Still discovering

It was really lovely weather today and I had a really productive day. After days of studying at home, I finally had to get up with a purpose this morning as I met with my colleagues at the university library to do some course work (we have to analyse the websites of the major banks in Italy and it’s terrifying how badly constructed they are!)

We finished around lunch time and I decided to have a piece of pizza on the go (melanzane e formaggio – sooo good!) as I went for a walk in the sunshine. I first started my usual route: past the Borgo Sant’Angelo and towards Piazza Navona, but then I decided to get lost and chose a street I never walked before, only to discover a whimsical narrow street with cute shops and little workshops.

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I had a lovely stroll to Largo Argentina and then onwards to Piramide, where I joined Goirgio and we went to another library together. We got a little studying done, but eventually time for merenda came and as you know, I really do take that seriously! 😉 So I dragged Giorgio out of the library and we agreed to take a “quick coffee” at the first place we’d find – only to stumble over a fancy looking Pasticceria with the most delicious looking sweets in the vitrine. And guess what? They even had Sacher cake! So “quick” got cancelled and we sat down on one of the small marble tables and had a lovely fancy afternoon coffee and cake.

And that’s it. Full of cake and happiness I went home (being super responsible and all, Giorgio went back to study) What a perfect way to end a super sunny, happy and productive day!

XX, Angie

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Sunshine in a cookie

As you know, I make a point of buying vegetables and fruit at the market not far from where I live. On the one hand it’s a really good excuse to go out and get a break from studying, but on the other hand I really have to speak to people. I remember from my Erasmus days when we were taught how to ask for “2 etti di prosciutto” or “mezzo chilo di patate” in the Italian language course – but we never got to actually use it, as in most supermarkets you just grab your stuff and pay. At most they ask you if you want a carrier bag.

Anyway, I like going to the market. Especially on sunny days like today. I bought the most gorgeous Sicilian blood oranges and when I came home I exactly knew what I’d do with them: Orange-Chocolate-Sunshine-Cookies!

I baked the whole afternoon and the flat smelt amazing! And when I eventually got back to my desk (after all there’s some nasty exams waiting for me) I had some very sweet company!

Sweet sunshine kisses,

Angie

Ignore what I said…

Ok, so I know last week I was complaining (amongst other things) about the grey weather here in Rome – well, it looks like I jinxed it. Today was the most beautiful, sunny, on-the-edge-of-spring day.

I had some errands to run this morning and on my way back home I came a cross a little flower truck at the corner of the street and I just couldn’t help it and picked up a bunch of baby pink tulips. It’s spring now. I officially declared it!

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And with the nice weather, also my good mood came back. I’m ok again with being in Rome, I enjoy the little chats with shop keepers in Italian and I like walking trough the messy markets and streets. The sunshine definitely helps 😉

XX, Angie

 

A morning at the mercato

Today all the public transport in Rome was on strike – sciopero. That basically means that the whole city stands still and you only move from your doorstep if you absolutely must, as the replacement busses are more theoretical than actually existing. Luckily our profs at uni very sophisticatedly acknowledged that and so today we had no lessons.

Firstly, I am totally confused now, thinking the whole day that it’s Saturday already when it’s not. I was rather surprised when my flatmate came home this afternoon and started to tell me about her day at work – on a Saturday! oh, wait… >.<
But I used my surprise-free morning well and went for a walk on the market just a couple of streets away from my house. The sun was shining and the streets were full of hustle and bustle.

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The mercato starts with two stands of clothing, one with “office stuff” like notebooks, tapes, scissors and all kinds of tools and a stand of flowers. In the middle is a stand with cheese and two which offer fresh fish. The market finishes with a stand that sells real Italian leather shoes. But in between are the fruttivendoli. There is literally one fruit and vegetable stand after another – and all sell more or less the same! Bell peppers cost 1 euro at every stand and the merchants shout the same offers. And it’s not like three or four, it must be at least twenty!

Honestly, I have no idea how the whole concept can be anywhere near economically successful, but apparently it works. I guess it’s one of the cases that make perfect sense if you ask an Italian, but for the rest of the world are an unsolved mystery! XD

The rest of the morning I spent finishing the birthday present for my flatmate, eating some of the cookies I baked yesterday, doing some housewife-y duties in order to avoid studying and receiving a long and lovely Skype call from London.

Still pondering about the market-mystery,

XX, Angie

Saturday, sunshine and a book – what else you need? :)

After two days of the-world-is-about-to-end-rain the sun finally came back out today. I decided to celebrate this occasion by spending the afternoon exploring the park at Villa Borghese.

I made way there past myriads of tourists and up the Spanish Steps – when you go up there are actually no people at all! All the lazy tourists stay at the bottom 😉

The park is huuge! Although I had quite a long walk, I only managed to see a little bit. I watched the little boats on the pond and then placed myself strategically on a park bench in order to soak up some sunshine whilst reading.

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And when it finally started to get cold, I found a lovely little café and had some tea and dolci for merenda – quite an English-Italian clash, I admit. Old habits die hard! ^^

XX, Angie

New shores – again!

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I started this blog almost exactly three years ago, in September 2013 – when I moved to London. After one crazy life-changing Erasmus year and a very meaningful summer, I moved in with my little sister in Priory Park Lane.

It’s both amazing and a little frightening how time flies, now I am three years older and (hopefully) wiser, full of Englishness and rich in experience.
But I had enough of tea and biscuits – Now I want caffé and cornetto! Yes, I moved! 😀
Exactly today two months ago, Gonzo and me packed up our things and we left London. We didn’t know yet where and when exactly we’d arrive, but we had a vague idea.

IMG_5366_II-2.jpgHere I am now, new city, new experiences, new language, new everything! I am (almost officially) inscribed for a masters degree in Marketing and I am so excited!

Wish me luck!

Tanti baci from Rome!

XX, Angie

 

 

Our new favouritest thing!

Today me and Gozo met up with Isa and Diego for fancy Sunday brunch at Barnyard. And it is officially our new favouritest thing to do! 😉

Since Gonzo left Barnyard in December, we haven’t been back there, so everyone was super happy to see him and he only spent about half the time having breakfast with us – he was too busy saying Hi to everyone and checking if everything’s still running without him.
And I guess the overwhelming joy of his former workmates channelled back to the kitchen – as we didn’t order about half of the food and drinks that ended up on our table! 😀

For starters we shared waffles and brioche with home-made hibiscus and Marco Polo (yes, that’s a fruit) jam, warm cornbread with butter and honey and avocado on toast. For “mains” Gonzo had the black pudding with chorizo, potatoes and fried egg, Isa had amazing greek yoghurt with hazelnuts and real honeycomb and me and Diego both had the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on brioche. We also had carrot, mango and orange blossom smoothie and watermelon juice. It was delicious!
Honestly, I don’t know if I ever had such a fancy breakfast before! And comparing the list of things we had to the menu – I think we had at least one of each! And in the end, they brought us Prosecco! 😀

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After a very long and exhausting brunch, Gonzo had to go home to get some editing done and I went to have a lovely long and sunny walk in colourful Soho.

What a good Sunday!

Hope you had an amazing weekend as well!
XX, Angie

http://www.barnyard-london.com

sunny day in the park

Being aware, that it’s probably one of the last days Isa and me will be off together for quite a while (Isa found a job at a restaurant, which basically means no weekends off and I’ll start my proper office-hour job next week), we decided to make the most of the sunny day and went out for a lovely walk in Hampstead Heath park.

Now, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with Hampstead Heath. We went there to see the fireworks at New Years Eve 2013/14 (omg, how time flies!) and I fell in love with the park and the view from Parliament Hill (well, as much as you can in a rainy night surrounded by thousands of people). Anyway, there and then I adopted the resolution to come back and explore the seemingly marvellous park. Well… needless to say that I didn’t. And to make matters worse, for more than half a year, when I was still working at Finchley Road, I passed it every day on my way to work. And it was tempting me and reminding me how easy it’d be to just go there on a day off and that I just couldn’t manage to do so.
But I finally last summer, we did go there; on the hottest day of the year. And I talked Gonzo into going for a swim in one of the muddy ponds! It was a lovely day and we actually managed to go for a walk and enjoy the daylight view from the hill. It was gorgeous and I was so happy that we finally came back!
There, now you know how it took me about a year and a half to do a simple thing as visiting a park. And that’s how Hampstead Heath became somehow a reminder for me: how in London it sometimes can be hard to keep plans and how little it effort it would actually take.

I deviated.

Anyway, Isa and me took the tube to Finchley Road and from there walked through posh Hampstead Village to the park. It’s a really beautiful area, but you can basically smell the money as you walk through; big old houses, CCTV cameras on the fences and expensive-looking cars (not that I really have an idea) in the streets.
The park itself is, as described in length above, is absolutely lovely and we truly enjoyed the walk. But even though it was a sunny day, it was very windy and we both got cold and hungry, so we decided to have an emergency-merienda. We had a not-too bad cup of tea and sad defrosted slice of cake in the uncharitable park cafe. But it did the trick and we went on to the top of the hill and around the pond. Eventually we rewarded ourselves with some very nice carrot cake at the bakery across the street.

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And all is well, that ends well.
Or: if the cake is good, the day is good! 🙂

XX, Angie

 

Summer 2015 stop #1: Italy and CinemadaMare

As you know, my first stop of this year’s summer travels was in the south of Italy, where I joined Gonzo and the CinemadaMare film festival.

For those of you who don’t know (but I guess by now everyone knows, as I am rambling about it all the time – so better skip the next part) CinemadaMare is an international film festival that takes you to a different village/town in Italy every week. But the truly amazing thing about CdM are the people. I mean, imagine: put 100 young filmmakrs from all around the world together, in Italy, with sunshine, mare, inflatable mattresses, pasta and gelato, good vibes and a bunch of crazy ideas and just let them work. Puff! That’s it. For me that works like magic! And that’s also why we went there already for the 3rd time! 😉

Anyway, so the first stop for me was Maratea. I am in love with this place! I love the mountains descending straight into the sea, the water that gets deep after just a couple of steps, the many stairs and colourful houses, and of course the big Jesus statue overlooking the valley from the mountain top. We actually hiked p all the way one night, with the full moon guiding our way and slept at Jesus’ toes – only to wake up to an amazing view and the bitter realization that we had to walk down again all the way 😛
Being super happy to be back, I directed and edited what is probably best called a little advertisement for Cdm. I also wrote a brief scrip for Gonzo that week, which he shot and made into an incredible piece about “life itself and how eventually you have to let go and jump”. He found an abandoned waterpark, and actually I only started writing after I’ve been there and enjoyed the amazing location!

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The next stop was Guardia Perticara. I have a very special connection to that place, as we already stayed there the last two years and I’ve collected a bunch of very dear memories there. The village is tiny: there are two bars, one supermarket and not even a bancomat. But the people there are so friendly and helpful! Some even remembered our names from the previous years and asked us how we were doing in London!
That week I mainly worked on a script (which we couldn’t shoot eventually), did a lot of different make-ups for various productions (which I really enjoyed), helped to organize a last-minute-shoot (which we had to cancel because of a thunderstorm) and got “hired” as an editor for the first time in CdM (which was probably the best bit of the week!). I was working on the edit of found. by Dasha and Vera, two very talented girls from Russia. I did have a couple of editing lessons back at uni, but working on an actual project with all the pressure and the problems that come along was a really good experience which I enjoyed very much!

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We stayed a couple of days in Muro Lucano and then moved on to Nova Siri, which again had the lovely benefit of a long and sandy beach! *yay* We stayed there for about 10 days – enough time to get tanned, relax, empirically test to find out the best gelateria in town and shoot a, if I may say so, very lovely and engaging short about love.
Sadly this was also the week Gonzo was leaving, as he had to go back to London for work. Well, so I stayed in charge to collect as much sunshine as possible for the both or us! 🙂
I was woking on Due (this week’s film) with Vera again. But this time we were co-directing. For me it was a complete new experience as until now I was mainly working together with Gonzo. But I think we did a very good job. Vera actually works as a photographer in “real life” so we had absolute fantastic shots! – The hardest part of the edit was to decide which shots not to take, as the whole material was absolutely great.

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After spending so much time in the south of Italy, we made our way up to Vercelli. Well, I have to say it was a bit of a shock arriving in the north after several weeks traveling through Basilicata. The end of August was approaching and we could definitely feel that now. It just wasn’t a little southern seaside village anymore. However, we made the very best out of it. Vercelli, being an actual city, offered a lot of luxury, compare to the previous stops; such as a book shop, a cinema, launderettes and a big discounter in walking distance.
I initially planned to skip the stop, partially because of the very daunting descriptions I’ve heard and also because I wanted to go to Spain sooner. But as John Lennon once said very accurately: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” – and so I stayed with CdM for one week longer. And I really don’t regret it! We had the most lovely week! We grew closer as a group, enjoyed the beautiful city of Vercelli, made a very pleasant day-trip to Arona, talked under the stars and over breakfast and eventually shot a most marvellous stop-motion video. Moonlight is a combination of the talents of Vera (photography), Alix (sound) and me (make-up and edit). I am very happy with the result, especially as I wanted to make a stop-motion all along, but was lacking the final idea until now.

That’s it. I left CinemadaMare on the 1st of September in order to go to Milano to see the Expo, but that’s an argument for another day!
I absolutely enjoyed taking part in CdM once again and I want to thank all the guys for that incredible experience! Grazie a tutti i cidiemmini 2015!!

(Sorry guys for that super long blog post. I totally messed up the less words-more images principle 😛 😉 )

XX, Angie