Florence Highlights – Day 2

My second day in Firenze began spectacularly with my visit to the Palazzo Pitti – former royal residence – and the Palatine Gallery it now hosts. What a sensual overload! All the paintings, the sculptures, the murals, the gold – after a while, I really had trouble processing all the input and the first thing…

Florence Highlights – Day 1

The title says it all – I went to Florence!! Trying to seize every minute, I ran around town a lot, visiting eight museums in three days. Accordingly, I could probably write fifteen blogposts about all my experiences, but who’s got time for that? I don’t, so here you go with the first of three super…

Went to Paris…for four hours

Going home from the seminar, I had to take a plane from Paris again. Only that this time, I went to see the Eiffel Tour! My friend and I had just enough time to go there and walk around the little park before we had to leave for the airport. So now, I can cross…

Château de Chambord or My Most Artistic Photograph So Far

The city exploration of Blois was followed by a trip to the nearby Château de Chambord! If you want, go read the surprisingly elaborate Wikipedia article. To make it short, it’s one of the “most recognizable” châteaux in the world that was built in the 16th century, possibly also according to plans by Leonardo da Vinci (he’s…

Doors of Blois (and More)

On Saturday, we roamed around Blois for our obligatory town exploration. On the last seminar in Narbonne, we played A Barter Trading Game, exchanging objects with locals. This time, each group was assigned to a sense with which the town should be explored. I ended up being in the visual group. Compared to hearing, tasting and smelling, we…

Seminar Time Again!

For my colleagues, it’s a Thursday more or less like any other. Not for me though. Because at 11.18h, I’m on a plane taking off to Paris! After struggling to take all my luggage on board and having to cope with faulty gate announcements, I can finally sit back, relax and enjoy the perfect flying…

Carrara Avenza – A Cute Tuscan Town

On my way back to Milan from the Masterclass, I was able to catch an earlier train. I had to change trains at the Carrara Avenza station and ended up having two hours time. That’s a lot for sitting around at a two-track train station that doesn’t even have food vending machines, right? So since…

A Masterclass in Tuscany

It’s 04:30h on a Saturday morning – way too early for me, but I had no choice because my destination has poor train connections and the event I am attending, a singing masterclass, starts at 10.30h. Ahead of me lies a day full of uncertainties and surprises. My travel plans couldn’t possibly be any tighter while…

Insulting People the Italian Way

Lately after work, Max, a female colleague of us and I were leaving the school together. She had already gotten her bike from the storage place, but Max was struggling with his one. It had gotten stuck on the hook from which it was hanging down. Eventually, she couldn’t endure watching him fiddling anymore and helped him…

Chinatown

As a Chinese speaking person who can actually tell Chinese and Japanese tourists apart, I do have to admit that Chinese people seem to have infiltrated even the most remote places on this planet. In Milan, there’s even more Chinese people than elsewhere. I don’t exactly know why, but there seems to be a whole history of…

Monumental Rest

Some of the most famous Italians rest here, at Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale. It’s enormous, very much like a huge park in which the paths are lined by big mausoleums and ornate monuments. The most renowned deceased lie in the Hall of Fame which – together with two galleries -marks the entrance to the cemetery. We spent a…

Dog Power and Cigarettes

I took off one afternoon to be able to spend more time with Wim so we headed to the park to have food and enjoy the spring sun. Munching on our Piadine (Italian wraps), we observed the Milanese strolling around, taking a break from their probably stressful lives. I was particularly intrigued by this dog…