mood board no 9 is a reflection of what’s on my mind now that i have just come back from italy.

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italy was generous with us. we had great weather in spite of the forecast. we visited bologna, milan, florence, siena, pisa, fiesole and venice. i saw pheasants in the wild for the first time in my life. we had marinated carciofi – artichokes. and lunch in a local tavola calda – warm tray. we, of course, discovered a great local gelato place in florence – gelateria dei neri. it’s artisanal, modest and it will rock your world. the locals love it and that’s always a great sign.

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and last, but certainly not least: on saturday, i went to the coolest party in florence. i will come back with all the details and the pictures!

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italy seems like a non-stop international congress of tourists. it’s constantly invaded by all nations, shapes and sizes. some dragging around stubborn luggage or children. some trampling each other on the attractions sites, taking pictures and buying souvenirs. do yourselves a favour: try to avoid this invasion. find the places where the locals hang. that’s the real italy.

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i was assaulted by the hoards of tourists, but also by thousands of azaleas and camelias in bloom, by tiny zig-zagging pipistrelli – bats and by snack carbloads – pizza, paninis, etc.

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it was a tiresome but satisfying week. and i had this moment of grace.

on saturday evening, i had just left the above mentioned party and i was passing by wine glass holders and loud city strollers. and i loved florence, for the first time. possibly because the town was tourist free, invaded by its own people for a change. they were hanging out outside the bars, chatting as the dark got darker.  the sun had set, the air was a bit better than cool and i was navigating the many streetlets with my inner compass set on my hotel, on the other side of the town. a perfectly imperfect moment that will probably come back to haunt me later.

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one week in italy and offline. i finally stopped stressing about preparations and research and felt ready to go to tokyo. on may the 9th, i’m taking off and i can’t wait!

i hope you enjoyed checking out the new face of my mood board.

photo credits: little aesthete