In Ferrara I used to sing in Coro Polifonico “Santo Spirito”, where we performed mostly baroque sacred music. I was very proud of that hobby, that allowed me to sing in prestigious theaters together with famed orchestras and world-class directors. Unfortunately when I moved to Florence I had to give up on this activity and I missed it a lot. I tried to look for something similar in my new location but couldn’t find anything that matched my time budget and my taste. Read the rest of this entry »
Few days ago I’ve been at the Madison Square Garden, arguably the world’s most famous arena. New yorkers simply call it The Garden, as if it were the only garden out there, or worse, as if it were a garden at all! Well, actually it’s not even on Madison Square. Thanks to wikipedia I discovered the current name is just a legacy from the original arena, that one century ago used to be located in a garden at Madison Square. Anyhow entering the arena is impressive: you feel like getting into a temple, a place where people go to worship their idols. Oh wait, that’s exactly what they do there!
The show on stage was a basketball match in the College Hoops league, between St. John’s and Pittsburgh. I went with Carla, a friend from New York. She likes college basketball and taught me all I had to know and something more, e.g. that college teams usually have the name of an animal (Pittsburgh Panthers) but St. John’s is an exception (they call themselves the Red Storm). We took the obligatory beer (that they served us with a built-in pretzel) and brought it in.
Before the match started an actual singer sung the national anthem, everybody standing, hats off. Pitts were much stronger and they easily blew out St. John’s 81-57, but it’s been fun anyway. The home team had cheerleaders, dancers and a fanfare band and shot t-shirts to the public during time-outs. Much fun!
Too bad I’m already back to Italy.
This was taken last September at the Ferrara Balloons Festival. There were many huge balloons, some of them with crazy shapes. You could even buy a ticket to ride one. An interesting thing: I discovered balloons are better flown in the morning or in late afternoon, apparently because the hottest and coldest hours make navigation harder.
Last time I’ve been in New York, one night Ale brought us to Ludlow Street. Ale is a fan of Lower East Side, and I definitely approve his taste. That area is filled with strange and interesting places, for both dining and having fun. That night Ale brought us first to the Back Room (which I already knew, maybe I’ll talk about this in a different post) and then to Mehanata, a Bulgarian bar and dance floor. Read the rest of this entry »
Last time I’ve been in Rio de Janeiro I spent my best night at Rio Scenarium, a sort of samba dance floor with real Brazilian live music and a stunning choreography right in the center of Lapa, the historic center of ancient Rio. During daylight, this place is a huge antiquarian’s shop three floors high, with all sorts of things hanging from the walls and from the roof. At night, two thousand people easily fit in to have fun, dance, drink caipirinha and meet people. Last year this was declared as one of the top 10 bars worldwide by The Guardian.
The setting is so surreal that I first I was speechless, like I were in a different time-space. Colors everywhere, strange things surrounding joyful people, wonderful traditional music, party atmosphere. Definitely a must if you happen to travel to Rio.
This week Ferrara celebrates the 20th Buskers Festival. For seven days straight, every night the medieval town center will be invaded by a few hundred street performers coming from all over the world and playing the most amazing instruments and music styles. It’s like the whole town became a giant stage 50 acres wide, surrounded by monuments and typical shops and shared by many parallel concerts. If all those performances were to be executed one after the other, they would continue uninterrupted for over 100 days. Read the rest of this entry »
I love traveling. I love traveling without a detailed plan, without booking rooms, just wandering around and following the flow of my mind. The perfect travel is driving with a Lonely Planet guide in your pocket, a friend to chat with and just a vague idea of where you’re heading to. When you see something interesting you stop. There’s no hurry, no pressure to reach the next target, you can just sleep anywhere there is a room to rent, including places in the middle of nowhere that you didn’t even knew they existed.