The Pink City of Morocco, the Daughter of the Desert

Marrakesh has many nicknames. Two are in the title.
The first one, less known (the usual one is 'The Red City' due to some of its buildings' color) refers to the actual color of virtually every building in town, even new construction, due to the color of the plaster. The pink color is never too light and never too solid. It's soft if the sun doesn't shine and it's warm and full if hit by sunlight.
The second nickname is romantic and recalls images in my mind now that I visited it.

I am happy I visited a new city. I am happy I visited a new country. I am happy I visited a new continent.
But this is not just to tick some boxes. I am happy because I've extensively traveled Europe and the USA, and therefore nothing ever seemed extremely different from something I have visited before. I love Europe and the USA, but I am happy I visited something that is out of anything that can have familiar view.

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Cooking is Culture

Cooking is beautiful and fun. It's satisfying, fulfilling, and entertaining. It's social time, or private, or reflective. It can be quick or slow. For any event or no event.
I can keep going so I will stop here.

I love cooking and I do it virtually every day. I am no master chef, but I learn little things all the time and I try to keep learning from anywhere.
The main source of my learning comes from my mother, who has been cooking for her entire life, she is exceptionally good, she follows traditional recipes but she is extremely creative as well. I think she has the perfect mix because she made hers the recipes from her grandparents, so now she has the experience, and the wits, of tweaking them as she finds appropriate, in an elegant and interesting way.

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Never Enough Books

I love books. I love reading.
They make me dream, spur my creativity, travel with my imagination - or give inputs for actual travels.

Books have been part of my life since I was born. The first adult book I've read by myself was 'The Tigers of Mompracem', from Italian writer Emilio Salgari. I will never forget it. The protagonist, Sandokan, is a pirate-hero, gentleman, adventurous, with solid moral principles but a rebellious heart.
What a better way to start my independent reading life than this?

My brother has a list of all the books he has ever read. that would have been a good idea, I would have done it too, thinking about it now.
But, I read a lot nevertheless.

I currently just finished By Night Under the Stone Bridge (1952 in German) by writer Leo Perutz.
The book is a collection of stories, set in Prague in the 16th century. They are bound together by common characters, active or just mentioned in the different stories, but also by both magical and actual historic events, also either just mentioned or actively happening.
The book, a suggestion from my brother David, who reads even more than me, became one of my favorite and I discovered the theme of the historic Mitteleuropa.

I am not catching up with the last few National Geographic issues (which I had in the US and finally got here with girlfriend Stephanie), but I am always reading a book and a magazine at the same time, therefore I am going to start another book tonight or tomorrow night.

What book have you last read? What books do you suggest me?

Due Facce della Stessa Medaglia

Traveling and reading are two sides of the same coin, as we say in Italy (due facce della stessa medaglia).
One action specifically makes your body travel, the other one your mind. They are completely different things, yet linked in the strongest way.
Not long ago I've written about how writing and literature can be deeply similar and connected.
Both require will, passion, interest, time.

Reading can be traveling, with your mind, heart and dreams - traveling can correspond to reading people, places, landscapes.
Both need direct experience, but it doesn't matter how that happens.
Paying attention helps, but it's not definitive. Natural is always better. Sometimes I want to but can't quite do it; other times it just happens, everything flows through my senses and I don't even notice until later.
The highest emotions and deepest experiences happen when they are unexpected.

These happen when you travel, and when you read.
Your mind is the most powerful element for your dreams, either through traveling or reading.

You are never alone with a book.

City of Lights, City of Faces

I just spent two days in Paris. I haven't been there in almost five years and it was nice to go back. As much as it is one of the most visited capitals in the world and I probably wouldn't want to live there (if I had the means), the fame and hype are deserved.

I did visit some museums and the Sainte Chapelle, but I wanted to enjoy the city and the streets too, so I walked several hours a day. And the weather helped because it was sunny and warm (about 18°C, or 65°F). Fantastic!

There weren't too many tourists around (for Paris standards) and I really enjoyed both the streets, the alleys and the parks. Food was very good, we went to restaurants were we were among the few, or the only ones, speaking English. And I got to practice my French!

I was interested in faces this time. Not people's faces, but statues and artwork ones. Since there is so much quality artwork, what a variety there is! From the famous Notre Dame's gargoyles, to the Sainte Chapelle's faces, to the statues in the Tuileries Gardens.

They call Paris the City of Lights. But it can as well be a City of Faces. This art and these faces are a historical cross section of the city and the countryas much as its architecture.

In London Fair City

London! What a megalopolis!
It's extremely human scale in its neighborhoods, yet it's so vast you can spend years and years to explore.

This is my impression of course, I haven't lived years and years in London... yet! But I will, because I am looking for a job in the city, my girlfriend Stephanie is going to Grad School next year and I like the country.

Who has been living here? What are the impressions? Thoughts? Considerations?

I am going to be more aggressive on my job hunt. I will be even more efficient and make my portfolio, both online and printed, and applications even better.

I also want to get involved in the photography world! I will start looking around for opportunities for young photographers and I am thrilled for the opportunities. There is a lot to learn and a lot to achieve and many people to meet and exciting things and places to discover.

In the meantime and in some free time.... I will explore London! I will get lost, walk, wonder, explore, visit, discover anything I can, and hopefully many things I didn't think about.

Back to Europe

Atc! It has been to long since my last article. Almost exactly a month. Bad me! September has been busy with travels, but it shouldn't be an excuse.

Speaking of traveling, so far in September I was in Oregon, Boston area (Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut), London, Italy. I am in Italy until the end of the month, few more days, and Thursday, which is October 1st, I go back to London.

This is because I have permanently moved out of the United States to live back in Europe! I miss the US a lot, but I missed Europe too. My family, the culture, the atmosphere, the easy traveling.

I am going to be living in London. I am going to work as an architect and I want to work again in historic preservation, which is what I focused my studies on and what I worked on my first two years after graduating, before moving to Oregon.

I am stoked, excited, intrigued! I like exploring the new city and I can't wait to be living there and to see how my routine will go.

Un passo indietro, poi sempre avanti!

Torre degli Asinelli da Via Ugo Bassi Bologna Italy

Un altro passo, un nuovo domani

I am leaving Portland, Oregon in 20 days to permanently move back to Europe! On September 1st I am departing to head East. First a stop in Boston to visit friends for a week. The second week I am going to be in London for interviews and exploring and acclimating. Then, after two weeks in Italy to visit family, I will move to London on October 1st.

I will miss Portland, I will really miss the boundless landscapes and natural landscapes.

But I am extremely excited to be closer to my brother, my family and to be back to Europe! London is a magical and varied city, both huge but also human scale. I am looking forward to exploring the hidden corners and stuck-in-time houses, cemeteries, bridges and parks.

I am also interested in any suggestions about living in the city, exploring it, keeping entertained. I am curious to know your opinion on which are the best small museums and parks, as well as best day trips in and outside the city. I want to know the best gyms and swimming pools.

Let me know what you think!

Un altro passo, un nuovo domani. Another step, a new tomorrow.

The Alaska landscape is something very uncommon and majestic for someone who grew up in southern Europe, Italy in my case. The landscape of the (Pacific) North West of the United States are very different from what I was used to, I've always loved the American landscapes and Natural wonders, but now I love them even more. I will miss these spectacular, pristine spaces!

The Alaska landscape is something very uncommon and majestic for someone who grew up in southern Europe, Italy in my case. The landscape of the (Pacific) North West of the United States are very different from what I was used to, I've always loved the American landscapes and Natural wonders, but now I love them even more. I will miss these spectacular, pristine spaces!