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.