SOLO TRAVELLER IN VENICE

Hi everyone! It’s nice to write on my blog again. Usually I’m always packed with things to do and have little time to update my page here. Since tonight I have some time for myself here I am going to explain in detail my last week travel to Venice.

First of all: I was alone and even so I had a great time! So if you are wondering if the most romantic city in the world is solo traveller friendly it is definitely a YES! I spent 5 days in a hostel on Giudecca island, in front of Venice, and since the room was cheap I got to spend my extra money on food, things and some presents for myself.

I was in Venice in December 2015 the last time and since it was so windy and chilly after sunset we were mostly in the apartment we rented for the stay after 5-6 p.m, so this time I decided to experience Venice in a sunny month and September was definitely the right choice!

It was my first time travelling alone since usually I only spend the time on trains and such by myself, after that I usually meet up with others. This time I was alone for the entire stay and I got to know myself more.

Travelling alone is an experience I highly recommend to everyone especially the ones, like me, who think of themself as independent and loners. I always believed I was a kind of person who needn’t people to be happy and I was wrong. I realized it the first night, while in my room I kind of felt lonely with no one to share my journey with. But after that first night I spoke to the people who shared my hostel: French, English and Canadians youth like me who wanted to experience Venice the best they could.

My travel consisted of 5 days and every day I wanted to experience different sides of Venice so I planned my schedule very carefully:

1st day: I arrived in the early afternoon in Venice, got to my hostel and unpacked.. Then I explored Giudecca island who is different from the main Venice we know. There are small parks, new modern houses, a university and the best small streets where you would want to get lost forever. After memorizing the position of the supermarkets, restaurants and such I ate pistachio ice cream and watched the best sunset view of the entire stay!

2nd day: my birthday. I wore my best frilly white dress and explored Venice. Got to the hebrew area, my loved one, where I ate my favourite Kosher sweets and then off to S.Marco. In the middle of the day there was a huge storm and I got wet from the rain… even so I stayed out till 8. S.Marco during sunset was magical, full of lights and music orchestras… Ate Spaghetti with clams in a high-end restaurant with the best view on S.Marco to celebrate my birthday.

3rd day: Murano and Burano. Murano is peaceful and beautiful for a quick stay. I highly recommend it if you want to see the glass-makers doing their job. There are exquisite restaurants everywhere and glass boutiques where you can buy gifts. Ate there and then headed off to Burano a 30 minutes ride on the ferry-boat. Burano was a huge surprise for me! It’s a small island with a park all around it and in the middle colorful houses everywhere. The colors were so vivid and the boutiques full of frilly things to buy… Best spot for couples to take pictures of course.

4th day: Lido’s beach. I spent the entire day by the sea and it was awesome. The sun was so warm and th sea breeze so soothing. I walked a lot, swam, read and ate. I got so tanned in only one day that I was seriously surprised… Drank a fresh strawberry 500 ml smoothie while heading back and got lost… Ferry-boats change slightly routes after 7 p.m and I didn’t know it so I had to stay another 1 hour out because I needed to take another one to return to Giudecca.

5th day: I left my baggage at the train station and stayed another 4 hours in the hebrew district, bought gifts and explored again the centre of Venice. Bought myself 2 chickenburger at Mc Donalds for the train ride and returned home with a feeling of accomplishment.

I suggest you to always cherish the memories of your past travels. I was a solo traveller and I spent 5 days as I was walking like in a dream. I got to do what I wanted without having to deal what others may want and this is why I totally recommend this kind of experience. I will return to Venice again for sure because it is already a beautiful memory to me and I will not ever forget about it.

To you all I can say only this: Travel as much as you can and never think of what others may think of it. Life is precious and too short to bother with others judgement!

Love you all from the bottom of my heart. ❤

 

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8000 VIEWS ON MY BLOG!

This half-year was really satisfying… 5000 views on my blog since January! Thank you so much for your interest towards my blog. I’m glad that I am able to share my thoughts with all of you so openly without any barrier. I’m the awkward kind of person around people but since I started this journey of mine on WordPress I can sense definitely an improvement on my behaviour.

I know my writing skills can be improved too this is why I try to write about many different topics.I’m working on something right now, a new project, and I want to share it with you as soon as possible. In the following weeks you will be updated surely.

I feel really thankful that you follow me in my simple life. Hugs from a smiling italian woman (still a girl at heart)!

IS KNOWLEDGE NEEDED TODAY?

In my point of view knowledge is the most important thing for a human being. Without it we couldn’t do all kinds of things and we would spend our lives as the people who inhabitant thousands of years ago in caves and without fire. Prometheus is the one that in the greek mythology brought the “fire” to humans as a god who took pity of the human kind. He was severely punished because “fire” symbolized the”knowledge” that was only meant to be understood between gods.

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Studying, researching and reading are the first steps to understand new things and as I am myself a huge bookworm I know it through experience. Watching documentaries is another must but the sensation of old paper is really far more enchanting.

I really am entranced by the scent of antique books. I personally own a book that is not really old, is it close to a century, but I like the feeling of it. My dream is to have a room completely filled on the four walls with bookshelves from the floor to the ceiling and a nice writing desk in the middle of it, with a chaise longue and a soft turkish carpet to minimize the sound of footsteps. 

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I am italian and in the eye of the world my country holds the best amount of history background. We really had a lot of interesting periods: The Roman Empire, the Rinascimento… Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca… Popes, politicians and the most beautiful cities in the world: Venezia, Firenze, Roma, Milano… We really have a lot to make ourselves proud.

Even so nowadays in Europe we are seen as the most dumb nation of all. I don’t think so… Certainly we don’t hold the first place in school education and we have so many flaws… but we are still here. We hold our pride as a friendly nation that even in difficult times can smile and make others feeling appreciated.

We are in war, Europe is in war. This is known and it scares me so much. But seeing that in the middle east there are purposely destructions of important archeological sites, people murdered without any concern for age and gender only because they are of different religion and entire populations directed in Greece and here in Italy to save themselves from the war is terrifying. I don’t know how things will turn out in the future, but I can sense the difference in my country. 

Knowledge should make us think before acting, even so we are against terribly ignorant people who knows only how to fight and make people cry. This is not knowledge it is war. Ignorance is the uglier thing in the whole world because without knowing things people act on impulses and following orders given from psychopaths. This is so wrong, so terribly wrong.

I really wish for my country and for the rest of the world to understand the importance of culture. We need to develop our minds towards the right paths for our future and for others too.

 

MY 10th ANNIVERSARY IN VENICE

December 14th is gonna be our anniversary and for the occasion, as I mentioned some posts ago, we are gonna travel to a beautiful city. I was searching through the net for some deals in Europe and I was really sure to go visit Barcelona, but instead… we are going to Venice!

Since I am italian and not a halfie or someone who just lived abroad for her entire life, it’s really a shame I couldn’t visit yet one of the most famous italian cities. Venice is renowned for being a romantic location abroad, where every year there’s a famous film festival. In an american point of view is a place for love, best location for vips marriage or a city to visit once in a lifetime but for an italian is simply history and art. 

Venice for me is not a romantic city but a place where I can see beautiful architectures, art and discover the history behind it. Since Venice is basically an artificial island made of  100 small islands linked and supported together by wood poles planted in the mud centuries ago, I wanted to visit it to discover new things to know.

Venice is an essential part of our history: once one of the maritime republic, was a really prosperous city that linked the East Europe (Russia, Turkey and the other countries on the Mediterranean Sea) with the West through Italy, transporting merchants and products by ships even before Marco Polo appeared (13th century).

I will visit Murano and the glass makers, the famous “bridges”, piazza S.Marco and the orthodox cemetery, of course there’s gonna be  our anniversary celebration but if I have to say the truth we’re more excited by the possibility to  see Venice!

I’m already preparing everything I’ll need:  buying a new and bigger trolley, a warmer jacket along with clothes since we are gonna spend most of our time outside site-seeing, train tickets and boat tickets and gifts for his family that we are gonna go visit after Venice.  Christmas and maybe New year are with my in-laws so I will be back in January.

Kisses and always enjoy travelling! Bye ❤

 

REVISITED ZUCCHINI SUMMER FRITTATA

Hi healthy eaters! I’m glad you came to take a look to my new recipe 😉

Today I’m gonna introduce you to a real traditional italian dish that is basically eaten anywhere in Italy but originated from the south.

This is a side dish now, basically an omelet, but when people were poor and lived with only the vegetables that grown in their fields and the eggs from the chickens they raised, this was maybe the only thing nutritious for them to eat.

Italian cuisine is it known to be various and full of vegetables, particularly good for diets and such. Of course here there is fat people too, but, who stick to eat italian food only in the right portions usually don’t gain weight. Why? Because we are used to cook directly from the vegetables and not using surrogate or processed food.

The absolute truth for a good balanced meal is to eat less processed food as possible and to eat the right portions. Overeating is just gonna make you eat more and more so try to limit yourself.

I am not a heavy eater, my stomach can’t take much but I too have times when I crave for extra food. When those times come I usually eat fruits like bananas, strawberries and peaches, sometimes I make myself a macedonia with lots of lemon juice in it and then drink a lot of water to make my stomach feel fuller. It works wonderfully, try it yourself.

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INGREDIENTS:

– one big zucchini

– 4 eggs

– melted cheese or grated cheese

– salt and pepper

– extra virgin olive oil

– ginger to taste

 

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Cut the zucchini in not too thin slices, look at my frittata the right size is 3-4 mm, just right to let them cook evenly and get golden while still feel juicy when eaten.

Let them cook in a pan where you already have poured some extra virgin oil. Cook them on both sides until golden, then in a bowl mix the eggs, salt, pepper and grated cheese (two handfuls), mix well. (I add some melted cheese too to make my frittata richer and delicious)

Pour the mix on the zucchini and cover the pan with a lid. Wait until completely cooked, just be sure to cook on low – medium heat for all the time necessary. Usually I take up about 20-30 minutes until evenly cooked. You don’t need to stir it up or to flip it, the top of the frittata should be like the picture: moistened and soft.

If you cook it just right you are gonna have no problem in placing the frittata on a plate. High heat usually is the enemy of frittatas cause it makes things stick to the pot.

For a richer taste I usually add ginger in powder on top of it and then I put the frittata over a plate and cut it like a pizza. 

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To accompany the frittata I suggest some prosciutto crudo and melon. This combo is perfect when you feel hot in summer and to bring out for picnics too.

Enjoy the summer with family eating delicious and healthy food! Have fun!

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CINNAMON-PUMPKIN SWEET RISOTTO

Hi ♥ Today is a cooking recipe!

I really enjoy a lot making risotto. It’s one of my favourite dishes! I find it really delicious and nutritious when done following the right method.

So, let’s prepare together a delicate cinnamon-pumpkin risotto!

Note that for the sweet flavour you need to use carrots broth (a common vegetable broth with carrots in it is not good enough) because the sweetness otherwise is gonna come only from the cinnamon and it may be less noticeable!

To prepare a broth is simple: just add in a large pot water for 3/4 of it and then add the vegetables you want: potatoes, carrots, onions… It’s the same with meat broth.

For this recipe is needed a broth with carrots, so you can prepare a broth with only carrots or, as I suggest, to add potatoes cause it’s gonna make the risotto richer.

The vegetables cooked in the broth are gonna be healthy and good for a salad: with oil, vinegar and salt you can make up a simple side dish. ♣

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INGREDIENTS:

– Onion (1/3 of a big onion or 1/2 if a medium size)

– Butter (2/3 large spoons)

– Rice (one full cup = 2 people depending of the rice)

– White Wine (a glass)

– Carrot and potatoes broth is sweet and is well matched with this recipe (chicken stock or vegetable broth if you don’t mind the flavour to be more salty)

– Pumpkin

– Cinnamon

– White pepper

– Grated parmesan cheese (as preferred)

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First rule: When you try to prepare a risotto, you can’t afford to look away during the process. If you have only 10 minutes before friends coming over for dinner you can’t make it in time. Risotto is a dish that requires at least 20-25 minutes and can take up even 40/45 minutes if you need to add some more ingredients that need to be previous cooked. (if you need to prepare the broth it goes up to 1 hour and half) Focus only on it please, cause it’s gonna waste your efforts and time if you just do it half heartedly! 

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Prepare the vegetables: Cut in small pieces the pumpkin and the onion. The smaller the pumpkin the better in my opinion, cause it’s gonna cook evenly with the rice.

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Different types of rice are meant to be used for different recipes. I used the Arborio cause it keeps the grains from swelling up too much and the risotto is easily sticky enough to enjoy it with the pumpink pieces.

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Melt the butter add the onion and when it’s gold enough add the pumpkin in cubes. Be sure to not let it stick to the pot!

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Add the rice when the pumpkin has been at least cooked for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the cubes. Pour a cup of white wine and let the alcohol dry out fully before adding the broth.

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Pour the broth and then keep your rice moistened with it until fully cooked. Normally it requires 20 minutes to cook, the rice has to be soft for this kind of risotto.

At the end of the process add cinnamon to your taste and grated cheese. Add white pepper to taste.

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This dish is delicious and nutritious too. If you are gonna serve it to kids skip the wine or pour only half cup even though the alcohol is not anymore in the rice when fully cooked, so is safe.

I suggest to enjoy it for a quite and light dinner between friends with a salad on the side and some delicious entrée. This is gonna be a dish really appreciated! 

Hope you like it, bye and eat healthy for a healthy life!

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CHERRY BLOSSOM TREE IN ITALY

My cherry tree bloomed. It’s still a bit early but as the weather for the entire week was good and sunny the flowers started to pop out one after another.

I love this particular tree because represents the memories of my childhood.

When I was a small girl I used to pick up the cherries in June with my dad using a portable staircase. Now this tree doesn’t make so many cherries anymore and it doesn’t bloom as beautifully, even so I still love it as I love my bittersweet memories of my childhood.

Being a rural girl is awesome from my point of view because I can understand the meaning of growing plants and flowers.  Growing them is not only important from a productivity aspect, it’s like making a stronger bond with the nature.

In Italy cherry trees are likely to bloom during this month (second half of April or even at the start of May sometimes if the weather is not sunny enough). It’s a different time from Japan where the HANAMI already has long been finished.  

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Enjoy your memories from time to time by remembering the good things that happened to you when you were a child. Your heart will feel good and your feelings will be noticeable on your face making you radiant and happy to others.

Happy cherry blossom day! ^^

 

One of my favourite songs and perfect for this post too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fmMK0lfv80

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SIMPLE AND TASTY VEGETABLE STEW

Hi! Today we are gonna try a vegetarian recipe!

I love stew. I used to eat it a lot when I was young. My mom made it for me on sundays and I can still remember the delicious smell and the waiting hours before eating it.

In Italy as you know, we use a lot of tomato sauce. Stew here is rarely white or without tomato. And since I like this recipe with a thick and tasty sauce I always add tomato in it. If you don’t like it just skip it.

INGREDIENTS:

– potatoes

– onion

– peppers (2 colors at least, I used green and red)

– zucchini

– tomato sauce

– salt

– seasonings

– olive oil

Preparing this recipe is super simple. The only thing to pay attention to is the different time needed per vegetable to cook. The right order is: peppers-potatoes-zucchini. The onion is always, when used as a “soffritto”, the first thing to put in the pot together with olive oil.

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Chop the onion and add it in the large pot with olive oil. Meanwhile prepare the potatoes.

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Add the peppers previously washed and cut and let them cook for a while, at least 10/15 minutes.

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When the peppers are softer add the potatoes, the tomato sauce and 2/3 cups of water. If you prefer not to add the tomato sauce just add warm water. (the potatoes are uncooked so you have to let them cook in some liquid)

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I prepared some meat to accompany the stew since I’m not vegetarian and I have to feed big guys here!

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Add the zucchini when the potatoes are half-cooked. Since this vegetable is the last one be sure to add it at the right time. Zucchini don’t need a lot of time to cook so mind the time! Seasonings and salt to your liking.

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When the sauce is thick enough and all the vegetables are cooked is time to serve it!  

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Delicious! Try it and you will be delighted 😉

I accompanied my stew with some fried chicken breast. This recipe is good alone for a light dinner or served as a side dish. Cold is good too! As I am a big fan of cold dishes this recipe is the ideal to be brought outside in a lunch box (obviously the sauce should be thicker and less)

The flavour is strong since the peppers bring not only awesome colors but a distinctive taste to the dish so seasonings aren’t really needed apart from a pinch of salt. Therefore to avoid using too much seasonings add them at the end of the cooking process. Evaporating water would make the salt evaporating too, so is important to add it only in the end or rather at the start when vegetables are raw. This is an awesome trick for who can’t eat too much salt.

Hope you enjoy it! 

Bye

DELICIOUS STUFFED PEPPERS

Tonight I’m gonna write down for you my personal recipe for delicious stuffed peppers.

I really like to cook, even when I was really young I liked to prepare tasty food for others. I think this kind of hobby it’s really helpful when you have someone coming over for dinner or if you have to prepare something for a picnic.

As I am an italian woman, I like to feed others. Really, you can’t understand how much I feel blissful when I see all my plates empty and clean without anything left on them!

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Delicious food can cure anything. It’s something that can cheer you up even in bad times. This is why I try so hard to make my recipes as tasty and nutrious as possible.

I feel like a mother when I hand over the plates full of food!

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So let’s begin! 

What do we need? Peppers! Colorful, healthy and tasty peppers. I chose the mini size so I could serve them as an appetizer before the real meal. If you prefer the big size one is good to eat them alone as the main dish with some potatoes or salad on the side. 

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Ingredients:

– peppers

– bread

– pig sausage (spicy sausage is great if you want to add even more taste)

– 1/2 eggs (1 is the usual  quantity but look at the mix if it’s too dry add another one)

– half onion

milk (a cup)

– parmesan cheese (or grated cheese of any kind you like)

– extra virgin olive oil

– salt

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Bread is preferable if it’s old, at least of 2/3 days, when you make polpette (meatballs) and basically the recipe for any kind of stuffed vegetables is the best way to add texture to the mix. 

Then bread is usually wetted with milk before adding it to the mix. Let it absorb completely the milk before using it. (a cup is fine, depending on how much bread you prepared)

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Sausage: any kind is fine. Since I wanted to make the peppers stand out in flavour I opted for a normal pig sausage. If you like spicy stuff you can use the sausage you prefer.

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The peppers have to be washed and cut carefully. You have to clean them internally, the seeds have to be entirely removed! 

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Cut half onion. The smaller the pieces the better. They will melt in the mixture and you will not find hard or uncooked pieces.

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Add in a large bowl: sausage, 1 egg, the bread wetted in milk, salt, a pinch of pepper, onion and grated cheese. Mix them well until it forms in your hands a ball.

Then start to stuff the peppers.

Put the peppers on a baking pan where you previously poured extra virgin olive oil. Cover entirely the peppers with other grated cheese to let them form a really delicious crust…

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Bake in the over for at lest 45 minutes at 180°. For bigger peppers is it needed more time of course.

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Then it’s done! Enjoy them with your family! 🙂

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I personally love them when they have cooled down. This is a recipe to bring out on a picninc since the peppers are small and easy to eat without forks. 

If you will eat them for dinner prepare some mashed potatoes or a simple salad to accompany them. The flavour of the peppers must be the main point of the entire meal course, so mind the different tastes!

I would suggest for a dessert something light, fresh and with lemon in it. Lemon ice cream or a sorbetto would be perfect to freshen up breath and start the digestion well.

Bye, hope you will try this tasty recipe.

WINTER OUTFIT + ITALY’S LANDSCAPE

Hi! Today I went for a walk and wanted to show you the incredible beauty of my land: Italy.

When I was younger I used to go to the river with my dad at least once a week. We didn’t talk much, since we are both usually calm and composed by nature, but it was so relaxing and beautiful just to be together that I cherish those moments in my heart as something precious. These memories are sweet for me and since then I kept going to the river and had the strange feeling that when I am near water I feel good.

Today I walked through BRIVIO, a small town on ADDA’S river and felt peaceful even in the cold weather (+10°).

I really like to walk since I’m the sportive type and I always long for the outside. So when I have the chance I take two steps by myself or with others. Since I’m not a friendly and outgoing person I have few friends and on top of it they live far away from me, so we can’t meet up often.

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Italy is mainly known for tasty food, ancient history and art. If you think of Italy in terms of landscape the first thing that comes to mind is usually Venice, the small artistic towns in Tuscany  called “borghi”, the magic of Rome and Florence. Even so in here there is nature too!

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Italy is in my point of view a beautiful country with lots of different types of landscape: mountain, lake, beach, rural land, large areas of woods, desert (yeah, we have this too, look for Sardinia “Piscinas” and the “Desert of Accona” in Siena’s province) and volcano black land (3 areas in Italy are really known: Stromboli, Etna, Vesuvio) . We don’t lack anything, even if we live in a relatively small country, the only thing that keep us from enjoying it fully is the black economy that seem to get worse as time goes by. This is why youngsters are usually searching for work outside Italy, abandoning traditions and families.

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Let’s change topic now and let me speak about fashion and comfortable clothes.

I’m a woman and I like to dress up well and beautifully, but the thing that for me is of the utmost importance is that my clothes have to be comfortable. Because I am an xs, 36/38 size in clothes, my wardrobe is full of relatively large pieces that I can wear leisurely without thinking too much. (my right size is rarely avalaible so the only choice is to buy larger clothes if I don’t want to go around naked)

Since I have muscular legs I often wear dark tights or trousers on them to make the illusion of thinner legs. Illusion is a basic in fashion. Because I’ve always been an active person in sports, especially the ones in which the legs were majorly involved, the result is that my upper body and my bottom have a gap in sizes and misures. (upper xs, bottom s/m – 40/42)

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What I’m wearing here is a simple outfit without bright colors. I wanted to keep it clean and simple since I wanted to take a walk.

I opted for :

  • Simple cut black coat ————>  Zara
  • Black leather lace up boots —–>  Even&Odd
  • Distressed jeans  —————–>  Forever21
  • Shoulder iridescent bag ———>  Even&Odd
  • Multicolor scarf  ——————> Diesel

I think this type of outfit is a passepartout that can be worn anytime: when travelling, going to school, for walks… This is a basic outfit for winter days in which you don’t have the time or the care to look at what you are wearing when heading out.

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♥These boots are made for walking♥… like one famous song tell. I fell in love with them immediately when I saw the price and the images on the net.  So comfortable and ice/water proof. (personally tested on 30 cm of snow) Last month I bought a lot of things from internet, and these pair were in, since with the discount was a great deal! Couldn’t resist…. sorry, my poor wallet! 🙂

Since i’m relatively tall for a woman I don’t usually wear high heels. I like them a lot, but not for everyday use. These boots are flat so really easy to walk in and make errands.

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My bag is a shoulder type, simple and clean in its features. The color is simply great, iridescent (I’m sorry for the quality of the images) between gold/silver and rusty. Since I like to carry with me anything that might be useful I prefer big bags. I think its the key peace of the outfit that gives an allure of  leisure and playful time to the rest of the clothes.

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Hope you like my outfit and the landscape I love so much!

Bye, see you next time! ^^

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