Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Once upon a time there was a Queen... who had a Villa

There are cities that never end to surprise you.
They're that kind of cities that had a very long History, intense and rich of ups & downs. Those cities that have mysterious and slightly sly ways just like an Experienced Woman, but that at the same time manage to keep the class and the aplomb of the nobility to which they belong.
A nobility that might even be decayed, that might even be transformed into working class humbleness, but that, when it's real and genuine, still keeps its own dignity and beauty.
And, maybe, it even manages to catch you by surprise with some unexpected discoveries, just like when you climb up to the attics of old palaces, and you find a dusty chestbox to rummage.
Turin is undoubtely one of these cities.
And its attic is the Hill, where it's situated the Villa della Regina (Queen's Villa), a small and precious jewel forgotten in a chestbox.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

What makes an "holy place" holy?
Is it only the sheer fact of being chosen, more or less casually, to erect a temple, a church, a worshipping building?
Or maybe it gets chosen exactly because it actually emanates sacrality, because it's a place where man, for some reason, for some esotherical requirement of its topography, or simply for its beauty, is able to feel closer to god?
I like to think that, once upon a time, there must have been an era when human beings used to be more aware and deep in living their own presence on this Earth - and that, therefore, also their spirituality wasn't made only of concentration and isolation, but mostly of communion with what surround them, in an holistic exchange with the harmony of nature all around, in order to reach that wonderful sensation of feeling part of the Whole.
And that, so, holy places weren't chosen randomly.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How Vienna got ransomed by 8 of its alternative faces

The first time I have visited Vienna, years ago, the mercury coloumn of the thermometer was over 40° C.
I swear.
It was my birthday and I really really wanted to celebrate it with a slice of authentic Sachertorte, but temperatures had stolen any desire for chocolate from me. Which is like saying Winnie the Pooh doesn't want honey anymore, or Bugs Bunny becoming disgusted by carrots.
So figure it out.
What I remember about Vienna, then, are only the trees (where we were desperately looking for some shelter and refreshment), ice creams (which were our only source of nourishment) and the smell of horses' poop (that the heat had amplified, giving me the impression that, from the Stefansdom area, where the carriages take romantically around tourists, it had got diffused all over the city).
But how come - I've kept on telling myself for years - Vienna, for goodness!!
Sissi, valzer, the beautiful blue Danube, the Klimt's kiss, the '800s atmospheare, the austere and elegant architecture, the cobbled roads...
Billy Joel even dedicated a song to it, come on!!
It's just not possible that my main thought about it can be horse's poop.
I really have to give it a second chance.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Liebe Liebster - round two!

Liebster Award

Here we go with another Liebster Award!!
For those who don't know it yet (if there are any?) a Liebster Award is not a "real" award (like - you don't really win anything, no plane tickets to New Zealand, no Iphones, no money and not even a keyring), but a chance to get to know new interesting bloggers.
When you get nominated you are being made 10 questions, and then you have to nominate 10 other bloggers whom you consider worthy to be read and make them 10 (decent) questions.
I've been nominated by my friend Anto from We12travel - ooops, as usual I'm pathetic with me-marketing: I shouldn't have told she's my friend, I should have told that she's bumped by chance in my wonderful blog and found it amazing *lol*.
But anyway - I like answering questions, makes me pretend to be a celebrity for a short moment and you knwo we cats are a bit posh like that.
Then I'm not sure my answers can always be intelligent: French soccer player Michel Platini (one of the heroes of my childhood) used to say that "Even Einstein would look stupid by being asked questions everyday" - and I'm not even really being asked questions every day!
Not even once a month, I'd say, so mind you!