27.1.15

23.1.15

As seen on the streets of Athens: a street art guide

Tsakonas, Omonia, Street art Athens Greece
Athens, seen from above, is a white ocean of roofs meeting the Mediterranean sea somewhere at the horizon. 
Athens, street view, is a very colourful town: posters, installations, kiosks and a lot of street art (a lot! Really!), including several large outdoor murals. 
Some of them were possible thanks to many creative projects undergone by the Athens Municipality (especially before the Olympic Games of 2004) which involved some major local street artists, often coming straight from the Athens School of Fine Arts (which runs a programme of street art studies, by the way). 
If this effort of beautifying the city is the sparkle which transformed Athens’ street art from a niche subculture into something the whole town can relate to, the economical crisis is the fuel which made Athens’ street art grow and evolve. 
Nowadays the scenario is that of a town full of (colour-washed) energy: graffiti hunting around Athens can reveal both large, colourful and majestically painted murals and rebellious, most spontaneous and protest-driven street art, sort of “social messages” on walls; and the most amazing thing is that often the same talented street artist could be making both. 

12.1.15

Athens for foodies

gyros pita athens food foodies guide
From the very heart of the Mediterranean basin, Greek cuisine is made up of a wide variety of dishes mirroring the long history, the variegated landscape and the crossroads’ nature of this country. From my personal experience in Athens Greek cuisine is full of meat (it was literally everywhere!) as traditional fish dishes are more likely to be found on the islands, vegetables and tasty savory pies (tyropita –the one with cheese- and spanakopita –filled with spinach- a.k.a. the Greek version on my beloved Balkan burek). Wandering around downtown Athens you will find plenty of nice restaurants, taverns and cafés: here is a selection of my favourite ones! 

Καλή σας όρεξη!

Enjoy your meal!  

6.1.15

An evening with STMTS

STMTS street art athens greece

Stamatis loves Toulouse-Lautrec, Rembrandt and Dalì, but also fellow street artists such as Blu, Roa and the Greek artist Alexandros Vasmoulakis. 

Walking around downtown Athens you will surely notice his paste-up works: large and colorful sketches of children’s expressive faces. 

Thanks to a common friend, I had the chance to meet Stamatis while I was in Athens and we had an interesting talk about his art and the overall Athens’ street art scene. 

31.12.14

Happy New Year from Athens!

Athens, Attica, Greece
Happy New Year Folks! 

I wish you a 2015 full of happiness and a lot of travel!

I’m in Athens (Greece) right now, having a great time -despite the cold- and exploring the town far and wide: I really like this place!
Here 15 pictures from my first days in Athens… as soon as I come back (R)home I will write a more articulated post, I promise! :-)
(well, not just one, you know…)

Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος!

28.12.14

One day in Salerno: between street art and lighting art

Salerno, Italy

I am not a religious person, but I always liked Christmas because it meant two weeks away from school, or –now- from my desk job (well… it’s actually less than 2 weeks, but still… it’s holiday time!). 

While I am counting down the days to my week in Athens, I decided I deserved a holiday anticipation and so I organized a day-trip to Salerno with my parents; thanks to the high speed train, it took us only two hours to get to Salerno, which made me add it to my list of perfect day-trips from Rome. 

23.12.14

The M.U.Ro. walking tour: and so I'm back graffiti hunting at Quadraro

Lucamaleonte M.U.Ro. Quadraro street art Roma

You already know how much I like M.U.Ro., the Urban Art Museum of Rome. 

At the very top of my Top 10 off-the-beaten path spots in Rome, M.U.Ro. gives to all street art lovers the hope that even the ancient and classical Rome could become a street art Mecca. 

Since my last visit in February 2014 many new murals have been painted and I was really looking forward to come back to check them out!   

17.12.14

Abandoned Tuscany

ghost towns in Tuscany, Italy

One thing I didn’t know about Tuscany is that the region is full of ghost towns, or –better- ghost villages. 
There are so many that I would have never managed to visit all of them, and so I picked the three which were most likely along my itinerary of the week (Volterra – Siena – Pisa) and consider it one more reason to come back to Tuscany soon. 
And so this time I visited Poggio Santa Cecilia (SI), Buriano (PI) and Villa Saletta (PI), all three charmingly suspended within another dimension, but obviously I already made a bucket list with more abandoned sites in Tuscany waiting to be explored. 

13.12.14

Inside the Great Mosque of Rome

the Great Mosque of Rome Italy Moschea di Roma

One of the greatest aspect of Rome is that you can both travel and mingle with different cultures even sticking around the same town. Looking for the “world within Rome”, I usually happen to discover some of the most beautiful minor sights of the Eternal City, as I did this morning by visiting the Great Mosque of Rome

Even if there are several spots around Rome where Muslims gather to pray (usually apartments or garages arranged for the purpose), this is the only Islamic temple in Rome. 

5.12.14

Volterra and Valdicecina: exploring Tuscany off-the-beaten path

abandoned mental asylum in Volterra, Tuscany, Italy, urban exploration
When I was invited to a cena galeotta (convicts' dinner) at Volterra State Prison I couldn't help turning the invitation into a one week holiday to explore Tuscany, to enjoy its gentle hills and their countless autumn shades and -why not- also to do nothing but sip a good cup of tea in front of the warm hearth.
It goes without saying that I didn't last long in front of the warm hearth, but I had an amazing time exploring the area of Volterra and Cecina Valley instead! So, within a couple of days, I visited a copped mine closed in 1907, the quaint village of Montecatini Valdicecina, a ghost village called Buriano, the beautiful Volterra and I finally checked off the spot at the very top of my "Tuscany bucket list": the abandoned mental asylum in Volterra and the decadent cemetery where its "guests" were buried.