Slovenia has no more secrets for me. Ha. However, I knew the rural area of Bela Krajina lesser than other regions. Except for a few times when I drove across it heading to Zagreb, I hadn’t been in Novo Mesto and its surroundings since Rock Otočec 2008. And even if I still hang on truly, madly, dearly to the memories of that crazy weekend, nine years later I’m trading mud wrestling for the charm of a landscape resort –Big Berry– nestled into this unspoilt corner of Slovenia.
Standing at the end of the small peninsula of Mahdia, at the foot of the Turkish stronghold Borj El-Kebir, the white graves follow one another towards the turquoise sea and they all point in the same direction, which is the direction of Mecca.
The Mahdia cemetery was founded in the 10th century, which is when the Arabs arrived in the village, and it is still in use.
For my fellow graveyard enthusiasts, I’m keeping the tradition alive (no pun intended) by posting a ‘cemetery special’ on Halloween.
This year’s special is on cemeteries in Bristol, the town where I learnt the very English distinction between ‘cemetery’ and ‘graveyard’ (which can be ‘churchyard’ in some -obvious- cases). Keep reading →
Searching for authenticity in Florence can be quite a hard challenge: averring that the town is overcrowded with tourists would be an understatement and the fact that I had screenings to attend at fixed times in the city center made my off-the-beaten-path exploration of Florence trickier. Moreover, that weekend I spent at the Balkan Florence Express film festival was exceptionally rainy, and so now and then I was forced to stop and shelter in some nice café.
This is not my first time in Venice, although it’s the first time I’ve really liked this city. Usually, I stopped in Venice for a few hours during my Rome – Ljubljana journeys, so I had never explored the Venetian lagoon as far as its most underrated islands. This time, instead, by spending almost one week in the area before heading to Slovenia, I rose to the challenge of exploring Venice off the beaten path.
One of my favourite things to do in Barcelona was wandering around cemeteries.
Unfortunately I had the time for visiting only two of them, which are the Poblenou Cemetery and the Montjuic Cemetery, the latter being the setting for one of my favourite movie scenes ever: the cemetery scene in Almodovar’s ‘All about my mother’.
I’ve crafted a special post for this occasion, which features my favourite cemeteries in Rome: from the hidden gem under the viaduct to the lovely Protestant cemetery where Keats and Shelley are buried, without forgetting the monumental cemetery of Rome, which is an open-air museum itself.
Enjoy the most eternal side of the Eternal City!
Do you remember when I stated that I’m always up for a trip to Naples?
I’ve been feeling pretty moody lately, as this summer began with an upsetting issue that, let’s just say, forced me to redefine some stuff in my life.
Anyway, the point is that, as I needed something to cheer me up, I opted for that cheerfulness and enthusiasm for life that only Neapolitans have (and, well, for their great food too!).
“Are you going to the islands?” an old man approached me outside Thessaloniki train station.
“Nope, I’m staying in town,” I replied, folding the city map and hiding it in my pocket.
“Why aren’t you going to the islands? Everybody goes to the islands to drink ouzo and party on the beach. I can help you find a ticket to go to the islands.”
I asked him to show me the way to the hotel instead but, since he was firmly convinced that, as a foreigner with a backpack, I must head to the islands, I said goodbye and took the first street away from the station.