…which unfortunately, this year, I will miss! :-(
(but I won’t miss the opportunity to ramble about how much I love Slovenia, and so… here we go!)
Kurentovanje is the traditional Carnival festival taking place in Ptuj, the oldest city of Slovenia located in the North-Eastern area of the country. When I was living in Slovenia, Ptuj was one of my favourite day-trip destinations: next to a beautiful lake (Ptujsko Jezero), Ptuj has many interesting churches and monasteries, a Castle, Slovenia’s oldest wine cellar, a great thermal spa (Terme Ptuj), lots of storks nesting on its red roofs and, during this time of the year, the coolest carnival ever!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.