Monday, 29 December 2014

2015 illustrated calendar


this year has been intense. something new started, something grew stronger, and other things came to an end. 
in these days i'm making a list of good intentions for the new year, i hope this little present helps you doing yours: it's a calendar i illustrated for cosebelle mag, you can download it here and i hope it brings you luck and beautiful things for 2015. 

with love, Silvia

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

{sensational} Umbria. November, 14th-16th

in the very heart of Italy, there is a region named Umbria, nestled beetwen the most known Tuscany and Lazio, cradle of the Roman civilization. to me, Umbria means hills, rich traditions, stunning sacred art, medieval villages (on the top of the hills), tasty food in which local ingredients succeed in expressing themselves, preserving the peculiar flavours given them from a generous land.
every time i have the chance to visit this region, i came home willing to go back soon, to see more, to taste more. this time was no exception.

the three stops of this brief field trip were Perugia, Orvieto and Montefalco.
the main colors were an intense, dark green, some warm browns and some touch of red. an evocative mist wrapped the foot of the hills, letting perched villages and pointy cypresses surface. the fog, far from being gloomy as it can be in other places, softly followed us, framing the landscapes full of vineyards and olive trees.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

a weekend away, in the green. September, 27th-28th

sometimes you just need to go away for a couple of days. embrace the road. enjoy the shades of greens. smell the autumn. feel the mountain. discover new textures of the nature. soak in the quiet. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Casso. August, Sunday 17th

maybe i subconsciously link the ilford film's mood and dramatic grain to places with a troubled past.

Casso | ilford 125

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Sarajevo. bosnian roadtrip #4

i am afraid this is gonna be a long post. Sarajevo is not an easy place to describe, so i'd better rely on some pictures to help me share the feelings inspired by the city.

Sarajevo skyline | nikon em + ilford 125 


i primarily intended to talk about our experience in Sarajevo without mentioning the war, or bringing it up as little as i could, to not let this dark shadow overcast the charm and the rising of a city that is still struggling with the past, still finding a new tune to dance.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mostar. bosnian roadtrip #3

the Stari Most, built in the 16th century and destroyed on 1993 during the war, was rebuilt and completed in 2004. now it's the most famous landmark in Mostar again. | nikon f-801 + fujicolor 200

at the 485th km on our odometer, we were in Mostar.

mouthwatering smell of barbecue, stone houses, green hills and minarets surrounded us, while the old bridge, undisputed symbol of the town, was the center of gravity of this small and multicultural urban galaxy.
the heart of Mostar beats on the tangle of streets around the bridge, and all the tourist crowd seems to concentrate there, between restaurants and small shops.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

bosnian roadtrip #1

before leaving | iPhone 4s + VSCOcam


where are you going again?

“Bosnia”. seeing the facial expressions that our answer evoked almost made me rethink our destination. yes, Sarajevo is not a typical summer destination for Italians, but, considering the number of “why?” that followed my answer, you’d think that Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a touristic destination at all, which is absolutely not true: many foreigner license plates move around Bosnian roads during summer, Mostar and Sarajevo’s tiny streets are crowded with tourists, and we met many young travellers from all around the world in all the hostels and guest houses where we stayed.

so, the surprise was not about the touristic value of the destination, but about the shadow of the war that continues to follow the name of this complicated country. i was a kid in the nineties, and the Bosnian war was one of the many wars seen on the tv news, but nearer, and therefore more real. it’s not guilt, the feeling that arouse when we think about the Bosnian war in 1992-1996, but it looks a lot like it. we were dreaming the European Union dream, and genocides were taking place a few kilometers outside our disappearing borders.

anyway, this is not the place, nor i am an adequately qualified person to talk about this. i’d try to mention the war as little as possible during this trip’s reportage, because that was exactly my goal: to build another Bosnia in my consciousness. a big mosaic made of landscapes, faces, songs, stories, animals, past, future, architecture, myths, books, religions, recipes. a place that was touched by a bloody war but that’s not its only feature.

this, to know Bosnia better, to be able to think about it regardless of the war, was one of the reasons why we chose Bosnia as our destination, but not the only one. other reasons had been more practical: near, with a good ferry boat connection, doable by lambretta, cheap; others more intangible: we’ve heard a lot about Bosnia and Sarajevo during the past months. as the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the 1st world war (yeah, another war.), Sarajevo was on the news for a while, being the casus belli scene (archiduke Franz Ferdinand was killed on Sarajevo’s latin bridge, triggering the diplomatic crisis between Austro Hungarian empire and Serbia). moreover, my sister just graduated with a thesis on a project developed in Bosnia, where she took two field trips.

Friday, 25 July 2014

let's go: Bosnia roadtrip. July, Friday 25th

we're leaving! summer holidays are here.


we're about to spend a few days on a roadtrip by lambretta in Bosnia we've been planning for weeks: this afternoon we're going to sail from Rjeka to Split, and then we'll make a big balkans loop through Split, Neum, Blagaj, Mostar, Sarajevo, Travink, Jajce and back to Split and the ferry boat to Rjeka.

i'm excited but departures make me nervous.
wish me luck and good weather 


{p.s. for on the road updates follow marco's instagram or i diari della lambretta facebook page}

Saturday, 5 July 2014

travel packing list

Irene is a lovely travel addicted who masterly runs via che si va, italian funny blog full of travel memories and tips. 
in addition to travel, we share the passion for books, illustration and.. making lists. the outcome is a post on her blog, with our travel packing lists, her advice, and my little drawings.
here, i briefly report the highlights.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

in the venetian lagoon. June, Monday 2nd

we read on the local newspaper that a flock of pink flamingos had arrived to the venetian lagoon, and was staying somewhere over there, near a place called Lio Piccolo. we've actually never heard of the place. like many people, when i think about the venetian lagoon, my thoughts go to Venice, the main island, or to Murano, Burano, Mazzorbo, la Giudecca {for italian readers, a post about la Giudecca here}, il Lido, the smaller but globally known islands, that can be reached with a quick vaporetto {water bus} ride from Venice. but the lagoon is much more bigger than that. there is a whole world made by greens, yellows, blues, birds songs and poetry that stands between the coast and the islands, and we have never explored before. the pink flamingos news was the flea in our ears that made us take the lambretta and ride towards the sea.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Poffabro and Frisanco. April, Saturday 26th

Frisanco and Poffabro are two towns near the Carnic Alps. we visited them in a cloudy and warm april weekend. they are as enchanting as they're quiet. we explored them by feet, cause the tiny streets were too narrow, and the silence was so solid, we did not want to disturb. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

under the tree

if you have been following this blog for a while, you know that sometimes i like to tell stories not just using words and photographs, but also with the help of my pen and a bunch of white sheets.
from my rough doodles came a collaboration with the under the tree girls, a creative team which spreads diy projects, recipes, beautiful photographs, coziness and tips for spending time togheter in a simple but not ordinary way.

here some of the moodboards i sketched for them. for more, you can follow their utterly inspirational facebook page.
captions are in italian, but i know you can understand the universal language of nice things 

barbecue in the mountains

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

hey you

i'm finally ready to be back. back posting, taking pictures, writing, scketching, having adventures on the road.
my head has been a pinwheel in the last couple of months. having a early summer sunday, taking a walk in the sun, with a polaroid camera, just enjoying the landscape and each other's company, felt like a good night's rest for marco and me.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

spring gathering



how much i love spring! scent of strawberries and flowers, outdoor dining, longer days.
have you ever tried flower tempura? 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

May, Tuesday 20th

i'm having some busy and tough days lately.
but, looking at the bright things, yesterday i saw the entrance door of my dreams. took a picture for you, isn't it pretty?



{for italian readers: i'm very proud of being a small part of a beautiful project called say yep, a digital magazine on wedding and diy. the 4th issue we are family is out today. take a look!}

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Caorle. April, Sunday 13th

you rarely see the sea in this space of mine. I'm more the woods-fields-mountains kind of girl. anyway, after the stroll at the antique market in Portobuffolè, Marco and I decided to go reach the coast.

the river that crosses Portobuffolè, called Livenza, keeps flowing for about 50 km to the sea, and we followed it, to a town called Caorle.
the sign "vele di barche caorlotte" means sails of the boats from Caorle
as other fishermen villages (like Burano), Caorle is full of bright colors. most of the walls, windows and doors are painted with pastel or vibrant nuances.

my favorite spot was the pink house you see in the first photo. it is decorated with many drawings of boat sails. Paulino Biancon, 82 years old former fisherman, painted them. all the designs are based on reality. in the past, every fisherman's boat was different, with its own colors and patterns: that way, wives and mothers could recognize their men's boats from afar.
mr. Biancon remembered most of them, and he made some researches for the other ones. i love that wall filled with stories.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

vintage market in Portobuffolè. April, Sunday 13th


Portobuffolè is the smallest town in Treviso province. just 800 people are living there. however, it's a charming little corner, with a quite important artistic and historical value, in spite of the small dimensions.
in 1300, a noblewoman called Gaia da Camino received the town as a wedding gift from her husband (what a nice gift, a town!) an it seems that made its beauty and importance grow in the following years. now we still can see elegant buildings from XIV-XVI sec.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Casarsa and Pier Paolo Pasolini's steps. March, Sunday 23rd

places tell stories. i've said and written that over and over. some days ago marco and i visited Casarsa della Delizia, a little village in Friuli Venezia Giulia, to hear some stories about the time Pier Paolo Pasolini lived there. you may have never heard about him, but he was one of the finest, still controversial, and most famous intellectual in postwar Italy. a poet, writer, journalist, filmmaker.




he was born in Bologna in 1922 and died in Rome in 1975, but he spent some meaningful years in Casarsa, where his mother came from. he used to spend his childhood summers there, and during the war and postwar years he moved with her from Bologna, to be safe. he lived in Casarsa for seven years, working as a teacher, before being forced to move to Rome, when a scandal about his homosexuality came out.

Friday, 21 March 2014

happy to

some italian bloggers are writing posts about three daily things they are proud of.
i'm usually not into chain blog post at all, but the lovely Serena has nominated me, so i'd feel bad to ignore her call.

so, let's see.. what are the actions, rituals, good things that i am proud of doing in my everyday life? actually, i don't feel so special (plus, there are a million things i'm not proud of) so i'd rather tell you what are the few things i am happy to do because i think they're good not just for me, but for everyone.
{for each one daily action, there is a matching travel aspect}


i'm happy to #1 shop at the farmers market (when fruits and vegetables grown at home are not enough), eat my chickens eggs, buy milk at the vending machine of a dairy. in other words, i try to eat locally sourced food, as much as i can.
this means that when i travel, i'm happy to: eat locally, shop locally, sleep locally.

in the pic, some spring joy from the farmers market in Vittorio Veneto this morning


Friday, 14 March 2014

7 reasons to love Vittorio Veneto {plus: moving in!}

as i -visually- told you some months ago, i've been busy nesting. i meant it literally, because marco and i moved into our new apartment, and started a new chapter of our life in Vittorio Veneto, a town we both love, so i think it's fair enough to finally show it to you, and explain what i like the most about my new home.

as i usually do, these reasons are focused on details and totally subjective impressions, so this is not a guide (but i'll write you one, sooner or later).

piazza Flaminio, Serravalle

Monday, 24 February 2014

vintage lambretta advertising

our newest acquisition from the local antiques market, in Vittorio Veneto.
a page from a 1959 italian magazine featuring a lambretta adv.

it will look great near the same year's playboy cover!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

italian lexicon for the curious traveller


if you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably came across italian words like osteria, agriturismo, malga...
i studied foreign languages for a few years, and i know that some words just cannot be translated, without giving up a small part of their original meaning. so, it's about time to share a little lexicon designed for anyone who wants to travel and discover the rural Itay, and for anyone who is naturally curious.
this new blog section is called italian lexicon for curious travellers and from now on you can find it n the right column. i will keep it updated, hope you like it!
have a lovely weekend 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

when it rains

as a kid, i had this book, called che cosa fare quando piove, by richard scarry. the original title, in english, is best rainy day book ever. you've probably already heard of it, or at least i hope so, cause it's such a great childrens book. if you have not, it is a collection of ideas on what to do on rainy days.

i cannot emulate mister scarry, but here it has been raining for days, so i had some time to make my personal list about that. i hope you like it, and want to share some of what you like to do when it rains {stay in bed all day: not accepted!}.


indoor picnic

i am still a kid, i know. i should go back to richard scarry. but it's so fun! you know i love picnics, and i have to wait months (months!) before i get an outdoor one.



go outside for a walk

i'm aware this is not the "when the sun is shining" post, keep reading. 
the only problem we have, while walking in the rain, is that we don't want to get wet {because we're going to do things like work}. but, if we expect that, and we're okay with it because we are keeping in mind the hot shower we'll take back home, it will be lovely.
bring an umbrella, some colorful rain boots, make sure you're warm enough. enjoy the drops on the trees, the sound(s) and the reflections, jump on a puddle. if you're lucky, you can catch the best moment: when the rain stops and the sun comes out. isn't that light amazing?

it's raining outside, so we're camping inside

do you know that photo by tim walker? since i saw it for the first time, i have been fascinated. coziness plus camping! i had to try it, and that was the perfect opportunity.

try something new

it could be a recipe you've never tried yet. or the start of a new tradition. 
marco and i made some canederli for dinner, a typical trentino dish, made of old bread, flour, eggs and salami. 
plus, the idea of starting a bookclub with some girl friends is growing!  


ice skating date

a field trip to the closest (indoor) ice rink. this is the one point of the list i have not done yet. 

visit a museum/exhibition

we chose an amazing illustration exhibition, called Illustri, held in Vicenza. it featured eleven talented italian illustrators: shout, emiliano ponzi, olimpia zagnoli, bomboland, ale giorgini, mauro gatti, riccardo guasco, francesco poroli, umberto mischi, jacopo rosati, rubens cantuni. we loved it and a piece of it, a fine print by riccardo guasco, is now at home with us, a reminder of that heavy rain day. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Transilvania roadtrip. January, 18-20th



after a day in Bucharest, our romanian journey continued with a roadtrip to Transilvania, kindly organized by Anna {green holiday italy} and Dario, who hosted us in Romania.
like everyone i suppose, i had some images of Transilvania on my mind: the land of vampires, with castles, mysterious aura, spooky landcapes.. well, i cannot say it is actually like that, but, as in every legend, there is a grain of truth.

in Transilvania there are many well-preserved castles, fortresses and fortified churches, the medieval allure is everywhere. many rooftops have that witch-hat look which movies and illustrated books taught us to associate with unearthly tales. other houses seem stolen from the disney's sleeping beauty set. {you know the one where Aurora lived with the three fairies? that kind of house}

add winter colors and thick mist, and you'll understand why Mr Stoker chose this location for his Dracula novel {although he never visited the place}. Transilvania but in particular Bran castle, which was our first stop.

the castle doesn't look sinister at all, and is much more beautiful than i thought. built on the top of a hill back in 1212 by knights, it has seen a lot. it has been a stronghold, a strategic location, a customs post, a royal residence, a fictional home of a vampire count, and now it is a museum.
Bran castle




then, we moved on to Râșnov Fortress, another former teutonic knights site, with impressive towers, bastions and drawbridge, with a small village inside. now it has been partly restored, but still requires a strong intervention. 

Brașov, the town we visited after the fortress, was a pleasant discovery. a charming town, very european, with a dark gothic church {the black church, biserica neagra}and a big mountain {tampa mountain, muntele tampa. you can hike to the top in about 1 hour, or take the cable car} behind, which add character to the city. 

last stop was Prejmer fortified church {unesco world heritage site}. as old as Bran castle, we were able to see just its high walls, cause it is closed on sunday.

Râșnov Fortress

looking outside the car window, the images i now associate with romania are large, large fields, a little snow, craft markets, flocks, haunted looking houses, people dressed in bright colors, cheese and honey for selling in stalls along the road, soviet style hats.



Bran castle, details
let's talk about food! the inevitable ciorbă {a meat/vegetable/fish soup}, meat, potatoes, cabbage were our companions for a few days, but Romania has also its street food tradition!
the most common street treat is  covrigi, baking goods that look like pretzels, decorated with sesame seeds. but the one we loved the most is called kurtos kalacs, and it's the interesting one to see, too. 
made from sweet dough, it is wrapped around a -sort of- rolling pin, baked above cinders, covered in butter and sugar. it has a crispy crust, and once baked, is rolled again in chopped walnuts. delicious!














{i made a mistake with one of the two rolls shooted in Transilvania, so the images from lovely Brașov - the view from the top of tampa mountain, the vintage looking cable car, the old man with the dove just ouside the black church, marco eating covrigi...- can't be shared. they'll remain memories. i'm so sad about that!}

Monday, 27 January 2014

pinza and blackbirds

in italy, the last three days of january (29, 30 and 31) are called the days of the blackbird {i giorni della merla}, and they are traditionally considered the coldest days of the year. and i hope they will be freezing cold, because it is also said that if the days of the blackbird are as cold as they should be, then a fine spring is around the corner, but if they are warm, it means that spring will arrive later than usual. 

with such a weather, staying indoors and baking are the best thing. a typical winter cake in veneto, friuli and some trentino's valleys is called pinza. there is no recipe of the pinza. it  varies from location to location, from family to family, with some basic general features. the ingredients are simple, typical of the rural tradition: white flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, candied fruit, dried figs, raisins and fennel seeds.


the very special occasion to eat pinza is usually the panevin, when families gather togheter, and you can taste all the different pinza recipes they made! 



this is how i do it. 

ingredients
200 g cornmeal
200 g wheat flour
120 g softned butter
1 egg
130 g sugar
raisins* 
dried figs*
almond*
250 ml milk
a coffee cup** of grappa {grape spirit}
a coffee cup** of sweet wine
baking powder 
1 orange
salt to taste

* quantity as you like
** i mean espresso

method
put the raisins to soak in the grappa. knead the flours, butter, baking powder, egg, zest and juice from the orange, salt. add raisins with grappa, sweet wine, figs and almonds. add warm milk. the dough will have a quite liquid consistency. pur on a cake pan, bake for 1 hour at 170°. 

better served with hot wine, friends and the best stories from last year. 


Thursday, 23 January 2014

București. January, Friday 17th

Stavropoleos monastery | mănăstirea Stavropoleos
Bucharest could be a beautiful city. my friend Anna {the pen behind green holiday italy} warned up with these words, when M. and i arrived in the capital of Romania {flew there with Wizz Air, about 2 hours from Treviso}, where she and her mate hosted us for a lovely weekend. it could be indeed. such a culture's crossroad, with one foot in europe and the other still in the former soviet union, with a latin language, russian words, balkan food and middle eastern influences. but not yet.

there are charming corners, as the Stavropoleos monastery. all that remains from it is a little church, which looks lovely from the outside {first picture} but is way better inside: velvety atmosphere, hand paintings lit by candles, dark and gold. it was the first thing we stopped to see while sightseeing in the historic centre.

Lipscani district
Lipscani is the heart of the city centre. it used to be the most important commercial area of the city. many streets still bear the name of their trade, as can be seen in many european cities. looking at the old buildings {a nice mix of art nouveau, neoclassical, near to medieval memories}, it seems clear why, in the interwar europe, Bucharest was nicknamed little Paris. nowadays Lipscani is recovering from a long period of degradation and neglect. most of these buildings need to be restored, but the whole recovery of the district seems to be going towards the creation of a modern noisy area of bars, strip clubs and cheap shops, without any vibes, any traditions. i think it deserves better.

neoclassical building detail

women near Biserica Curtea Veche
the best moment of our day in Bucharest was a visit to the old princely court church {Biserica Curtea Veche}, the oldest of the city. it started like a normal visit of a tourist site, but we soon realized that there were a few tourists, and most of the people was in the queque, waiting for praying in front of holy icons. with fervor and emotion, they lit up dozens of votive candles, kissed the icons, then went away, in silence. the most authentic moment of the day. 



we had just one day to visit Bucharest, and i'm sorry we didn't have the time to see two museums which seem quite interesting: the museum of the romanian peasant {muzeul tăranului român} and the national village museum {muzeul naţional al satului}, but our weekend continued with a roadtrip to Transilvania, which i can't wait to share with you!





p.s. good news! i diari della lambretta has been shortlisted for the Italy Magazine blogger awards, category best travel  so, if you like it here, that's the link to vote!


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