Summer

Blackberry Almond & Dark Chocolate cake & Saveur Blog awards nomination…while I am in Paris!

Paris wakes up early. The first light of dawn illuminates that intricate tangle of rooftops and chimneys, bringing a twinkling glow into its still deserted streets.
The morning smells of butter and freshly baked warm bread. I feel at home in this city where the clouds run always fast, I feel happy of that happiness we’d like to always have. A sense of freedom pervades my body with the same intensity and romanticism placed by Eugene Delacroix into the woman with the flag who is leading the people. Continue Reading

Summer

A Creative Gathering in Venice and two easy-recipes from Veneto, Valeria Necchio’s cookbook

In the latter part of Venetian lagoon, where the water becomes stagnant and the flow enters the silent shoals, there is a precise point where the phone ceases to receive the signal.
Lately we have explored the lagoon with the FreakyBoat almost every evening and every time, in that precise spot, we took a look at the phone knowing it will be our last chance to post an instagram story.
In three different evenings, when we took the last look at the phone, I noticed some emails with a very promising object: the first was “August in Paris?”, the second was “Travel in The Netherlands” and the third was “Creative gathering in Venice”.
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Summer

Venetian Melanzane in Saor and a talk in the garden about “chiaroscuro” photography

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On the train which takes me back home after spending some days with my dear Valentina, I thought about the pictures I took before leaving and that are now waiting for me, in the messy folder of “unfinished things” on my desktop.
Lately, the summer light leads me to explore some new arrangements and corners of my home, but especially my beautiful garden that in this season turns into a kind of lush oasis where the plants give their best.
The golden light calls us outside our dark rooms only after 7 pm, when the air becomes lighter and the breeze – that smells like the lagoon – gently moves the higher tree tops.

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Travel

NEW ZEALAND, A LIFE CHANGING JOURNEY – PT. 2

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*[You can read part 1 here!]

It was some kind of euphoria that made us feel a bit like gold miners. We wanted more, and more, and more. It really seemed that every mile we trod, the best wonders were still to come. Where one lake ended, another one would start. So we ended up at Wanaka lake and we knew about this famous tree growing in the water, but we didn’t know where it was.
The music of a piano led us to it. A young man was playing a real piano just in front of the tree, on the lakeshore, almost on the water. It was unreal, even now, when I think about it, I wonder if it was a dream. Ah… sometimes music is enough to take you far away! Wanaka was the first urban center we found, a small but very lively town. Continue Reading

Summer

Ricotta lemon alternative tiramisu and the importance of taking time to feed your own creativity – or something like that

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The other day, between dust, mosquitoes and the noise of the sander I was using to plane the wood of our new boat – wait, I’ll tell you more about that later -, I thought about many things.
Maybe it sounds weird, but I don’t remember the last time I had time for surfing through my thoughts. Probably sometimes we really need to let ourselves do some manual work – something purely mechanical, in order to become estranged from the world for a while, just to follow your flow of thoughts like moths toward the flame. Continue Reading

Travel

NEW ZEALAND, A LIFE CHANGING JOURNEY – PT. 1

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It was on the overnight bus that took me from Canberra to Sydney’s Airport that I felt the butterflies in the stomach and the thrill on the neck I know so well.
You might think that it was due to the obscene amount of Vietnamese food I had eaten just before, but it wasn’t.
I know that torrent of blocked words, ready to go out wild and whirling, as soon as I find a pen. Never write in that state, I luckily remembered it.
I left the city running through the bus window, while the night took me away, even further away, closer to the land of my dreams: New Zealand.
In that state of alienation I completely left this world to wander through my thoughts, where I found a lot of images that instead I haven’t been able to re-find in my camera. All the best things are locked in my mind, as always.  Continue Reading

Past Workshops, Summer, Workshops

CHIAROSCURO, AN AUSTRALIAN DREAMY RETREAT

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When this moment comes, in front of the white sheet, the first few lines are always the most difficult to write. Thoughts go in and out so fast that I don’t know how to stop them.
Have I been in Australia for real? I have some photos… but, what’s Photography? Is it really a trace of reality?
My University years come back to mind, when the debate about the controversial matter on the relation between reality and photography seemed endless, and it still is.
Susan Sontag said that photos are truthful because they look like something real, but at the same time they are fake because they can only be a resemblance of it. Yet, these photographs, tell me “that has been” .. and that’s all one needs. Continue Reading

Travel

NORWAY: A TRAVEL INTO THE BIG NORTH (BETWEEN TRONDHEIM AND AROUND) – PART 1

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[* Here you can read the second part !]

My friend Renata and I have met for the first time one year ago. It has been special, one of those meetings which remain in history. Among billions of steps that every year consume the stones of Venice, even ours crossed there, towards the beginning of the autumn.
It was strange and surreal, we barely knew each other, but we were already old friends – in that mysterious way that connects people before they even meet.
Renata arrived treading lightly and with a light backpack on her shoulders, bringing with her the colors of the big North into her bright eyes, blue like Norvegian sea.
‘Come to visit me in Norway’ she said as she was leaving to backpack through Tuscany, after having stayed a week with me in Venice. And I went.
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Living, Travel

Creative Gathering in Tuscany at La Quercia Estate | Four inspiring slow-living days enjoying La Dolce Vita

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I wrote and erased my sensational opening sentence for this post at least some fifteen times before going out for a walk among the deserted heaths of my small town, which lead to the Venetian lagoon in an endless landscape of “barene” (marshes).
The Venetian countryside seems tired, consumed by the cyclical seasons of intensive seedtime and harvest, that turn these lands in a flat sequence of orderly fields.
While I am looking at the first ploughs working the loamy ground, so gray after the long winter, I think about the differences between this landscape and the soft hills of Tuscany, where the old olive trees stretch as far as the eye can see, till the blue line of the sea. Continue Reading