Never-ending summer : LANZAROTE

Forget about Maldives, Hawaii, and other paradisiac places. if you’d really like to move to  a never-ending summer place, Canary Islands are what you are looking for! A couple of months ago I went to Lanzarote for the very fist time, spending one week of exploring and falling in love.

When it comes to beaches, it’s hard to choose the best one, but here you are my fav 3:

  1. Papagayo beaches: gold sand, crystal clear water, cliffs, wilderness on the southern coast. From here you can also glimpse the Fuerteventura white dunes.
  2. Famara beach: best place for surfers. Windy, wide and waving.
  3. Graciosa Island: up north Lanzarote you will find one the most free and uncontaminated places on earth. A little island where nature dominates over human presence.

IMG_7182

But, hey! Lanzarote isn’t just this… There are many places far from the coast you can visit and be mesmerised by. Volcanoes, gardens, towns, caves… So, here you are some fantastic spots you can’t miss:

  1. Timanfaya national park: driving through volcanoes and exploring them is such an unforgettable experience. Exciting, yet a little bit scary. But the geological history of the island is really interesting.
  2. Hervideros caves: sunset time is the perfect moment of the day to let the breeze mess your hair and feeble sunbeams kiss your face… while the ocean is roaring under your feet.
  3. Jardin De Cactus: this cactus garden has been the last project of César Manrique. Examples of many cactus species are harmoniously displayed in a quarry, overlooked by a windmill.
  4. Mirador Del Rio: best sunset-with-a-view of the entire island.

IMG_1550.jpg

Last, but not least, local food and wine will drive you mad! Papas arrugadas is just one of the most tasty and typical dishes you can have in Lanzarote. Where? Definitely here:

  1. El Navarro: considered (and yes, I can confirm) the best restaurant of the island.
  2. Cantina Teguise: best tapas I’ve ever had!
  3. El Chupadero: volcanic wine and savoury meat

IMG_7056

Advertisements

Lovdon

As you might have seen on my IG page, there’s a place I call home, where I have been countless times and couldn’t get enough. EVER!

London has been my home for a while and my first visit goes back to 2007. It has changed a lot since then and that’s one of the thing I like the most. You can never get used to it.

IMG_8140

Last weekend I spent three amazing days wandering through the city, visiting some of my fav places and discovering new ones.

During summer, you can enjoy sunset and/or Wimbledon matches on several rooftops, so, if you are planning to travel to London in the next two months, you can’t miss two of my top-5-list: Frank’s Cafe for the sunset and Madison for Wimbledon. However, matches can be also watched along the Thames at the Summer by the River Festival.

IMG_4322.JPG

On this special stay, I had finally the chance to visit two new places (at least, for me): Pop Brixton and Neal’s Yard. The first one is a kind of community land, where many containers have been piled up with shops and restaurants inside. Sooooooo underground! The second one is, instead, such an iconic venue, just a few minutes walking distance from Covent Garden. A colourful and iconic little square.

IMG_8182

Last, but not least, my boyfriend and I took part to the Saturday Pride parade in Regent street, which also inspired the title of this article: LOVDON. Cause London is itself synonym of Love. Love for life, Love for freedom, Love for respect, Love for Love.

Lost in surprise – Di Bilancino Lake

One of the things I like the most about travelling is that sometimes you need to get lost, take the wrong direction, make a U-turn. Doing this, you have the chance to find yourself somewhere new, somewhere wild, somewhere unknown.

And that’s what happened to me last weekend. My best friend and I were driving towards Florence when we suddenly decided to stop in Barberino. Most of you would probably know it as one of the best outlet fashion district in Italy. However, there’s much more it can offer.

I don’t know how, but we ended up just in front of a lake! We checked Google Maps and there where we were! Di Bilancino lake. First of all we had a long walk along the shore, deep into the nature. Then, we stopped at the Bahia beach, agreeing both to stay all day long.

FE0C0981-3A09-421F-B48A-EE02B4CFDC5A

There are a lot of activities you can enjoy here, such as paddling, windsurf, beach volley, … or you can just lay down, relax and have a glass of Chianti. During the weekend this place is quite crowded by local people but there’s plenty of space where you can isolate yourself or take part to one of the Dj set parties.

 

 

 

Manchester – Made in bricks

Before planning my trip to Manchester, I have sought suggestions and opinions about the city. With huge surprise, most of them were negative ones: “It’s just a grimy city made of old dirty bricks”… “Industries, industries and industries. That’s all” … “There’s nothing interesting”… “Don’t waste your time and money in Manchester”. You know what? Those words made me more interested and motivated to leave.

So, I bought my Lonely Planet travel guide, booked flights, hotel and packed my luggage.

IMG_6904

If you like sunny and warm places, Manchester (and England in general) isn’t the right place for you. But, if you like the iconic old Brit bricks, live concerts, beer, pubs, football, history and innovation… well, be my guests!

Starting with the old town you can’t miss:

IMG_6919

And:

IMG_7066

Feeling hungry and thirsty?

DD872A91-3235-4F5D-BCFA-FEEAEBAD142B

And bare in mind: do not let others’ opinions be your final choice. Never!

Verona: The City of Lovers

Last weekend I had an amazing day trip in Verona (Italy) and since it was my first time in the city, I spent the entire day wandering through the streets and cobblestoned alleys. Amongst the multitude of things you can visit and do in Verona, there are certainly some you can’t miss. First of all, if you are addicted to venues-with-a-view as much as I am, you MUST climb into the top of Lamberti Tower.

Verona 5

Not to mention the amazing Arena, which is quite similar to Colosseum, but smaller. Here, during Spring and Summer, you can also take part in a live concert or opera. Check the program in advance and buy tickets! Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

Verona 4

If all this wandering makes you feel a little tired, stop at Piazza Delle Erbe, which is the nicest square in town. Take a seat and enjoy an Italian ice-cream or a refreshing Spritz, while taking some pictures of the surrounding buildings; so typical and historical. Not far from the square, do not forget to pay visit to the picturesque street Via Delle Fogge.

Verona 1

Last, but not least, wait for the sunset on the medieval Scaligero bridge.

 

P.S. I didn’t mention the Romeo and Juliet’s balcony. Well, it’s a real touristic and flashy attraction. I isn’t worth a visit. Better reading the Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Feria de Màlaga y Costa del Sol

Spain is definitely one of the most joyful and vibrant countries in the entire world and today I’m going to provide you with a short stay itinerary which perfectly depicts how you can enjoy history, beach life, food and outdoor events.

When: mid-August

How long: 4 days

Where: Malaga and Marbella

Before booking your stay, make sure to check when the Feria de Màlaga takes place (it typically lasts 1 week – mid-August). I’d suggest staying 2 nights in Malaga and 1 in Marbella.

11921622_10207415649500069_7450120329866602764_n

During the Feria de Màlaga, the town is livened up by dance performances (you’ll definitely fall in love with Flamenco), concerts, parades, street shows, etc. However, for those more interested in history and culture, there are several landmarks which can’t be missed.

Here you are 2 of my fav:

  • The Alcazaba (the view from its highest point will leave you speechless)
  • Picasso’s Museum

11892358_10207415662060383_8291398260342452981_o

In order to recover from Malaga’s movida, rent a car or move by coach towards Marbella and book your stay in the old town, which is extremely nice and quieter. The seaside area is touristic and packed, but the Playa Casablanca can be considered one of the less crowded.

Enjoy your last night wandering trough the cobblestoned and narrow streets of the old town. At dinner, you should definitely try the Caperuza Bistro which, believe me, will be hard to forget.

Marbella 1

Eisriesenwelt ice cave

Eisriesenwelt is the largest world ice cave, located just a few km away from Werfen town (Austria). From the ticket office and car park, you can choose to reach the ice cave through the rocky mountain walking path or by a new lift. But, even if you go for the second option, the last stretch requires some walking.

Do not rush, instead, enjoy the stunning panorama while walking towards the cave mouth.

IMG_3581

This place is a real frozen kingdom and it is open to public from May to October. The best period to visit is certainly Summer, but be aware of the sharpen climate change. As a matter of fact, while outside the temperature can reach even 30°C, inside it is 0° or less. This means that, once you reach the top of the mountain and the cave mouth, it is highly recommended to seat and rest for 20/30 minutes. Moreover, do not forget to wear warm coat and socks.

A guided tour starts every 30 minutes and it lasts approximately 75 minutes. Before entering the cave, you will be provided with a lamp, which is all the light you’ll have access to. Photos and any kind of lightning are strictly forbidden (that’s why I have selected some pictures from the Eisriesenwelt website).

This is not just a cave made of ice and ice sculptures (which transform through the years thanks to the wind). It is a deep experience into nature and magic. But there’s no time for more spoilers… plan your trip to Eisriesenwelt and see yourself why this place is worth a visit at least once in your life.

La Isla bonita – IBIZA

Ibiza is definitely one of my favourite Islands. It is almost known for its night life, exclusive parties and extravagance, however this is just the 10% of what this beautiful paradise can offer.

As a matter of fact, if we exclude Playa d’En Bossa, Ibiza town and Sant Antoni areas, you’ll be mesmerised by wild nature, breathtaking panoramas and paradisiacal beaches.

IMG_1805

Today, I’d like to share with you my top-3-beaches list.

  1. Cala Comte: situated on the west coast and surrounded by perfectly shaped cliffs and rocks. Its crystal clear water will make you wonder whether you’re still in Spain or Caribbean.
  2. Cala D’Hort: another piece of haven, just a few km away from Cala Comte. Its sea stacks reminded me of Capri and here you can have on of the best paella of the entire Island.
  3. Aigua Blanca: situated on the north-east coast, this uncontaminated beach is the ideal place for quietness and peace addicts… and naturists as well.

IMG_1884

So, what are you waiting for?! Summer’s approaching!

It’s time to book your next flight. Destination: La Isla bonita.

Eating in Emilia Romagna: I just can’t get enough!

Easter holidays reminded me about how much I love eating and today I’m going to share with you some good places nearby my hometown (Modena).

IMG_3181

 

And here we go!

  • Are you looking for multicultural food?

Feel the Buenos Aires vibes at the Kiosquito 46 in Riccione (Italian northern-east coast), where the Argentinian cuisine melts with the Italian one. Try the local Piadina and Lasagne or the Argentinian meat and empanadas.

  • Are you looking for a romantic dinner?

Feel the magic at Il Calcagnino restaurant, located inside the Formigine castle, just a few km away from Modena town. The menu is dictated by seasons and fresh ingredients, skilfully combined by the hands, heart and mind of the chef.

  • Are you looking for an upgrade of the Italian cuisine?

Feel the innovation at the Apelle restaurant in Ferrara. Its young and talented crew has been able to revisit some traditional Italian dishes along with their own creations. You must certainly try the CARBONERA and one of their original cocktails.

Once upon a time in Europe

Did you know that many Disney castles took inspiration from real European ones?

Walt, during a trip to Europe, fell in love with one in particular: the Neuschwanstein Castle.

IMG_3417

It is located in southwest Bavaria (Germany) and it is pretty clear why Walt Disney fell in love with it. The castle itself and the surrounding landscape make you feel part of a fairy tail… It’s a kind of magic! You can have a walk into the wood and around the area, or book (in advance) a tour of the castle. Do not forget to reach the bridge which stands just in front of it, the view is definitely breathtaking.

Another landmark which is really worth a visit is the medieval Hochosterwitz Castle, located in Sankt Georgen am Längsee (Austria). It was strategically built on a summit and nowadays you can reach it by an elevator or through the old rocky footpath, which counts 14 gates. Up there, you could enjoy the stunning panorama, taste some local food at the restaurant and visit the fortress along with its museum, courtyard and chapel.

Rumours has it that this place inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle by Disney.

IMG_4095

Last but not least, a third MUST-VISIT castle: the Grafenegg Castle, located in Grafenegg (Austria). It is the most important example of historicism in the country and its Gargoyles  will remind you of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It stands in the middle of a huge park featuring rare plants from all over the world, a pavilion, modern artworks and the Wolkenturm (an open air stage hosting concerts).

IMG_3797

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Castle in Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Castles in Austria: Hochosterwitz and Grafenegg Castles