Lisboa, the city to go for a fast weekend or a very long vacation, where people seem to live happy and stuck in a old and authentic moment.
Here we are, with my dearest twin. After a long time spent to organize a trip together, we finally managed to enjoy some days together, in Lisbon and Sintra too.
Sintra, another kind of city, not so far from Lisbon, but so different. When you go to Sintra you feel like going in a separate space and dimension: the silence is the protagonist of the scene, woods and nature are all around, some tourists go up the hills and ancient temples are there to be visited and bring you into another time.
Lisboa – first trip
Bairro Alto is the name of the district where everybody suggested to go – ‘Barrio’ in Spanish and ‘Bairro’ in Portuguese – and there we went. Cais do Sodré is the name of the street where you can admire a work of art like this, by Bordalo II , an artist who uses the art as a way to be more ecologically-involved: he uses garbage and daily unused staff to create street works of art that look like animals:
Then, you can admire an open-air museum, giant wall covered by surprising images and icons, theaters and museums, restaurants and clubs where you can taste Portugal and enjoy Fado session, the Pop Cereal Cafè – a tiny little corner which offers mixed combination of cereals, have a look at their photos, and please go to the LX Factory to have a very modern view about shops, gadgets, creative spaces and concept stores:
If you want to take a walk, just go towards Rua da Alfandega, Madalena, where you can find the ‘Church of the Misericórdia‘ with a very uncommon and ancient architecture in the middle of a modern street:
Sardinhas are one of the best souvenir you can take back with you 😀 They’re part of the traditional Portuguese food: ‘O mundo fantastico da Sardinhas Portuguesa is the name of the most popular place near Praca do Rossio, where sardines are collected and shown all around in this space that look like a circus. A tip: this tradition comes from an idea promoted by the EGEAC organization which tried to decide a symbol of the city in order to celebrate the “Festas de Lisboa” in June; in that moment, the city was covered by icons and images and decorations of sardinhas and all of them were stolen by the people: the trend started and sardines became one of the symbol of the city and the traditional gastronomy:
You’ve not being in Lisbon without having a sip of the typical cherry brandy liquor: you can find those little corners as for example Ginjinha Sem Rival, which means ‘without rival’:
You can go on towards Rua dos Bocalhoeiros where you can find a lot of restaurants, shops, hostels and hotels too. It looks like a mix of modern buildings, very colorful and this old tiny places in the big square just in front of them:From there it starts the way to get to the top of Lisbon, near the Castle, passing by the popular district of Alfama: Tuk Tuks are one of the most popular way to get to the top and enjoy the city (even if I think it’s for tourist and I preferred to go by foot). Once you’re at the castle, there a lot of souvenir shops and above all, the wonderful cork shops: Portugal is number one producer of cork in the world, with more than 50% of global production on the planet, and more than 100.000 tons are yearly produced by cork-tree-portugal:
Sintra – second trip
Going to Sintra means going to Quinta De Regaleira – there are a lot of places like the Castle, the Museum o el Palacio Nacional, but please firstly just go ahead to the Quinta: a mystic place, magical gardens and statues, a total noise’ absence which pushes you into a different reality:
It is very authentic and full of mistery: there are secret areas and lakes and towers and so on… it is a mix of styles including Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline.
Finally, don’t forget that Lisbon is the hometown of Fernando Pessoa, who is considered one of the greatest European poets of the 20th century, and David Mourão Ferreira, a writer and poet: you can find their icons made by black and white stone in Lisboa Metro, where there’s plenty of caricatures about all the most important people, artists and poets of Lisbon created by the famous cartoonist António Antunes.
It was almost an year ago, when I suddenly bought those tickets: Etihad, to Australia, with one stop in Abu Dabhi. My brother and me. The long wondered journey which was coming true.
‘Hi mom, daddy, how are you? Well…we bought those tickets. We’ll leave on the 17th February’ ‘Ok, you did the greatest thing you could! Enjoy it! And try not to argue during those weeks!’
First stop: Bondi beach, where we’re going to spend our first days with Aussies. Precisely at Orazio‘s, where a friend of us works and you can have pizza, different type of mozzarellas and tomatoes and fresh vegetables to enjoy
Day 2 – The real start.
From Bondi beach to the Opera, passing by the Coastal Walk and the Hornby Lighthouse is near Watsons Bay in Sydney Harbour National Park, just listening to the sound of Pacific ocean towards the cliffs, trying to take photos to every single wave and cliff and sunlight and to those unlimited views.
Heading to the Opera.
After kilometers of unbelievable landscapes, looking at people from all over the world walking up and down the coast and playing sports (yes, everybody plays sports there) we walked towards the city center, with that strange sensation of feeling blessed to be in the far Australia…
What’s the best choice you can do when you have three hours left before your flight back to Italy, and after you had a long business and networking event the night before at Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, which lasted for hours and you had to spend time talking..and talking…and talking…and walking…and talking…? Discover it.
Russell Sq., a not very crowded are, quiet, full of cafeteria and hotels, and leaves 🍃 all around.
Charles Dickens, that popular writer, and journalist, and speech creator, who lived in the Victorian Age, and maybe not only – ’cause he is contemporary too.
Let’s visit where he was born and lived with his wife and his 10 children 😅
It’s so impressive. When you walk into the house you walk into the past. An old lady 👵 (member of the Dickens’ Fellowship) welcomes all the visitors, really pleased to help and tell you the magic and legends about Dickens and his family: ‘He had 10 children, they all lived here, where he also wrote and studied.. and then there was his wife.. she was so strong, she only lived into her house, reading and knitting and taking care of her family. She must have been very strong, it’s the only explanation’.. and I was enchanted about her storytelling, she was so passionate about Dickens that her eyes lighted up when I smiled and started asking questions about his possible life. She has been my guide and now I’m sad to not have a pic with her.
Dickens was a campaigner too. He also created a journal, All the year round (1859), a magazine where fiction met non-fiction and literary matters were explained. What’s the best part? It still costs 2 pence!
London is one of the city where artists and writers could do what they want and live life free. Maybe more than in any other country. And street art works quite good. It’s the place where you are totally surrounded by ads posters and screens and videos, where there’s no one taxi or bus without a specific sponsored brand or campaign, not a only corner or tube stop left without any slogan or tv and comedy campaigns. Shop windows, cabs, streets, pavements.. immersive contents, with you inside. You get overwhelmed by advertising and their messages and you feel in London only when you’re stuck in those moments. It’s the city where Dickens was born, poetry found enough room, and music hits the ground with a bunch of singers and artists too.
It was after an hour that I decided to go further, move towards the nearest tube station. A plane was waiting for me after at Gatwick airport. Just walking outside Dickens’ house, here’s what I found:
…switching from a Victorian magazine manifesto to a call box advertise. It made me think about how you can promote something nowadays, impacting the environment and every kind of support you can see during your daily walks. And here we are to another chapter, another type of writing, through the Street art, or better, street ads.
#CallTaylor is the name of the campaign created for its Reputation, her new album. So I read that Taylor Nation put up a post on Taylor’s Facebook announcing they have placed 13 reputation phone boxes around London where you can call a number and leave Taylor a voicemail to enter a competition… I found one, by random.
My art of the brick? By chance, Southbank, London, after having a look at this ads, in the tube, some months ago.
10 mins later I was staring at the astonishing DC characters made of Lego bricks, a private collection of work of arts created by Nathan Sawaya, maybe the most popular #brickartist.
It was a private exhibit and I think it’s going all around the world. When I asked to the guy at the entrance, how Lego contributes to this kind of arts event, the answer was that the company doesn’t deal with that. None of a single campaign nor logistics or any support was done by the giant 😳 They do not support those exhibits because they already have a popular brand which is affirmed in the world, hence maybe arts only bother them.. 🙄
By the way, the collection shows a lot of giant and reflective colorful bricks, which are able to show feelings and represent the proper DC characters and also show their movement and shapes:
Happyness is the right word. Because thanks God I was having such a great time with some of my dearest friends, while we discovered about the terrorist attack that was happening in that moment in London Bridge. We read the news, but we just thought it was wrong, it had nothing to do with terrorists. We were happy enough, because in front of us, on the main stage, there was Aphex Twin playing of his tracks. Undoubtfully, 1 hour later we were totally immersed in another mood – searching for cabs, buses, and looking for friends that were spending the night out, just like us, to find out if they were alive and we could be back safely at home, and maybe discover any other relevant news to understand if the attack was still on. Not a very happy ending that Saturday night, but my friends and me were lucky enough, ready to enjoy the day after too.
Let’s talk about happiness.
Let’s remember how much the life is important, and how much it is important to share moments with the people who are important for you, enjoying life and being foolish at times.
An example 😀 ?
London Field Day 2017 – it’s the second time I’m attending this festival, and this last edition was probably better then the 2016’s one.
Funny people and foolish friends ️
The first group we enjoyed: ‘Abra‘, never listen to them before, but it took 1 min only to understand how crazy and R&B and electro-funk she was. You could only start dancing, imaging old school giant funky radio on the stage 😀
then in the park, trying to rest while choosing the next group to listen to. That moment when you start looking at the surrounding and it happened to see a sort of Pink Floyd‘s revival – back to 70s✌️: stuck in that moment, they didn’t seem to realize they were in a huge lively festival where 70s were a little put aside 😀
Electronic Renaissance is not the name of an event about electro music, but the title of a video art exhibit by Bill Viola – Viola as the violet heart of Florence. Viola as a unique contemporary artist who believes that video is one of the leading arts and uses it in all of its shapes, from videotapes and architectural video installations to performances in rooms and areas completely where the sound and the electronic musics are a total immersive environment.
The exhibit is in Palazzo Strozzi and in the Strozzina – the Centre for Contemporary Culture – two of the most popular places of the city which take their name after an important ancient family based in Florence. This location is the most suitable one, seen that this exhibit is going to compare ancient art with high-tech performing art, the contemporary into the old world.
But let’s see some of the pics that could help us enjoying this sort of spiritual experience that Bill tries to express:
First of all, The Crossing representinga man crossing natural elements, from fire to water: surrounding sounds of the nature, flames all up his body and then the flood who let everything disappear. That’s it, the circle of life which can now start again.
Then there is a series dedicated to the depiction of passion:
Then maybe the most amazing one, in a silent room, here it is the fresco by Paolo Uccello, originally located into Santa Maria Novella’s Green Cloister ”The Flood and Receding of the Waters” depicting Noah’s flood. Then suddenly in the back it appears a video showing a contemporary flood, water covering the stairs and people passing by…
After, a representation of Florence in the ’70s, while shooting in some studios, or performing with the most idealistic men at that time: Peter Hutchinson – the Land artist, a conceptual artist, or Takahiko Iimura – a Japanese avant-garde filmmaker – and so on..
The exhibit is dedicated to Bill, the artist who once worked for an exclusive and unique video production center based in Florence, the Art/Tapes/22: it is (unfortunately was!) one of the only four Italian centers where videos began to be considered as a way to express arts – now you can have a taste of the Art/Tapes/22, a collection of interviews, documents and pictures at the ‘900 Museum of Florence.
What’s Wattpad? Try to ask it to the new generations and teenagers and you will have all the details you need. It’s about the communication that is changing its way to provide stories to the world. It’s the new social network for the people who love to tell stories and use their mobile to do it. And share them, through the biggest community of readers in the world. Storytelling.
Through Wattpad people can write, share stories and interact with them. It’s a sort of blogging activity but you’re free to start your unlimited stream of consciousness – as only Virginia Woolf would start…
Its aim? To give users the chance to spread their stories in the world and become an official author or writer, even if not respecting the ordinary rules – as for example to write at least an amount of million’s crap or publish at least 10 novels and so on..
By the way, now there’s a new way to let your story be popular and meet millions of readers who can directly comment and share opinions with you. Just to give an example, Anna Todd has literally became one of the most popular author of the last years:
FROM WATTPAD SENSATION TO BEST-SELLING BOOK SERIES is written at the beginning of her website: she has been able to find the community she wanted, ‘a home really, with these people who were writing in the hours off of work, school, parenting, life, and I loved every second of it’ she wrote. And now she has hundreds of millions of reads!
The community of Wattpad has spread faster than you can imagine thanks to a new feature that wouldn’t be underestimated: the mobility. People can write while they’re on the bus, in the gym, on the sofa or while falling asleep: you can take your story with you everywhere and add pieces to a story little by little.
Nightime is the best time to get inspired, spending hours by reading blog posts and articles, discovering news and new artists. Now it’s on Amimono, a Japanese young original artist who had a great idea starting creating knit sweaters and bags with a musical touch.
It has been the first time I’ve read about a tailor who decided to take his music passion into the fashion world, mixing his creativity. And this is the result:
This morning was an astonishing one. I’m trying to get the maximum relax from my off-days, but Whatsapp and Facebook still won..they have been my alarm clock, so I woke up and – as I usually do – I opened up my balcony: I roused in 2 minutes and I felt so lucky to have an absolutely amazing view in front of me:
Valsinni, a little village in a valley in the South of Italy, is the town where a river named Sinni flows under its bridge, which is one of the particular feature of this landscape. The 1st main one in fact is an old little Aragonese castle built since the Middle Age, where – the legend says – a wonderful lady used to live: it was her cage where she started to write poetry and be in love with the natural elements of the surroundings..the river, the utopian sea, the mountains.
Here you are some other details of the valley, the old town centre on the top side and the new one in the valley: