Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Letters from Donna

One funny thing about being abroad is reading my mom's letters and e-mails.  We've never really had to write one another before, but let me tell you, she leaves me in tears.  She could be a co-writer for HH.

For example:

'Hi Dan

I heard you talking with dad this  am.   I was still in bed, & I decided to give dad a chance to talk with you.  It makes him feel special...'

Imagine David Sedaris' parents and you have my parents.

Knowing that it takes her 20 minutes to type an email makes it ever more special.

Photograph taken in the wine cellar of Villa della Porta Bozzolo

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Villa della Porta Bozzolo

Like the Landmark or National Trust in England, Italy has FAI, which restores grand villas throughout Italy and opens them to the public.  Sunday was the day where they were all open for free, so we visited Villa della Porta Bozzolo near Varese.  The weather was a bit overcast but it made for rather Gothic looking photographs.

In the 17th century the land was owned by an average farming family until the landlord married a wealthy Milanese woman and he built the villa and grounds up to what they are today.  If you want names, mi dispiace. You should be impressed I got that much, the tour was given by teenage Italian volunteers.

On the side of that pathway climbing the hill is a the largest lawn of violets in Italy.  I think I'll make a pilgrimage in a few weeks when they are in bloom.  I hear it's breathtaking...

The ceiling in my apartment is wooden like this.  I wonder if my landlady will let me attempt painting it like this?

The house that is in 'Io Sono Amore' is part of the FAI and a friend of a friend of a friend is a tourguide there!  So expect and update soon, spero.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Recently found among the sea of bad Italian versions of Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga, this band refreshingly reminds me that no matter where you are, you can find a good thing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lago Maggiore

Last Thursday I was walking through the train station in Busto Arsizio when I heard someone talking on there cellphone with a distinct British accent:  "Yes, darling, a sandwich will do.  I'll be home in 25 minutes."

I stopped in my tracks, one doesn't hear native tongue English in Busto often, so immediately I went up to her, and she was as happy to speak to me as I was to speak to her.  She told me she lived on Lake Maggiore and how wonderful it is.  After she told me how simple it is to get to my mind started dreaming.

The next morning I had an appointment for a few hours in the morning and the rest of the day free.  The first free day in two weeks!  I wandered into Gallarate station and in 10 minutes the train was leaving for Domodossola in Piedmonte, the same train that stops by Stressa on Lago Maggiore.

In 10 minutes time I was on that train, heading for a day exploring a city and a lake more beautiful than words can described.  Both Dickens and Byron were fans of the snow capped mountains that cascade into the lake.  The lake has several islands, the Isole Borromee, with villa dating back to the 16th century, when the Borromeo and Visconti family ruled over Lombardia.

As the sun was starting to set behind the mountains, I had a gelato (of course) by the lake.  I decided I would return in May when everything was in full bloom then wandered onto the train heading back towards Milano.  These whimsical days are always so special, and even more so for their spontaneity.  If any of you decide to visit, Lago Maggiore will be on the list to visit.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Despite the previous post, I've become the ultimate fat kid here.  Not to sound all Eat Pray Love, but I can't stop eating!  This is my favorite bakery on via Speronari.  Young and old, the fashionistas and the ugos all flock here to stuff their face.  You have to fight to get served but it's so worth it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Room with a View

Remember the snow-capped mountains I spoke of?  Well, here they are!  A morning shot and one at sunset.  Due to the fog, bad weather, smog, etc., I've only seen these lovely peaks three days I've been here.  This morning I saw a faint whiff of white, but not enough!  I'm going to try and do something about that tower there too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Views of Fashion Week

Alas, I'm STILL stuck at the Pakistani Internet Cafe, but I've loaded my pictures onto an external hardrive and will schedule as many posts as I can in 32 minutes and 41 seconds.

Fashion Week was a scream.  Although I looked like a homeless person, per ushe, I still got to chuckle at some of the patrons rediculousness.

The above photo is my favorite and they just wandered five feet in front of me waiting for me to take their picture.

She's from Bazaar, and was actually being photographed by someone else.  I really thought her ensemble was super chic, though.  Nice to see she wasnt in 12 inch heels like everyone else. 

The Sartorialist and Garance!!  It was neat seeing them work together.  She looked at me, I saw with her lips say, 'What about him?'  He looks at me, 'I don't like his hat,' he lips.  OUCH! Thankfully a few others like my shawl sweater and Patrik Ervell shirt and took photos.  If you find any let me know!


Anna Dello Rosso, Editor of Vogue Japan.  She really worked the crowd.  It was amazing seeing everyone screaming her name like she was a Beatle or something.  Literally and hour before this I passed her on the street dressed simply blowing her nose really loud.  No joke!

The best part was the old lady passerby who said out loud, 'Che scemo.'

'Che scemo' means 'What a retard.'