Throwback Thursday – Visiting The Emilian Hills (Northern Italy)

Ziano Piacentino, Emilia Romagna, Italy

At the end of July 2017 I had the opportunity to visit Emilia Romagna on a family trip; for those who are unaware of the Italian regions, it is located in the North, about an hour from Milan.

Our main goal was to spend some time in nature, have a look at the local vineyards and experience regional food.

We had lunch at Ristorante Casabella, a place located in Ziano Piacentino and overlooking the vineyards; it turned out to be a very good choice and the food was simply amazing. Fried dumpling (“gnocco fritto”, which is a typical dish from the area), a plate of charcuterie and the local wine made up for a great lunch experience.

Then we went to explore the surroundings by car and got to see La Stoppa, which is a farmhouse in the town of Rivergaro (both Ziano and Rivergaro are located in the province of Piacenza). La Stoppa was founded more than a hundred years ago and the family behind it have been producing wine for 40 years; they often take part in wine fairs around Italy, have their own restaurant and they welcome visitors and clients by appointment, giving them the possibility to visit the vineyards and the cellar, taste and buy their wines.


In Praise Of Swimming (Pools)

Hotel Brescia, Darfo Boario Terme, Italy

I have always been a fan of swimming pools since I was very little; I was four years old when my parents used to take me to the local waterpark while vacationing in the Italian region of Calabria, where most of my family comes from. I learned to swim without armbands around that time; my parents struggled to get me out of the water because I wanted to spend as much time as possible in the pool.

Aside from tennis (I enjoy ice-skating and soccer, but mostly as a spectator), swimming is the only sport I have ever been interested in; the feeling of lightness, staying immersed in the water… it’s something that beats out everything else. In addition to that, the color blue calls to mind feelings of serenity and calmness and it conveys an impression of reliability.

As well as being fun, it is a great way to keep ourselves fit, happy and healthy. It can provide us with a low-impact workout and its mental benefits help us relax and feel good about ourselves. We live in stressful times and the current global situation may impact our well-being, but if we manage to find space for something we love, this will contribute to improve our lives and help us make better decisions. For me, a swimming pool is the ideal place to reconnect, breathe out the worries of everyday life and work out a bit. I also have low blood pressure so the summer heat usually makes me feel exhausted and with no energy left; swimming makes me feel at peace with myself and takes away the feeling of tiredness caused by the high temperatures.


Five Objects Of Fashion Inspired By France

For this “Five” edition, let’s take a look at five fashion objects I own that are evocative of France and its timeless glamour:

1) Karl Lagerfeld Signature Crossbody Bag: I fell in love with this bag in the spring of 2019 and it was gifted to me by my father on the occasion of my birthday.

I was a bit indecisive about which color to get (light pink or beige were my main options) but then I came across the black version and it really caught my eye. Besides the fact that black goes with everything, I felt it was the most practical shade for a daily use (it’s the ideal bag for me when running errands on foot, but also for a chic apéritif in the city; I would pair it with an all-black outfit, probably black jeans or faux-fur pants and a black biker jacket).

Three years later, it shows no particular signs of wear (apart from a little scratch on the golden Karl signature) and I still use it often, mostly in the wintertime.

I love the fact that it combines classic and contemporary elements, being a centerpiece for different styles; it also provides adequate storage in my opinion.

2) Chanel Paris – Riviera Eau de Toilette: this is part of the “Les Eaux de Chanel” collection, which was inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s travel destinations.


Campaign Against Animal Abandonment

My father and his partner’s nine dogs

I adhere to the various anti-abandonment campaigns of animals in the summertime promoted by animal welfare associations and organizations.

All these campaigns stem from the desire to discourage pet owners from abandoning them before they set off for the summer holidays, when this occurrence reaches its peak. In Italy, where I live, the abandonment of an animal in the street is a criminal offense and the situation of stray animals, particularly in Southern Italy (where most of the animals we’ve adopted come from), has reached dramatic levels.

People need to stop treating dogs, cats and other pets as objects to be used only as a pastime to get rid of when they get tired of them. Taking responsibility is the first step towards stopping abandonment; I am proud to say that over the years part of my family has rescued numerous dogs who have been mistreated, abandoned and even brutally abused. Now these dogs have a loving home and they’ve been given the chance to live a happy, dignified life. I often spend time with them and they’ve helped me cope with my emotions during a particularly tough time. They love us unconditionally and are very protective towards the family. I am grateful to have them in my life and I will surely talk about each one of them individually on this blog. I also created a dog retrospective that can be found on my Flickr profile , where I show their funniest and most authentic moments.