How to support local business: choose to buy local | After Covid tips

Fiori del tempo Artigianato Firenze
Fiori del tempo Artigianato Firenze

Think local.

It’s the first useful thing you can do in a critical situation as the current one.

Shops have been closed for a while, now they are re-opening little by little, hence it’s on us to help them.

Let’s think about the local shops instead of the giants or luxury brands that could survive also without the ‘general’ benefits. Local artists who show their handcraft, people who have worked for a whole life because of passion and roots, people who dedicate time to truly shape their objects, fabrics, clothes and so on. Choose to buy local.

Here you are an example of what I’m personally doing: trying to support local Florentine small business, as in the picture above with a wonderful handmade ring made with chalcedony, a variety of quartz.

  1. Fiori del tempo, Firenze – Have a look at Instagram

You can have a lots of ideas about bijoux, nice jewelry, handmade jewels created in a small lab in the streets of Florence.

2. Estetica La montagnola – Have a look

Just for fun and help for this local small beauty center and nice cosmetologists, why don’t support them instead of those giant chains?

3. Local pizzeria and great artist too – Have a look to those pics by Miralou

Support local business – by Miralou

4. Choose to buy local. It works also for your favourite flower shop and that wonderful florist that always gives you more than flowers: stories, local tips, smiles and happy thoughts.

This is what generally happens when you try to connect with your neighbourhood and you get on well with the local people and their stories that make you feel part of the same story.

Then, if you’re sporty enough, choose to buy your accessories in the local shops. For example, for runners who wants to run also in the rainy days, I can suggest to buy specific running shoes, that may look like other sneakers, but they contain specialized technology to help you run.

5. My tip: Neverland Firenze – Running, trekking, Ski, streewear – Have a look!

Hoka - Neverland Firenze_ SHOP
Hoka – Neverland Firenze_ SHOP

Those are the proof of specific accessories bought in a local shop.

In addition, talking about food and upcoming Christmas, you will surely buy enough traditional cakes or pie, Italian panettone or something similar. Well, also in this case, you can choose to help foundations as for example:

6. File foundation that through The Party Society – a charity organization – helps to fundraise for several initiatives in favour of associations protecting women, children, victims of domestic violence, illnesses and so on.

This is the tasty panettone for this year:

You only need to think local.

#SupportSmallBusiness #thinkLocal

#NoteOfTheDay: Pure Love, Dolores O’Riordan ft. Zucchero

Healthy Food makes you look bright and colorful

Here you are a list of reasons why you should go for healthy food that looks great and colorful.
They could help your mind feels better.
Listen to ‘Feed your head‘ a song by Paul Kalkbrenner, while having a look at the following pics 〰️

Cheese box – by @Foodyfarm restaurant in #Florence

Pink Burger – by @FlowerBurger in #Bergamo


Tortellini with Pistachios – by @FICO in #Bologna

Sesame Icecream – by @Gelateria Santa Trinita in #Florence

Handmade Orange jam – by @Mamy in #Valsinni


Red dried peppers – handmade in #SanNicolaArcella

Italian grapes – in #Fiesole


White bread, cream and wine – in #Barcelona


Choose yours – feed your #head.

Feed your head by Paul Kalkbrenner

How to be a complete #Amsterdammer in few days

How to be an Amsterdammer. This is the aim of this post, I’m going to show you some little details and pics of the wonderful city, some places you can enjoy in few days 😎

Take a walk and breathe: iced air, wide open views, happy people and ☀️ 

The xxx, the symbol of the city, which represent the 3 crosses of S. Andrew
The only windmill in the heart of the city

People waiting on comfortable seats near Amsterdam Centraal – the central station

After the city center, it’s time for art 🎭

Museumbrug – arts’ area in Amsterdam

First stop at Moco Museum to enjoy disruptive and pop art by Banksy, the street writer from Uk, and Roy Liechtenstein, one of the pop artist with a bit of pointillisme in his works:

Crazy happy colorful girls 🌸

Here you are Banksy’s most popular paintings and stencils:

The rat by Banksy

The boy throwing flowers
The girl with balloon 🎈
The Banksy of England
The kissing coppers
Kate Moss + Marylin Monroe
Pink Mona Lisa by Banksy
Cloud Dj
View from Moco

Then there is enough room for Roy Lichtenstein: at the ground floor you can enter a new extra pop immersive world like in these pics…

🌺 Flo and me in the Bedroom at Arles, pop version by Lichtenstein of Van Gogh’s masterpiece

Second stop at Van Gogh Museum, yes that modern am maybe awful building you can see here:

Van Gogh museum
Van Gogh
Flowers by Van Gogh

keep on going…freezing city, iced Dam, white sky and seagulls:

Friends will be friends 🌸

Amsterdam means…

Warm up: gluhwein
Bull Dog 🐶 Coffee shop
Houseboats, yes real houses in the Dam
🍕 good pizzas too 👏
#Jamesthecat 🐱
Artistic Bull dogs 🐶
🌷 tulips

#NoteOfTheDay by Elder Island ‘Black fur’

Lisboa and Sintra – two places where ‘Todo o mundo é um palco’

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:

Fado club in the heart of Lisbon

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:

Pop Cereal Café, Lisbon

All the world is a stage – by Shakespeare


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:

tuk tuks of Lisbon







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:

The Masonic Initiation Well at Quinta de Regaleira, Sintra


Does it look like Walt Disney palace? 😀

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.

#NoteOfTheDay by Gramatik: ‘Just jammin’

It’s not a dream, it’s truly madly deeply Australia

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

Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta, Bondi Beach

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.



Blokko, bro and me 🙌
2 pale mozzarellas from Europe on the beach 🌊
A giant pool made by oceans’ water – the only way to spend some hours swimming, instead of surfing

Hornby Lighthouse, near Watsons Bay
the Coastal walk

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…

Free hugs? Opera and ocean

Second stop: the Royal Botanic Garden in the city center


Port Jackson and Sydney Harbour:

Taronga zoo and wildlife:


Enjoying animals: turtles lovers’ warmth and iguana.

More to come.

#NoteOfTheDay Sha la la lala by Vengaboys

London Ads, from Dickens to Taylor Swift, from house to streets.

Charles Dickens Museum and Ads magazine

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.

Russell Square, London

Goodenough College, London

Well, less then three hours left.

Let’s google ‘what to do in Russell Square’. Here we are: Charles Dickens was born here, go to visit C.D. Museum, 48 Doughty Street!

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 😅

Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens pottery

Charles Dickens house

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’wife embroidery, found in the house

Fanny Dickens (Charles’ sister, the only beloved by the author – they say)

Dickens’s Dream – an unfinished painting by R.W. Buss (1875)

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!

All the year round – Ads magazine by Dickens

The Strange Gentleman by Dickens at St. James Theatre – theatre poster

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:

Telephone ads – Taylor Swift, Reputation (album)

…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.


#NoteOfTheDay ‘Look what you made me do‘ by T. Swift (2017)

My #Art of the brick – once again in London, DC Comics

My art of the brick? By chance, Southbank, London, after having a look at this ads, in the tube, some months ago.

Amazing Lego art - London 2017
Amazing Lego art – London 2017

Amazing Lego Art, exhibition in London

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:

Lego Art of the brick exhibition – the Joker eating popcorns 

Wonder Woman – Lego art, printed

                              one of the main room of the exhibit

Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash…and the whole world of DC comics created in a bigger size:

giant Wonder Woman

Superman, Dc Super Heroes

Superman staring at the mirror

Gotham area

first type of bricks, they look a little bigger and pierced

Unbelievable cloak all made by bricks!

#NoteOfTheDay Another brick in the wall by Pink Floyd, 1982 – the song against apartheid and against the English school system.