The Ferrari Museum: An Experience

How amazing can it be that after working as a driver for an automotive company, then founding your own, and writing history with it.

That is just what Enzo Ferrari did, after working for Alfa Romeo.

But I need to confess that I found myself in Modena mostly for the balsamnic vinegar, cheese and other Italian delicacies.

Yet being there I was enchanted by Modena town and his people, for whom rush was not a way of living.

And yet, Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena, and in my opinion he invented the “fast” concept, by his automobiles.

The museum has not the clasic shape one thinks when referring to a museum: it looks like a soap bubble.

Entering the museum from 40 celsius is an experience to be remebered: you feel like you’re in the purest air and then you see it and understand: Ferrari welcomes you .

Inside there are so many informative displays, articles, pieces of history to create in the visitor the most accurate mental photo of what and how this story developed.

The tiny models, of wooden cars that challenges mentalities, so carefully crafted put a candid smile on my face.

A film about Ferrari’s craftmanship played, projected on the ceiling and Icould see the man who did it all possible, and for whom all was possible: Enzo.

The film is so full of energy, and so expressive, that no matter the part of the world you’re from you will understand it all by feeing it all.

It’s a powerful lesson about having a dream, a goal, and working hard towards his completion.

The museum also exemplifies the powerful connection Enzo’s cars had and have with the femimine symbols of each era: “ROSSO& ROSSA: women and ferraris- the untold story”.

Cars designed and given to succesful ladies all over the world: elegance, flowing shapes, ambition.

While visiting I found out that this was the Modena wing of the Ferrari museum, and that another wing was the one from Maranello, dedicated as you guessed: to the Formulas cars.

There was no doubt that I had to be there too, so there i went.

I was still driven by Enzo’s energy and I wanted more, just like a Formula 1 driver acceleartes more and more his Ferrari engine.

I could feel the passion people had when drawing the sketches, then building the prototypes and then… setting them free in the world.

I can tell you I was feeling overwhelmed: feeling history unfolding around me by each car I saw.

This is me trying to tell you that it’s worth visiting, having the experinece.

As for me, next time I am on Modena soil I will revisit for sure, to deepen into the experinece.

Traveling to Italy: from ordinary to extraordinary

Traveling to Italy: from ordinary to extraordinary

Who performs such a transformation?

Italians do…

Call it marketing, calling it promoting tourism, call it whatever you feel like to, but whatever they touch it gets almost every time extraordinary.

We all have shops, and we all have malls, and we all try to make them stylish, but let’s face it, it’s hard to compete with this stylish shopping street from Verona.

They understood that each “Romeo will bring his Juliet” to the city of love so why not making the road itself an experience?

Here it is .. italy served the request.

And when I could be tired of so much shopping and just in need for a private spot to catch my breath, taking right, then second left and:

The best ever place for relaxation, reading a book, or sipping a cold limoncello from the freshest lemons from Naples.

Italy serves again, with love, just for her tourists to stay at least one more day.

One more day for her to show me that the attention I put in my actions will reflect in the results you will be getting.

How amazing does this shop looks like? Isn’t it a piece of ordinary turned into extraordinary?

Well yes it is , and I admire and for a moment we wonder if it’s not mostly marketing for charming us more.

Having spent day after day here I merged into the locals spirit:

It was not marketing.. it’s just them, creating beautiful from random, surrounding themselves with what is cozy for their souls.

Rich colors, taffy textures, secrets spots of beauty.

What I found to be the most loving things about italy and her people is the open heart and warmth.

One can go to Italy alone and never feel like being alone.

It’s them welcoming you, trying to give you the best of all they have and the best of them.

From the heart.

And that, trust me it’s something I felt each day from my holiday there.

Happy to have completed this series, and sharing my experience with you.

What can I say? Loving Italy!

Traveling to Italy: dolce far niente

Please say yes when wondering if you should go Italy.

At least for learning what dolce far niente is.

Kindly quoting Wikipedia: “Borrowed from Italian dolce far niente (literally “sweet doing nothing, sweet idleness”).”

The sweet doing nothing has no schedule.

Here an example of it in the morning, when there is rush only if I would have chosen it to be.

Otherwise it was a mere indulgence in being in the moment.

I understood that we are rarely encouraged to just… be. Breathing in, being present and enjoying: a coffee, a friend, the chance for being present for a new day.

Nowadays almost everything is rushed up… from a simple meal to life itself.

Multi tasking is the killer of dolce far niente.

Meals are such an example of dolce far niente. Savoring the food with all the senses, without wondering what time is, what the prices are, what to see next.

Allowing a cold vino to wash out the passing day and preparing you for the next episode of Italian sweet life.

And that might be a delicious nap or the refreshing jazz music from Piazza San Margo from Venice.

What’s similar between these two?

Let’s take the nap behind the shades :

On fresh washed linens one can find peace when taking a nap while a sneaky summer breeze enters through the slightly opened doors, and invites to a sweet surrender in the pleasure of doing nothing.

Simple and amazing as that.

And if not sleepy but in mood for some nice music, this is where one could emerge feeling within himself .

Oh Italy, you never rush things up, you always slow us down, inviting us to love ourselves more, to talk to ourselves more, to be more kind .

Italy taught me that we need time to reconnect with ourselves.

I hope you will experience the dolce far niente next time you go there because it simply puts life into a new, different perspective.

Traveling to Italy: love

Type this on Instagram, please: LOVE.

There are more that 1 billion posts in this right moment .

Imagine how many years we would need to spend getting through all of them.. years in which other new  billions would see the light of day.

Italy is an incurable romantic: if some come for finding love, others come for celebrating love, and others to fall in love with Italy herself.

Thousands of love letters from trembling hands of lovers, millions of love notes form all around the world.

When taking the photo I had a feeling of being hugged by all those people who came here to write these.

I felt hugged by them while they whispered to me their love stories .

Thousands of “love locks” to mark their willing to keep the fire burning, the time to stay still in this sweet Italian surrender.

And yet time flows, we go with the flow: we date, we marry, we stay together or we get separated … everything changes, nothing stays the same, not even the Colosseum.

Venice always shows that people could have many faces. While love only asks for one: for the real self.

Italy taught me the warmth, the good, and in her secret ways she exemplified how whatever we put out there will come back to us. It’s just a matter of time.

The good or the bad, the love or the lack of it … they all come back.

Most of the people visiting it, like me send out good vibes her way, these vibes also turn Italy into a beautiful host and she embraces us all with her goodness… from love.

See? Karma always works.

Traveling to Italy: art

One can never claim to have seen it all in Italy.

An art lover would go a million times to Italy and fall in love with her a billion times.

I haven’t visited Milan until this summer.

And if everybody praises Milan for the amazing shopping offers, I praise it for the amazing art of the shopping location.

It felt like I stepped in a top class museum, without paying a dime, and yet allowed to be dazzled by such a beauty.

Time seemed to vanish and I just resumed to breath in all the beauty.

And if I haven’t visited Milan before, I did see Venice last year, and I simply couldn’t get enough of her.

So, this year, I went again straight for Piazza San Marco, on the channels, knowing what I expected for.

All the beauty from Piazza San Marco made me wonder how mankind was able to create such masterpieces when all was so rudimentary.

I still have my doubts, that by the time I am writing these lines, people could build such edifices..

Those almost laced statues telling a story of themselves, by the mere passion and imagination of people who conceived  in their minds such a project.

Buildings   are indeed breathtaking on the Roman soil, the same soil on which Enzo Ferrari dreamed of, and created his brand.

First I considered visiting only the Ferrari  museum from Modena, but under a glimpse of inspiration, I paid for the full experince: both Ferrari museums (form Modena and Maranello). That was the best decision of the day.

I was proved again what talent, hard work, a vision, and a brave man can acquire.

I felt that Ferrari is not only a top notch brand as we know, but Ferrari is art at its finest.

From the elegant and  fancy road cars way to the “fireball” cars they have in the Formulas.

I left the museums happy, inspired and ready for more beauty.

And of course, I didn’t have to wait too much. At all in fact.

And this is because artists express themselves on the streets singing out loud their stories, crying out their passions.

And i could see it in their eyes that they were not to be stopped.

One can not stop art from flooding freely.  Not when it inspires so many people.

Art united as all, no matter of ethnicity, religion or civil status.

We were all there breathing and taking Italy deep inside us.

Traveling to Italy: people

The tiles are hot, wheels pushing against them feeling sticky and yet…

People are coming.

By airplane, train, boat, cars.

It’s like a silent summon in an universal language that we all understand.

And we are here, ready to discover every corner, every street, every work of art that can greet us from each corner… to meet all the others who are just like us.

Italy is wandered up and down by groups of tourists gathered like ants, all following audio instructions, waiting for the next green light so they could reach the next street.

It was delightful to find this little girl fascinated by the pigeons from the piazza from Milan.

I could saw her eyes sparkling with joy, and taking her best pose so that her mother could capture that magic moment.

Her mother and me… because i also witnessed her happiness.

I witnessed that happiness and Italian people  pouring their souls into their passions. Modern time alchemists.

I learned… that like alchemists turned lead to gold so can we: transforming each of our experience into the best self-education.

Time flies by, people also, and while night unfolds over the heated Italy, even more groups emerge to indulge into a gelato at least.

People reaching out to people face to face, bonding like we used to once, when social media was less aggressive.

Italy is like a witch and a mother herself to all of us : she befriends everybody, so that we could love her unconditionally and visit her whenever she feels lonely.

Traveling to Italy: coffee and spritzes

“Un caffee per favore! ”

And the day begins.

“Un caffee” is what Italians refer to an espresso… because let’s face it, espresso is “the holy definition ” of coffee.

And they do not fool  around: a tiny cup with 60 ml of the best, strongest and creamiest coffees of them all.

I slowly take a sip and it’s like I live the moments when each bean has been harvested and roasted.

Coffee has in Italy a social meaning to people:  I see crowds  waiting for their coffee and cappuccino in a joyful peace, just like they are anticipating the magic liquor they are about to receive.

And because almost everything starts with it, so were these two I’m about to tell you about.

Being in Italy, I tried all kinds of gelato and other ice creams for a boost of freshness when heat was almost overbearing.

So it was this amazing ice cream sprinkled with with coffee syrup and drowned inamaretto, enjoyed as an escape in Piazza San Marco in Venezia.

And if I thought that was the best, here i was in a peaceful day in Modena, when this amazing “crema di caffee” stepped in.

How is it? Well, imagine one   espresso frozen and “fluffed up” until he couldn’t take it anymore.

That was a dream, caressing my tasting buds while i served it one teaspoon at a time, wishing it would have never ended.

Just like coffee is a religion, so it’s spending time with friends and family and enjoying their most famous.. Aperol spritz.

Ice cold, prosecco fizzing with a burst of volcano like color which reminded again that life is to be enjoyed one sip at a time.

Never rushing the days but tasting each one of them.

I hope you are doing this right this moment, while reading these lines.

Why traveling to Italy: food

And If Italy isn’t “Eataly”… then we all have a big problem.

Should I recommend you the vegan,  lactose free, “all things free” places in which you could eat?

I could, because they do exist.

I bet they are great, but i must confess: I took the photo and ran down the hills, to the places with real food.

Go ahead please and do ask me how you get to them, so i can aswer: by smelling.

Following a sense we have since forever I got to a heaven with clouds of fluffy mozarella and buratta, hills of prosciutto crudo and salumi.

A heaven in which the sunset is made of sun dried cherry tomatoes, falling over some fragrant potent pecorino.

Oh, did I mention all kinds of freshly baked focaccias, panninis? Yes, those too..

Moving over to lunch lets say… how about a pizza I wondered.

A pizza made with home made tomato juice, prosciutto and parmesan flakes.

A simple one, laughing at my senses when I took  the first bite and realized “Oh my God, is this what pizza is all about”? Yes , it is.

No worry for dinners, although most lovely trattorias are the ones from family bussinesses and those usually open up for dinner after 7pm.

If pizza for lunch wouldn’t it be a delicious pair for pasta at dinner?

And they do take pasta making very seriously. Just as you may have heard already.

Pairing that with a crisp Merlot, to wash away the sweetness of the lobster here there was: the beautiful end of an “eatalian day”.

All their passion for the food has a “home”: their literelly home and … the market.

Their markets are a feast for the eyes and the senses.

Fresh produce, Italian spirit to sell them , and buyers who seem to have all the time in the world to find that perfect something, being it funghi porcini or the Modena original aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar).

And now… what else can result from such passion if not the mere soul of Italy itself?

Rather tasty, isn’t it?

Why traveling to Italy: intro

Another year, where to?

Italy of course! Again? Why?

Because this is my Italy, the 2018 version, through my lenses of both camera and feelings.

If you are new here, allow me telling you I’ve done a 2017 series also, structured per visited places (Firenze, Venezia, San Gimignano, Pisa, Portofino, Cinque Terre).

In that series I dearly  love, I was the turist for the first time on Roman soil, amazed by everything.

This year though, after getting back home, after the camera cooled down and after my feet were not swollen anymore, I planned how to share to you my experience.

This time will be unfolding itself as: food, spritzes and caffee, people, love, art, “dolce far niente”, and .. ordinary at art of extraordinary.

These will be articles about how Italy makes one “feel” the above, how it embraces him with all she has to offer.

I chose this hearty approach of writing  because if you google “Why travelling to Italy” most of the  articles one finds are very specific: lists, itineraries, tops of places to be checked… Not a doubt they get really handy when in need, and all my appreciation to them.

Yet… very rare the articles that could transmit the reader… the experience.

The mood, the scents.. to make him daydreaming of once getting there to try every bit and bob.

So, I am embarking in this challenge, hoping that with you by my side.

Hoping you will love reading it as much as i will love writing it.

Your sincerely, 2018 lover of Italy: Andreea.

Patience or not…

And yes, I am not that…

Patient, of course…

 

I mean I wasn’t patient enough to wait for your question, wasn’t I?

Enlightenment

I was looking at this photo taken in Florence a month ago, and remembered a friend commenting on it, saying that one could not have dropped a pin on that bridge.

And she  was right…  no pins, but lots of people in those cars, people who needed to be in places, to meet others, to solve issues.

And yet, there they were all, stuck you’d say.

In fact it’s a matter of perspective.

Stuck was the impatient one, who got angry counting all the things he missed by standing there.

The patient ones realized that some situations are out of our direct control.

And then they relaxed, and tried to make the most of it.

A positive and constructive perspective: they  made to-do-lists, planned the next meal, listened to podcasts, to audiobooks.

They shifted their moods in seconds, using time in their favor…

All by turning around unpleasant moments into pleasant and self growing opportunities.

Through this perspective, I remind myself that I need to work more, persevere and I will be more patient too.

It takes practice, but walking needed practice many years ago, and there I was, walking on Florence’s streets.