venice | black and white

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Just a few black and white pictures of Venice from last weekend. Having looked at the weather forecast and knowing it was going to rain I thought I might right a post about all the things you can do in Venice when it rains. But we still walked around an awful lot, stopped for a coffee and stopped for lunch.

Maybe next time.

Though see the picture in the middle there with the guys at the table playing guitars. That is totally why I love Italy.

rome | tips on eating healthy


Italy, the land of gelato and carbs. However, because I now live in the country, I don’t necessarily feel the need to indulge in the carb fest that I might have previously ensued on when visiting Rome.  So when I was there a few weeks back I was on the hunt for some slightly more balanced meals. Not that I am saying you shouldn’t eat pasta galore when you visit the eternal city! No, by all means indulge! But if you get to day three of the carbo-loading and want some lighter suggestions here you go!

I don’t know if it was because I was just because I was looking but I feel like the city is definitely expanding on its choice of lighter and healthier eating places. I didn’t get to try them all but there is always next time.

Markets and Grocers

First and foremost visit the markets. Fresh and cheap produce and an insight into how Italians actually eat. Pick up a few bits to snack on through the day rather than getting ‘hangry’ and eating a whole pizza. Warning though: don’t touch the produce. Ask or point to what you want.

Ciao Ceccho

This is a slow food restaurant; a concept I hadn’t heard applied to a restaurant but I thought was intriguing. All of the dishes are Italian. focussed on regional dishes with quality dishes. I had ravioli with a wild greens stuffing and a gorgonzola sauce. Now that might sound less than healthy but I think the difference here was the serving size was actually just right. A smallish dish but satisfying. Tim had a traditional chickpea dish which had a broth and was very tasty and incredibly filling.


A healthy ‘fast food’ type place with a few seats and a range of smoothies, salads, soups, quiches, sandwiches etc.  We just had a light bite and it was pretty tasty if a little bit pricier than a take away pizza slice. Great to stock up before the train although the vegetarian sandwich options were a bit limited.


Of course eating all the healthy food means I did get to have a calorific but delicious traditional Roman Jewish treat for breakfast one morning! Head to the Jewish quarter, find the place with the queue (I don’t even know the name but it is on Vicolo della Serpe, oppose the Kosher Bistro Caffe which did some lovely falafel and salads) and ask for the ricotta and cherry pastry. We headed there early in the morning and avoided the queue.

trieste | strange but true

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I’ve had an idea for a project for a while now and this is the first step. Let me introduce you to some beautiful places in my (no longer so) new town … This is the first of many I hope, Let me introduce you to stranomavero.

stranomavero is a boutique store in Trieste which I regularly walk past, gaze in the window and sometimes save up my pennies to buy beautiful bags (okay that only happened once but still). Antonella, the owner of the store, started designing jewellery 14 years ago and set up the original store 7 years ago. The interior is simple and comfortable, kind of like you have walked into a friend’s stylish apartment. A friend’s stylish apartment that is full of stylish clothes. That you can buy.

What I really love about the store is that it exclusively stocks Italian designed collections. A great way to support the local economy!

I asked Antonella a few questions about the shop and Trieste(which I hope I have reasonably translated from her responses which were in Italian. Thank goodness for Google Translate):

Why should a visitor to Trieste come to stranomavero?

stranomavero is conceptually and philosophically an international store in Trieste. It is a “concept store” with a combination of alloy wire accessories by myself and clothing from Italian designers. The result is a unique style that is non-conformist and decoupled from the fashion trends and instead is inspired by creativity and passion.

What makes Trieste special?

Trieste is a multicultural border town with Latin, Slavic and Germanic populations interacting on a daily basis. So in a rather small area there is a collection of various identities, souls, cultures which are all so different. The Italian stands out because it was always claimed as such, but at the same time there is a jostle for space and visibility by the other identities which are never silenced. This feature attracts and appeals to those who come to visit the city.

What is your favourite thing to do in Trieste?

I like to walk along the streets of the Old Town (Cavana, the old Jewish Quarter, Rive) and look at the palaces of Liberty Trieste, I savour and enjoy the air of nostalgic Trieste which flourished during the Austrian rule. The Bora (a locally famous winter wind which is freezing cold and very strong) is what I love the most. Walking against the wind, along the waterfront or on the dock by the Maritime Station when the sea is all abuzz …. so much life energy!!!!

read ’em and eat

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I think Freya’s key to happiness is such a perfect insight.

Every few months I resolve to be better at staying in touch with my friends around the world. And mostly I fail but this is a beautiful idea to keep connected with your global community that I might steal.

Thanks to my friend Donald I discovered the five minute journal this week. You can buy the app, an actual journal or they share the whole journal (which has some research and explanations) as an Issuu so you can read it and then just go make your own journal with a notebook you have lying around. Admittedly I have just done the latter because I didn’t like the idea of doing it on my phone and I wanted to start straight away. It is definitely a really helpful tool in helping me to live my word for the year, Intentional. I have now done it for five days but have changed the ‘gratitude’ question slightly in line with advice from Marie Forleo about making gratitude more precise.

I made this beetroot soup the other day. I have to say I was a bit … scared … about what beetroot soup would taste like but it was really good. And it felt so healthy I was sure I lost weight just eating it! (Okay maybe not but it felt like I was getting all the good stuff). Plus with the little bit that was left-over I added it to an abundance bowl as a dressing. I love multitasking food.

I think I might take up Rosie’s call for learning/re-learning a skill. I have a few in mind, I just need to get some materials …


I haven’t had too many exciting breakfasts since my return to Italy. This morning I met a friend for coffee though and this is the standard Italian breakfast out. Un brioche con cioccolato e un capo in b, per favore. Seriously I don’t know how they stay so slim! I don’t often have this for breakfast. In fact this is probably the first time in about 4 months, but sometimes you wake up late on a Sunday and are eager to catch up with a friend. A ‘capo in b‘ is short speak for a cappuccino in bicchiere (a glass). The cappuccino’s in Trieste are much smaller in size than the rest of Italy. Just an espresso glass size. Which is plenty big enough for me. Also Trieste is the only place (as far as I know) where you ask for a coffee like that. Even an espresso is called a ‘nero’ (black).

There you go a little lesson on coffee in Trieste. This year I plan to share a little more about the city which I hope you will enjoy. At some point I will also pull out my actual camera to start taking pictures again!

trieste photo days


Yesterday there was a ‘photo marathon’ in Trieste. Something like a treasure hunt where you get given some ‘themes’ to shoot within a period of time. I thought it would be fun knowing that my limited Italian would probably make it a little hard. Little did I know that all the ‘clues’ where going to be sayings in dialect. (Yup we have to get to grips not only with Italian but the local dialect here too!).

I thought I would share some of my new favourite sayings and some of the photos that I entered into the little competition. First up the five I entered:


El sol magna le ore (dialect) | Il sole mangia le ore (Italian)

Direct translation: The sun eats the hour; meaning: Times passes inexorably.


Veci che varda i cantieri (dialect) > Basically this translates as ‘It is easy to find the elderly in Trieste looking at construction sites with their hands behind their back’. I basically then took a whole bunch of pictures with old men’s hands behind their back. Brilliant.


Stuco e pitura fa bela figura (dialect) | Stucco e vernice fanno effetto. (Italian)

Direct translation: Stucco and paint are effective; meaning: Just a little bit of make up makes you beautiful.


Morbin (dialect) > Translates as being of good humour, cheerful and full of life.


Amor xe amor non xe brodo de fasoi (dialect) | L’amore non è una minestra di fagioli, è una cosa seria (Italian)

Direct translation: Love is not bean soup, it is a serious thing.

And some other little sayings:

Ancora un litro de quel bon (dialect) > Another litre of wine is good

Gnampolo (dialect) > Translates as ‘A person who is a little senile (in a good way) sleeps standing up.

La vita che voio xe a barcola sul scoio (dialect) | Le vita che voglio è a Barcola a non fare niente (Italian) > The life I want is at Barcola with nothing to do (Barcola is our local sea front/beach).

Una s’cinca e un boton (dialect) | Una biglia di vetro ed un bottone (Italian) > The direct translation is ‘a glass marble and a button’ and means that ‘I didn’t pay much’.

Xe pezo el tacon che el buso (dialect) | È peggio la toppa dello strappo (Italian) > Translates as ‘the patch is worse than the tear’ or the cure is worse than the remedy.

And perhaps my favourite

Xe piú giorni che luganighe (dialect) | Ci sono piú giorni che salsicce (Italian) > Direct translation: There are more days than sausage. Which apparently means ‘What did not happen today will happen another day’. I don’t quite get it but think it is brilliant!

venice | three things


Blushing colours


Signage Love


Foggy days (see see more of the foggy day at Steller)

Venice has definitely grown on me since our first visit (prior to us moving 2 hours away from it). Funny that. Also note that many museums, including the Architectural Biennale, are closed on Mondays. But if the day is perfectly, beautifully foggy you can fall a little bit in love with Venice.

Also you can follow me over on Instagram. I’m @mycreative