Paris encore une fois

I’m definitely in love with Paris and I’ll always find a good reason to pay a visit, a short one twice a year makes me definitely feel better.
Charming and enchanted, Paris is a “movable feast” (is Hemingway’s quote) appealing and teasing as only a femme fatale can be.

Now I’m exactly dealing with the first visit of the year when Christmas is over with its last lights and sales are on!!! Joking indeed even if the Grand Magasins de la Ville Lumière are worth a visit after having walked along the river banks and deeply breathed fragrance and tastes of the refined cuisine parisienne.

Where to start? From a place in the middle of the 5th and 6th arrondissements.
Right from here from la Place de Saint Michel.
I’ve got some good memories and enough time get lost in Gilbert Jaune bookshop to sip a coffee seated outside as a genuine Parisian.
We are in the Latin Quarter, the beating heart of the city. A night and day, summer and winter bustling and lively place, St Michel’s Square is always crowded no matter if it’s sunny or a rainy day. Its cafes are open round the clock with its bookshops and the bistrot.

The square is famous for this unique atmosphere but also for the fountain a neo renaissance monument of Husmann period built in 1860 by Gabriel Davioud, which portrays St. Michael the Archangel fighting against two ferocious waterspouting dragons.
Even in winter the music comes out of the bars along with the flavours of Greek, Italian and Arab restaurants in the little lanes leading to Notre Dame.

The wounded gothic masterpiece is standing still in front of me in all its beauty, it was my first time after the terrible fire of 2019 and I’m glad to see the tangible efforts of a prompt reconstruction, the Arabian Phoenix is arising from the ashes.

I’m lost in Paris as every time I go I pay a visit to the places of my heart and I discover some hidden gems, I do not know where to start to make you plan your next travel no matter if you are on business or on a romantic escape.

Not to miss:
• The Louvre Museum and the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death till the 24th of February.
• A promenade in the Jardins des Tuileries from the Carrousel du Louvre Arch where you can enjoy a great view of the Eiffel Tower on the left and Place de la Concorde in the perspective in front of you.
• Indulge yourself in a coffee and a dessert at the Les Nemours in Place Colette, even if you’re not Angelina Jolie starring in the Tourist you dream about it.
• Enter the hidden gardens of the Palais Royal and an architectural jewel of rare perfection with its arcades, design art galleries, antiques shops, cafes and top level fashion brands.
• A quick glance to the Centre Pompidou by night is a must, at least for an Italian as Renzo Piano’s futuristic and farsighted building is part of Paris as the roman ruins of the proud Lutetia.
• A breathtaking visit of Saint Germain des Pres and the starry vault. Do you know you can adopt a Saint Germain Star on the celestial ceiling of the Monk’s Choir?
• Les bouquinistes along Quai des Grands Augustin, a box of assorted macaron, a a ride on the Carrousel.
If I have a ticket to ride for the Carrousel I’ll chose a withe horse close my eyes dreaming to wake up in the Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
If we stop dreaming we’ll die because dreaming is the most authentic expression of our soul.

From Paris with love ❤

Louvre Museum and Leonardo da Vinci
La Fontaine de Saint Michel
Le Nemours
Place Colette
Le Carrousel du Louvre
Les bouquinistes de Quai des Grands Augustin – Rive Gauche
Jardins des Tuileries
On the traces of the oldest church in Paris
The starry vault of Saint Germain des Prés
Le Centre Pompidou by night
Hotel de Ville and its Carrousel
A bench in the gardens of the Palais Royal
Palais Royal from Place Colette
Palais Royal entering the gardens
Palais Royal – the gardens
Manolo Blahnik boutique in the Palais Royal garden
What’s on in Paris!
Un bistrot parisien sur l’île de Saint Louis
Rue de Buci
Notre Dame the Arabian Phœnix
The exhibition on the rebirth of Notre Dame
Les macarons

The Castle of Pralormo in bloom! #tulips

A Sunday escape at less than two hours by car from home. Spring reaches its apex at The Castle of Pralormo, an imponent structure dating back to the Middle Ages and lately transformed into a noble residence. Today we can admire a building that dates back to the nineteenth century and that’s the private residence of the Counts Beraudo of Pralormo who own it from the 1680.

The estate includes, in addition to the castle, the historical park, flowered garden, the Orangery, ancient greenhouse for citrus fruits, and the Castellana rural estate and the farm.

The castle hosts lots of cultural events among which the most colourful one in April: Messer Tulipano with the flowering of tens of thousands of blooming tulips, anecdotes and curiosities about these magnificent flowers.

This year is the twentieth anniversary of this the great exhibition that offers different varieties and a different colour theme and this year hosts a collection of black tulips. I love them!

#Sea and Sardinia… inspired by D.H Lawrence for my never-ending journey

Ready to set off ready for Sardinia and for the first time in life I’m over determined to leave my footprints there. It seems like someone is calling me back to the place were I do belong, at least for a half! The stunning Alghero.

That’s a genetic matter.
#Sea and Sardinia by D. LAWRENCE is attracting me from the bookshelf in the corridor, for me it’s one of the #musthave you can wear in any season and when you open it you can get lost in his journey in the magic island where the brilliant colors of the Mediterranean sea dissolve  into a even more brilliant sky.

It’s almost sunset at le Bombarde beach

Wake up early on the morning to walk to the pinewood Pineta di Mariapia and be captured by its Mediterranean scents and …

its clearest sea

now relax and enjoy the Pineta for a while then you can plan your next trip

It’s sunset and you cannot go home without exploring the Porto Conte Regional Park and the Capo Caccia-Isola Piana Protected Marine Area…can you see the sleeping Giant who was in love with the moon and gently talked to her till she was shining in the sky.

We are back to the fascinating a vibrant marina out of the walls and at the gate of the historic centre.

Let me say this pic of mine is a masterpiece but nature has made this place so perfect to make my heart beating every time as it was the first!

The mistral is blowing faster than my thoughts, I had my vision as Lily Briscoe had with the last stoke on the canvas – Virginia Woolf – “To the Lighthouse”.

Also Sardina is the land of contrasts, where many civilizations and intruders have been leaving their footprints since the night of times: Phoenicians, Romans, Pisans, Catalans, billionaire yachtsmen, snob, passionate and indolent writers. A place  “lost between Europe and Africa, and belonging to nowhere,” as Lawrence wrote, but that attracted him so much in 1921.

A vivid description of the island of its inhabitants, costumes and religious parades, food and landscapes but it’s the sea that captures the eyes over and over again:
“The sea was in the near distance, blue, blue, and beating with light. It seemed more light than watery”.

….I’ll be back in a blink, once there I’ll take my time to breathe the sea breeze and once regenerated I’ll capture images and sensations that will give me confort in winter days.

A never-ending love – Sea and Sardinia

Bard Fortress: the place with a view

The fascinating medieval old village of #Bard and its pictoresques lanes leading to the fortress lives you really breathless, first as the road is winding and so steeped then because of the amazing view on the muntains.
I did it because you cannot enjoy this experience if you take the lift but next time I’ll do it in spring!
Once reached the fortress walking under the sun you need a strong coffee and a bottle of chilled mineral water than you can start the visit.  Great exhibitions at any time of the year, two were tailored made for me:
– Steve Mc Curry The Mountain men
– Da Raffaello a Balla
Do not forget that Fort Bard is located long the ancient Via Francigena route that joins Canterbury to Rome in the Middle Ages. The route crosses the entire Aosta Valley, from Gran San Bernardo to Point-Saint-Martin village, going down to Piedmont.
You can discover the itinerary on the official website:
If you wish to have detailed info on the Bard Fortress you can visit the official website:
and discove this impressive building now seat of prestigious exhibitions and festivals was built in shape we can see today by the House of Savoy in the 19th century.
When you finish your visit you can easily reach the village downhill and enjoy delicious typical food in one of the cosy restaurants you can find hidden in secret courts of stone houses; little jewels with secret passages leading from one room to another where you can smell the perfumes of bread, cured ham #bosses #saitmarcel and polenta concia all served accompanied by local wines the #fumin and #donnas.
A suggestion for lunch:




A day in the mountains looking for #pilgrims and #haunted castles


A lighter shade of blue above Fénis castle a fantastic sky scattered with soft creamy  clouds.
I saw it standing there in all its imponence  a real outstanding proud example of Middle Ages architecture, even if altered during the centuries till 1936 when the second ring of walls was built.
It remains one of the most renowned and scenic castles in the Valle d’Aosta. Apart from its extraordinary beauty, it owes its fame to an its difensive towers and brettices and to its peculiar pentagonal shape nestled  in two circles of walls a real fortress!!! that, from a middle-distance, it seems  that it is coming straight from a fairy-tale. The Challant Family, the owners of the castle, used to give hospitality to the pilgrims walking along the #ViaFrancigena, the ancient road starting from Canterbury and leading to #Rome.
There are so nany reasons that makes this castle worth a visit because of its beauty and because it seems to be inhabited by ghosts! A superb location for them 👻visitors claimed that they heard noises from a floor upstairs (the second floor) that is closed…as they say it’s under refurbishment.
I do not believe in haunted places but a dark side, a misterious one makes them more appealing.


Blue sky instead of deep blue sea….#Valle d’Aosta

FB_IMG_1500494311465FB_IMG_1500494303568FB_IMG_1500494897364I won’t never forget the first love the one that made my heart beating as no one could never do! The sea I obviously mean ❤ however I’ll post in a while amazing shots of breathtaking landscape’s in the mountains, where art, gastronomy, pilgrimage ways combine to offer you a valid alternative to the seaside also in summer.

Valle d’Aosta just for a break…coming soon

#pointsaintmartin #bard #viafrancigena

The colour I love #blue

I’m back to my fist love! I’m back to my blog as spring is leaving the place to summer and I colletting the best shots I’ve been taken since the beginning of 2017. Leisure or business it doesn’t matter when your camera is facing the sea and it immediately becomes a room with a view, the “fil rouge” of my life.

So coming back to us…..The fishing port of Rovinj on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula in Croatia has been the first one in 2017.

An authentic stairway to the sea attracting me so much that I was about to fall into the sea.

#Raffaellitasposh in wonderland

A voyage through time in the French Riviera!



Longing for my deserved presummer break in the lively Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, one of the place I love most. Maybe I’ll  meet  someone famous  you’ll invite me for a coffee as it was one of the most sought-after locations by both artists and the aristocracy of the Belle Epoque. #RaffaTheCollectionist and me live outside time!!! So it can happen ❤
I’ll wait for her in the little square of the
medieval village huddled around the castle rears up above Cap Martin. I wish we could smell the typically Mediterranean vegetation and go for delightful walks….and meet Le Corbusier.
Culture and art is also rooted there as this place was really appreciated by Le Corbusier. A path bearing his name leads to sumptuous belvedere.

Never ask the sea if it’s time to leave.  Feel it under your skin and breathe. Fell free and surf the waves. 😉