Since 20th January I am upside down. I find no place, thing or activity that gives me relief from that sensation that follows me incesantly. I cannot breath, I am not able to plan. A memory, a strong memory comes constantly to mind and I struggle to contain the emotions that provokes.

It goes back a good few years ago…40 to be precise! I had then enourmous fun queueing at 5 am , before going to school, to buy the milk for my family. I had good adventure time when following a truck during a late night, just before Christmas Eve. The question arises naturally :”why a 7 years old followed a track?” In order to receive a precious Christmas present. A box of bananas of which I  just knew the name of but never tasted one. I thought I had an adventurous life.

I had no fun when I realised , around the age of 10 ,that that was not normality. I had no fan to be told always : you cannot speak. Just do what you are told. I had no fan when my father treated my mother as his property. I had no fan when I was told you cannot read any foreign newspaper, in case you find one. “You cannot speak to any foreigner, you cannot do any question, hence you cannot think” was the rule.

I had no fun hence I decided that that was no country for me. I told my mum, at age 10, that when I turned 18 I would leave , with her or without. I recall how she smiled, very incredulous . Then I kept silent as much as I could , although was not my nature. In fact, I failed no one time to make clear my point in conversations . I answered back when I disagreed with adult opinions and exposed my own opinions each time an opportunity arose. Even when doing so, I was unhappy. I felt I lived fenced around . I felt that those” walls” limited my thinking . 

What was the point of it all? In school I learnt about Europe but I was told that it was no place for me to visit. I learnt about elephants but I was told I will never see one in the wild . I learnt and learnt and learnt things that I could just dream about, between the” 4 walls “I was forced into.

Then one day, aged 13-14, I was tired of accepting and started asking questions: Why I cannot travel? Why cannot I speak to a foreigner? What is on the other side of the”4walls?” . The reality in lived in became complicated . Many could not answer me , they were just silent or looked at me frightened. They answered “do not ask, it could be worse! Be happy with what you have. ” I had nothing !

I had nothing but my curiosity and hunger to learn and discover. The enclosure was tighter and tighter when I reached 16. The violent discussions at home were regular, the research for escape frequent. I could not comprehend those that accepted an linited reality . I could not understand how they could be so uninterested to the world. I could not give myself peace as I could not breath anymore.

Aged 18, I left, abandoning my mother and my sister to their own destiny . I left with the idea to never come back. That confinement hurt me so much. I was worried that if I tried to go back I will never be able to leave again. Once I gained my liberty, I learnt languages, I changed towns, I met new people and my life twisters. It took me time to unlearn the silence and it took me time to learn to smile. It took time to learn that I had the right to say no.It took me time to remove the signs that the first 18 years of my life left . It took me time to understand what living was. I had clear that I will accept no more barriers nor impositions .

I could see what was denied to many for such a long time. I could see… and how beautiful it was! And how interesting to express all my thoughts in a totally new language. I missed my family but my freedom was so dear to my heart. I could not abandon it. And I kept learning each day as the hunger for knowledge never abandoned me. 

After 9 years in the Land of Beauty I met him, the love of my life. I was not alone anymore . We spoke 2 different worlds and” languages “. I told about my loner travels and I was fascinated by his recounts of far away travels, his knowledge and his understanding of the world. To the point that after 6 years together we decided to move from the Land of Beauty to the research of new horizons. The Land of the Big Ben welcomed us and made us freer than even before. We expressed and realised big dreams for us and our children. Everything sped up and life showed its best. The energy that opportunity gives is nothing that can be explained. This was the Land of Opportunity.

Until a hiccup, the Brexit! When I read the news that early morning, I had a strong nausea, tears could not be stoppped. I could not believe the result. The Land of Opportunity gave up on its first principle. The one that gave possibility to everyone. I felt unwelcome , unappreciated, unwanted . My knowledge and the many languages has brought some benefit to the Land of Opportunity . We each played our part to have a very good “relationship” . 

Then the US elections , another hiccup… and all old memories are now totally awake. Violence, walls, enclosure, unkindness …. all things I battled for so long are now again so present. I see those walls growing again and I am not a fan of them. 40 years on and history proposes similar challenges. 
The walls stop dreams and people that cannot dream is people with no future .

After all these years In which I have fought for my freedom it is challenging to cope with what happens . I know nothing else but that freedom is what enables us to reach our potential as humans . I cannot give up on my ideal of a perfect world and I hope things will get to settle for the best. 
There are no walls or laws that can stop people’s curiosity and travels. It is not possible now that technology enables us to learn and experience more. The natural step is to want to experience in person and be a world citizen. I experience it every day and it is beautiful!

 

It always is a question of perspective.

I’ve grown thinking that the world was so big and so far to be fully understood. It was the time with no internet and no mobiles, hence little communication. The centralinist connected phone calls between beautiful Romanian country side and Bucarest. It was the communist era and the German wall was still dominating  the scene.  A sense of constant limitation lived with me until I found alternative. 

Italy! The country of all beauties! 

I was part of the First wave of migrants! Some welcomed me, some ignored me, some helped me and trusted in my potential. They twisted the course of my life. I loved being Italian and discovering their culture and love for all arts. 
  
 
But once  I knew that there was more to know and to see,  the deep rooted curiosity could not be satisfied. I learnt and read and visited and expanded my knowledge. To the point that new lands and stories were needed to be uncovered. 

I moved to London, the place to live at a certain mature age. 

There is no place like London. The fast pace, the ever changing landscape, the many job and not only opportunities , the cosmopolitanity that transpares in each corner, it all fascinated me. It gave me energy and food for thoughts, it gave me many quality friends and the possibility to be what I am, in full. There is nothing that cannot be achieved in London!

And once there NY is close! And so beautiful! The New World that was sooooo far now is so close. The New World that is all to be discovered!

   
 

Spring in NY is special! I shall blossom again together with its flowers . Nothing seems unreachable anymore. Or maybe was just a question of perspective. 

I love being a citizen of the world! Maybe next… a citizen of the space!

 Very often I ask myself:” am I at home in London?” 

What is “home” really? Born in Eastern Europe, I lived in Italy for more than 16 years. London now…  since 10 years ago…. 

Where is home? What are the characteristics of a place called “home”?  Is where I was born ? Is where I’ve  grown up, found my love and started a family? Is the place where I found my deepest, my professional satisfaction and my maturity? 

Each of them are home, each of them are home of a stage of life. Where is home? Simply London, for now. 

Tomorrow? The world!

 

Motionless beauty in a world of fast internet is what strikes me and have my full attention. I loose myself in it and find a sense of peacefull energy  The art of stillness so difficult to conquer appears, for once , achievable and at my finger tips  

 

And while I refill myself with beauty and moments of stillness , below’s words come together …

I  watch life from a distance. Boats passing, people smiling and crying, fashion changing and wars taking place. I sit on the boarder of the life road and note cultures and ways of doing, limiting beliefs and endless energy. People come and go, create and destroy , love and hate. It all seems complicated when it could be so simple if more of us would sit on the boarder of the life road and observe the results and impacts of the own passing here. I stop and re write my own life page, I stop, review and keep only what really matters. I continue observing, chasing life and sharing own experiences and findings. “Inspire”is the word, “smiling”is the way, “share” is the rule. All applied with same intensity and at the same time.  

I see light in the distance, suspended below a few clouds. It is a slim line dividing sky and sea. It is the line confining everyday’s fragile balance and fulfilment. A tight hug embraces both and perfect infusion and continuation takes place.  

Pin pointing Beauty , in all forms and shapes – my source of energy 

  

  

I left London again and found the most peaceful corners in the distance of a 2 hours flight. The place is an island, the weather … just right, the balance between thinking and “blank pages ” naturally perfect.

IMG_4916Su Gologone – A few kilometres from Oliena, on the strata of Supramonte and near the right bank of the river Cedrino, the karstic spring of Su Cologone is found, from which the clear mineral waters gush out that over the millennia have carved their way through the rocks of the mountain. Whoever arrives at this place is faced with an extraordinary spectacle and with magnificent scenery thanks to the imposing mass of water, that gushes out from a vast and complex calcareous gorge, that during the floods turns it into an impetuous stream that, after a short stretch, flows into the Cedrino, constituting its only source during the summer period. Around this icy source, cool in the summer months and overwhelming during the winter floods (the average flow is some 300 litres of water a second, a figure that puts it onto first place among the Sardinian sources), is a verdant and pleasant grove of eucalyptuses which allow visitors to have peaceful picnics and escape the heat. To explore the depths of the underground cave, submerging for many years, groups of speleologists go down ever deeper into the bowels which are permanently invaded by water.


The thoughts were running wild as soon as I arrived. The London go go go attitude always takes at least three days to accustom to this life pace. Could you imagine a place where the internet connection is limited, everything is humanly slow and informal, friendly talks are never ending, food is amazing, sea and mountain are close . And what a sea…..

The same group of people and family I meet every year, this time of the year. Three generations gathering together from all over the place. Be here is MUST.

Cala degli Gabbiani- Seagulls Cove opens out onto the Golfo di Orosei, in the locality of Punta Ispuligi. Its waters are of a changing blue for the plays of light created by the sun reflected onto the seabed of stones. Candid white rocks emerge from the crystalline water creating a fascinating natural show. It is a section of the larger beach of Cala Mariolu and, like the latter, has an imposing landscape of rocky cliffs, punctuated by the green of the luxuriant vegetation typical of the zone.

But activities are never ending here…. From canyoning to rock climbing (Xtreme Point http://www.xtremepoint.it/),

Sardinia is not only the island with amazing beaches and transparent water.

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 The common assumption that Sardinia is devoid of water is misleading. As a matter of fact, for centuries in Supramonte water has eroded the limestone into peculiar shapes and landscapes. This kiand of erosion is typical of the area, which has been made accessible in recent years by creatingvertical pathways through the canyons. The extreme variety of the landscape affords access to itineraries sometimes requiring the use of ropes and wet suits. Canyoning is an experience not to be missed. Is difficult to explain, words cannot express the feeling of a rope-drop in the upper Gorropu gorge (2nd biggest canyon in Europe) or a 20-metre swim in the darkness of Codùla Orbisi.

from sun bathing ( Biderosa, Berchida )

A few kilometres long and about fifty meters wide, near Cala Ginepro (Juniper Cove), in the locality of Orosei, the beach of Berchida is covered in very fine, light-grey sand, stroked by a crystalline sea, the colour of which changes between green and turquoise. Bordering to the south is the oasis of Bidderosa, and is the ideal place for walks, some running to a few kilometres, that allow the vision of a landscape rich in scents and Mediterranean colours along a sea shore outlined by myriad hues.

Surrounded by junipers, some of which quite old, that form some curious natural huts, make it a magical and spellbinding place for the those who want to spend days devoted to sea life in complete rest and relaxation, guaranteed also by the sheer size of the beach, that means it is never very crowded, not even in the more intensive holiday periods.

to jazz concerts…

I want to always be in Holiday! I always want that energy that new discoveries give.  Hence I have started planning the next break…Guess where? if you are interested just follow the updates…Hidden beautiful corners are going to be explored for you..And if course , for me! Until then, as they say in Italy ,acqua in bocca!

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While waiting impatiently the summer holidays I found a good excuse to spend some time in London down town. The sky promised good weather …

  
Having visiting friends is always a good reason to explore London. We had 4 hours in our hands and discovered 2 new exceptional places. We started our walk in Covent Garden which striked us once again with his lively atmosphere and varied street shows. The Royal Opera oversights it all and we decided to visit it. Its calm and rooted beauty took us on a different dimension. 

Then we walked and walked and as soon as tired we found a spot to rest

 

But not for long , more was to be seen… 

 

And more was to be photographed. The bird immortalised on the huge canvas facing the old charming building  ,that seem to be having a life of its own, had my attention. I loved the double crossing contrasts of movement and immobility .

  
  

We ended up having an early dinner at Critirion in Piccadilly circus. The 18th century building has his hidden gem . This relatively unknown restaurant breathes history and its calm pervades you. 

We have decided to end the day in the park and while walking towards Green Park another unsuspected place surprised us. The jewel of jewels. The most affascinating book shop in the area. Rare books , unique books!! We needed to wear gloves to be able to turn a few pages . I did not want to leave that place, Maison Assouline! 

 
The day was at an end and the sun set in Green park was a must. 

 
  

London, June 11, 10 am. Cold for the moment of the year. The long waited and long promised heat wave does not do its appearance. I need sun, I need energy, I need freshness! I need a ME weekend!

Characteristics: Maximum flying time? 1.30h.  Language spoken: French.  MUST have: SUN!

One week on, on the Friday of the summer solstice,  I fly out from Gatwick to the location of all beauties. The me adventure weekend started. Nice receives me with a smile, I make use of my french and I feel once again the pleasure of its pronunciation. The mood is lifted and the grey skies of London get automatically stored in the back of my mind first, and then totally forgotten. The day is perfect.

I rent a little red car and make sure the radio is set on french music. I find myself singing a Jack Brel song. Along the autoroute I decide to follow the car in front of me. It does not take long and I arrive in the marvelous Cannes. The buzz of the place convinces me to park and enter the hotel by the harbour..I ask for a room with sea view. I love watching the boats coming into the port and the bare feet sailors. They always have a je ne sais pas quoi de special. It feels like they have seen it all during their sea travels. I envy their free spirit life style.

I place my trolley and, as soon as I have my comfy shoes on, I go for a walk.  Colors, perfume and beauty invade my sight, my nostrils. The market nearby is full of people, the smell of freshly baked baguette is everywhere, The accordion plays… It is just in Cannes that you can go food shopping wearing an Emilio Pucci art work and do not be the center of everyone’s attention. Finally, colored elegance!.

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I cannot stop smiling, I am happy!!! And while I enjoy myself I start a chat that becomes a long conversation…The outcome…the plan for the day after..Mougins, Opio and St Paul DeVence.

Mougins – The Picasso Place.  I can see why he has chosen to live in this little and very inspiring village. The rich surrounding nature, the little place centrale, the paths between the silent houses make of Mougins the perfect artists location.

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It feels like he is still around and every corner I turn I expect to see him, to hear his voice even commenting on the art in plain air

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I spend a fair amount of time browsing around. A torrential rain obliges me to get under cover for sometime. But I cannot stop for too long. I need to continue my adventure journey.

I pass Opio – a village center, although small, very pleasant and largely unchanged by time. I explore it and while I walk around, I find myself day dreaming, imagining how it is to live in such a small town. I sit in front of the Marie under a secular tree. It feels like the place has a life of its own. There is no human around but a heart bit still can be felt. I love its peace and calm. Time has a different value

Then St Paul De Vence –  Beautiful and confident in its majesty  Built on its rocky outcrop and surrounded by its ramparts built on the orders of Francois 1st, St Paul is certainly one of the most beautiful villages in Provence..Chagall has seen well when he has decided to live here for sometime. Like him,  I lost myself in the maze of charming streets, the floral exuberance of gardens and the shady squares and the numerous art galleries

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From art to mondanity….does not take long…

Cap D’Antibes is the cherry on the cake. At the end of a arty beautiful day I find the time to write my thoughts on the beach. My note book wide open receives the many words I piled up .Occasionally I take my eyes away from the written pages and I admire the 500 just by the plage and the colors of the sea .

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24 hours in Côte d’Azur and I am regenerated. but it is not finished yet. Another half day to go…