can find everything you need in the city, live how you want without being judged and hoping for a better future. San Francisco is not only a city, but also a state of mind, which reminds you that life is always beautiful.

Giulia