Back In Time

Let’s go to Rome“, he proposed.

Two hours later we were on the fast train to the Roman city ~only a 1.5 hr trip~.
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. Big and impersonal, Rome had to grow on me, specially after a ghastly lunch experience. NEVER and I mean EVER go to a restaurant in a touristy area. It’s always the same story: bad food, steep check. Being a self proclaimed foodie myself, I take my food seriously, so I would normally spend a decent amount of time researching where the locals indulge themselves with magnificent cuisine… but this time around I didn’t do my homework and lunch was a disaster.

Fortunately, round the corner from the trattoria, there it was. Standing tall, breathtaking. I was smitten.
Rome had conquered my heart.

The Coliseum.
Built more than 2000 years ago (Vespasian began its construction 72AD and his son Titus opened it in 80AD with games that lasted 100 days) it is one – if not the one – of Rome’s most impressive buildings. The entrance is pretty straight forward. There are guided tours, video guides and audio guides- at an extra cost -. Any of these options is well worth the investment because there is not a lot of historical information around the site. The whole Coliseum experience lasts between 45 and 60 minutes… unless of course, you are lucky enough to not be lugging a hungry/thirsty/tired 5 year year old and wish to sit and take it all in.

The entrance ticket to the Coliseum also includes the entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. If you are like me, I had no idea what these were.

Even more so than inside the Coliseum, one can get lost in time whilst roaming amongst the gardens of the Palatine Hill. This is one of seven hills in Rome and one of the most ancient parts of the city. It is said to be where Romulus killed his twin brother Remus and founded Rome in 754 BC. Ruins of huts built by early settlers and of once imperial palaces fill isolated parts of The Palatine which stands right above the Roman Forum. I recommend taking the time to go up and looking at The Forum from above; the view is frankly stunning.

The Forum (or plaza) used to be a marshland which the romans drained and converted into Rome’s marketplace and political, administrative and religious centre. It is home to the ruins of various important ancient buildings and statues.

Once again, in order to bring these places to life, some kind of expert guidance is recommended.

Back on the train, we skimmed through the peaceful Tuscan scenery until arriving back to Florence.

There’s a feeling of belonging. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we’ve been here almost a week or maybe it’s just that we come from a small city and it feels familiar… all I know is that today Roma conquered my heart but Florence still owns my soul.


The standard admission ticket covers The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Children under 18 are free. 
Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25


I ❤ Shoes

There I was, Thursday afternoon, playing hide and seek in the city’s narrow cobbled streets when I stumbled upon it: Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.

Anywhere in the world that has a shoe museum is like home to me, so I opened the door.

An 1840’s building, Palazzo Spini Feroni is the headquarters of Ferragamo’s company and has been the designer’s workshop since he bought the palace in 1938. The museum is situated in the underground floor and it showcases Ferragamo’s masterpieces from 1927 till his death in 1960 and other shoes produced under his label to the present day.

Salvatore Ferragamo was captivated with making shoes that were not only beautiful but comfortable too. He studied human anatomy and invented an internal support made of steel that would help width distributing the body’s weight over the arch of the foot.  He also added the measurement of foot width which led to the creation of more than 70 shoe fit and size combinations we have available for men and women today.

Ferragamo’s designs displayed in the museum are breathtaking. All his extraordinary inventions are there for us to admire:  the cork wedge, the stiletto with metal reinforcement, the gold sandals and the invisible sandals made with one continuos nylon thread.

Salvatore Ferragamo is not only a world-known fashion brand but a symbol of immense self belief, greatness and success.

 

 

 


The museum is open from 10 am to 7:30 pm everyday; except 1 January, 1 May, 15 August and 25 December.
Admission: €6. Children under ten years of age and adults over 65 enter free of charge.
Free entrance to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum every first Sunday of the month.
Audio guide service in Italian English French Spanish and Japanese.


 

Sleepless in Dubai

jet lag
noun
  1. extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across different time zones.
    “she was suffering from jet lag and needed to rest”… nahhh! really????!!! Tell me about it…
         24 hours+ but we finally made it into Dubai at 5am local time. Hot, dry, sterile. “it looks very modern and new” commented Marcos to the driver while we went down Sheik Zayed rd ~language barrier~ “yes, yes, very clean, very clean” he stated proudly.
    Got to the hotel and of course our room wasn’t ready, so we dived into our suitcases, grabbed our -got-to-the-hotel-too-early-essentials- and headed to the pool.
         Aha… the pool at 6 am. Let me paint a picture in your mind: onlyblondeinbikini. Other women there were wearing a jilbab {a woman’s modest dress} and a hijab {head covering or veil}. Tad uncomfortable so we covered ourselves and headed out to see the grand Burj Khalifa.
    9am: 30 degrees. Burj Khalifa is impressive. So tall it doesn’t fit in my camera, bummer. Tallest building in the world since 2010 (211 floors in total- 829.8m tall). Took only 5 years to build at a cost of USD $1.5 billion. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai has a penthouse at the very top. Sorry Donald, you’re fired!
         Neighbouring the tallest building in the world is the largest mall in the world. So we went in. Oh yeah baby! Welcome to Shoe District: 300 brands and the most breathtaking shoe designs. We walked around and visited the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo with its underwater tunnel and glass bottomed boats. Did I mention it is also the largest suspended aquarium in the world?
         Lunch and mall hopping with friends till 10 pm.
    After a 5 hour sleep – with interruptions: kids woke up to start the day at 2am – we headed to the Dubai Mall again for some ice skating. There was a sand storm so going to the beach was a no go.
    A few hours later we were on the plane heading to our first european home: Firenze.
     ❤
     

A little about me

My husband Marcos and I were B&R in Argentina but being restless and ever curious as we are we moved to New Zealand in 2002. We are now parents to three incredible kids: Nika (11), Petra (9) and Remo (5).

Our latest adventure is this trip: we are travelling through Europe for a year.

We want to master different languages, learn about history, travel various places and make new friends. But most importantly, we want to teach our kids how to live outside their comfort zone; to deal with constant challenges and permanent change.

If you want to know what we are up to stay tuned!

Pippi

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