Sommer Jamz.

It’s been a hot second, hasn’t it? In case you’re feeling like you’re missing out, you can see my more frequently postings/daily ramblings/inspirations here.

I’ll get some Portugal/Germany pics up here soon but until then let me share with you the songs I just can’t get out of my head:

Sam Smith is KILLING IT right now. I literally cannot get enough. This jam is currently on repeat, but let’s be honest, “Stay With Me” and “Money on my Mind” are mainstays.

This. AWL this. Future Island’s performance on David Letterman skyrocketed their popularity and for good reason. This live performance is even better than the studio recording. Rare. And Awesome.

Yea it’s poppy, but damnit Clean Bandit I can’t quit you. “Rather Be” might just be my June anthem. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Dear all, please meet my newest crush (sorry J), Chromeo.

This might be the weirdest video I’ve ever seen. But damnit this retro jam is all I’m struttin to the tube to. Nu Shooz “I Can’t Wait”

Keepin’ it old school; try and figure out how many songs sampled this oldie, “And The Beat Goes On” by The Whispers.

Yes I saw One Direction last weekend. Yes I’m 26. Yes I wore a 1D tee. Yes I danced and sang my little heart out. No, I’m not ashamed.

You know why I’m not ashamed? Because I saw the Arctic Monkeys the weekend before. So there. I’m still “cool” or whatever. Plus they’re my current commute playlist (again).

Want to take this playlist to go plus more? Insert Spotify for the win, check out my Sommer playlist!

 

 

Arcumeggia e Lago Maggiore.

Spring Break day 5. Arcumeggia e Lago Maggiore. Another day spent in the mountains.

U and M took the last two days off to spend some time with me, aren’t they sweeties? So we all jumped in the car and headed back towards the mountains to Arcumeggia.

Arcumeggia is a tiny town up the winding streets near Lago Maggiore. The town became famous in the 1950s when the department of tourism decided to make it a “painting town.” Frescoes adorn the exterior walls of the homes in the village, painted by artists such as Aldo Carpi and Aligi Sassu. A handy map shows you where you can find the most prominent pieces, others can be found tucked away in alleys and courtyards…

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Here are a few of my faves:

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After a stroll through Arcumeggia, we headed for the east coast of Lago Maggiore and its famous Santa Caterina del Sasso. Unfortunately the monastery was closed, but the views were not…

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I can’t help but be continually in awe of the snow-capped mountains and their jagged beauty. Puts life into perspective.

 

 

Milano. Take one

Spring break day 4. Milano. A city only second to Roma in my heart.

V had the morning off and M2 was at uni, so V and I grabbed the train into Milan to have a look around. Naturally our first stop was the Duomo, because where else would you go? The Duomo is the center of activity in Milano and rightfully so. It’s pretty hard to get sick of this sight:

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Then we skipped through Galleria Vittorio Emanuale II to oogle at the shops we can’t afford and to spin on the bull’s balls. You heard me. I dug my heel into the mosaic bull’s balls and spun around three times for good luck…

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…let’s hope it worked!

One of my favorite things about Galleria Vittorio Emanuale II is the details when you look up. Sometimes people forget to look up…but when you do you find this:

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Mesmerizing isn’t it?

You come out of the other side at city hall and the statue of Leonardo da Vinci. But I was more interested was this…

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…Teatro alla Scala. Which I thought would be way more…grand. I dunno, gold plated or something super Italian like that. But it’s understated glory made me love it even more. Dream: See a production here. Hint hint J man.

At this point it was time for food. And V knew just the spot: Luini (http://www.luini.it/index.htm). It’s famous for its panzerotto fritto, which is apparently a southern thing.  Y’all know I love anything southern…in any country. We picked a couple up for M2 and headed to her uni for a little picnic. Oh and if you ever make it to Milano, promise you’ll go and grab some of these fried goodies for lunch…literally to die for (much like everything I ate in Italia). 

After lunch we had to say good bye to V and b-line for the Museo Nove Cento, a contemporary art museum just off Piazza del Duomo. Not before we had a mini photo shoot though…insert selfsie central here:

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We love each other.

Museo del Novecento is dedicated solely to contemporary Italian artists and is cool for the first half of the museum…until you get to the 1960s and then it’s all….trippy. But when you reach the top floor you get the most stunning views of the piazza and the Duomo. The acid trip is definitely worth this:

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There’s nothing better to leave you with, dear reader.

Except to tell you there’s more adventures in store for tomorrow!

Bologna.

Spring break day 3. Bologna. Home of beautiful colonnaded walks and the infamous Bolognese ragu.

M2 and I woke up SUPER early (for someone on “vacation”) to catch a train to Bologna for the day. The train ride takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, aka nap time. I awoke as we slowed into the train station to see half the sky full of clouds and the other half beautifully sunny, I prayed that Bologna was on the sunny half.

I must not have prayed hard enough. But hey, it didn’t rain!

Step one of any whirlwind day trip: obtain and consume coffee.

Step two of any whirlwind day trip: hit the popular spots early. For us, it was Two Towers of Bologna.

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:gulp: You want me to climb that thing? Welp, here goes nothing…

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Necessary mid-way breather….

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SO happy to be at the top…with this view all to ourselves…

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Having pre-worked off all the calories we were to consume at lunch, and we planned on consuming our fair share of Bolognese ragu, we took a little walk around the city, ending up at Santa Stefano – the seven churches of Bologna. Unfortunately only four remain, but the ones that do are wonderfully charming.

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After saving our souls at church, we skipped over to Bocca Buona (http://www.boccabuona.it/) for some delicious Bolognese, vino and dessert (our fave). Promise me, if you ever go to Bologna, you will seek out this hole in the wall restaurant. It is more than worth it. Everything home made – including the noodles. I can still taste it now….

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Perfectly tucked around the corner from Bocca Buona is Palazzo Fava, who just so happened to have the exhibit “Girl With a Pearl Earring: From Vermeer to Rembrant” going on. Somehow we missed the rush and walked right in to check out the Dutch masterpieces. Unfortunately the exhibit had less Vermeer and Rembrandt than I would have liked but hey, I got to see the “Girl With a Pearl Earring” painting! Check.

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Bologna, taking in the sights…

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…before grabbing an afternoon snack and heading back to the train station for what turned out to be a glorious ride back to Milan.

IMG_3105DSCN1114The adventure continues a bit closer to “home” tomorrow – tourist time in Milano!

Scaria.

Spring Break day 2. Scaria. A tiny village in the Italian Alps, just up the mountain from Lake Como (aka George Clooney) and right next to the border of Switzerland.

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After two years without the white stuff, I finally saw snow. So we took a little walk around to soak it all in…

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After a kilometer or so we stumbled across a small church. M explained to me that it only opened once a year during Feste…it’s decaying quite gracefully if you ask me.

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Then M informed me that, behind this door, was a pile of bones from the 15th century. I snuck around to the stairs adjacent to it and caught a peek – she wasn’t lying! Crazy Catholics, piling up their bones and saving them…crazy, but creepy cool.

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Later on we went down to the lake to check out the town and grab a gelato – because why not? I have not and will not turn down gelato. Ever.

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The Italian adventures continue! Next road (train) trip: Bologna with M2!

Luzern.

Spring break day 1. Road trip: Milan -> Luzern. A charming little city, even on an overcast day.

Dashing through the Alps…

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IMG_3086Swiss precision.

DSCN0993 DSCN0992A little hike up to the city wall, called the Musegg Wall, built in 1386….

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DSCN0981…with a view that’s lasted for centuries.

DSCN0977Ran into a little bit of modern art on the way back down from the Musegg Wall. Still can’t figure out if that’s a man or a woman…maybe that’s the point.

IMG_3073After our little “hike” we got a knackering for some food, so we shuffled over to the market to check out our options. Of course I got distracted by the beautiful flowers and greenery….

DSCN0990After some grub it was time to dash! Off to the mountains!

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XT on the job.

I’m a very lucky girl. I somehow landed an internship this past fall at We-Are.Co, a production service company (check us out here: http://www.we-are.co/) founded and run by the envious Reeme Idris (seriously I want to BE her). She’s thrust me into so many of her projects and I’ve gained so much more experience in the past 6 months in areas I never thought to explore.

One of our current projects (I won’t spill all the beans just yet) is taking us all over London interviewing opinion formers from a multitude of business areas on their view of the current state of the luxury world. Not only are the conversations fascinating, but the spaces are pretty inspiring as well. Take a look…

Darshana’s studio where she retails bespoke luxury scarves. You can check out the scarves and the artists on her website: http://www.albaamicorum.com/

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Her GORGEOUS lab Elsa. Such a lover muffin. I want to clone her. Seriously.

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The Future Laboratory offices. Aka my future home. If you haven’t heard of The Future Laboratory of some of the insights they’ve gathered over the years….educate yo’self: http://thefuturelaboratory.com/uk/

 

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Catching a few cut-aways on Mount Street…

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….and in the middle of the street at Harrods. Ahh the things you do for the perfect shot.

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And now, back to studying. Counting down the days until adventure time in Italia!