Van Gogh museum: my colorful soundtrack

Shame on me to be sarcastic over something so serious like cutting off your ear...especially if we're talking abut a genius at high levels, but this visit to the museum was totally driven by my iPod shuffle and the emotions I felt in this particular situation, due to the soundtrack, had been influenced solo much by the sounds.
As I get on line to enter the building my shuffle hits "Come on everybody" di Eddie Cochran, to underline the quite long line ahead and my will to start watching the master pieces of the maestro.


I have to go through a metal detector (which makes me feel at the airport...and I love that!), but once in it's suddenly all about him. That's when the next song comes up : "It's only Rock & Roll" by Rolling Stones .
I happen to be in front of the first colorful paintings by this time; I've seen them before, maybe on school books or on some fancy art book, but you can already recon the brushes Vincent Van Gogh so popular all around the world.

The first paintings are just unbelievable...and I haven't come across to the famous ones yet! As you're enjoying all this, all of a sudden you get to a part of the building where the drawings turns into black and white and are on paper instead of on a canvas...they're sketches representing the studies of the great painter followed by the "dark" paintings, a moment in which Vince still didn't undertake the colorist current. It's amazing how my iPod can realize (yes, it's human, it thinks, it knows my what!?!?) what I'm feeling in front of such beauties and choose the perfect track for this moment; it's time for The Beatles and their "Pepperland Laid Waste".
I'm surprised by this melody! Such an unknown track that fits perfectly with what is in front of me . I turn down the volume a little bit just to make it more even with the sound surrounding me in the real world outside my headphones and there we go...the balance has been found!

Quintana Ro, Mexico

I'm kind of excited for writing on my blog after such a long time, and I'm glad I can do this because I'm on vacation in Amsterdam visiting my sweet E.
This last part of my trip took place from the very south of Quintana Roo, because I was entering Mexico from Belize.
It all started in Majahual (or Mahahual, as you prefer). After an endless trip on a couple of busses, I got to this (once) fishermen village at night with no reservation and dirty as a sweating donkey.
To make a long story short, a drunk fisherman takes me to an under construction villa where a bunch of his friends (fishermen as well) sleep; I can get an hummock hanging in a shity place for 5$ a day. DEAL!
At first I'm a little bit concerned, because Taka Taka (that's one of them) is shit faced and still willing to drink, but after talking to them sipping on an "I don't know what kind of spirit made out of sugar cane" I understand they're fine. I stack my stuff in a hiden corner and I go out discovering the town.

They will be about 6 unforgettable days, spent on the beach disfrutando and getting to know many interesting people, each one with something to teach.
Among the people I met I can't mention Bruno, Urs and Martin. This 3 amazing swiss friends having breakfast at the same bar where I was, ended up inviting me over their tremendous place where I spent 3 days as a king chillin' out with them. I can't remember Bruno's place name at the moment, but as soon as it come back to my mind I will totally publish it! A paradise.

Tulum is another highlight of this part of the tour.
I was a little but concerned that this was gonna be a very touristic place, and the first impact wasn't that nice as a matter of fact. But that's just because I have seen shit yet!

This endless stretch of beach must have seriously seamed like paradise to the first men who got here a long time ago! The sand is blinding, the waters warm and turquoise and the nature is just massive.
The coast in Tulum is divided into two kind of situations.
At the end of the only road linking Tulum town to the beach, you can either go right or left. If you go right you'll find a million of "EcoResorts" some of which might be very expensive. There's also a couple of camping situations but the one I experimented wasn't confortable at all (Cenote Encantado 1320). If you take a left instead, you'll head towards the ruins area where the famous Maya culture had its access to the sea. This part of the coast line is much more wilder, and you'll be able to enjoy some real relax if you let your self go (and it's not hard here!). Here you can find a couple of camping sites and they'll be in your budget for sure.
I stayed in town, at the end, in a hostel called "Weary Traveler" and to tell you the truth I was very appy with it! Friendly atmosphere and a great table in the middle of the garden where all the backpackers would hung out, dine or just drink having a chat. Typical hostel atmosphere, but you know...situations make places cozy!

Don't forget to ask for the "Banco Chinchorro"

Religions around the world

Incense all over...


Ghost from Antigua...


Mystic smoke


the weight of religion



Are you running out of money, want to travel anyway and have a great experience abroad?!
Here's a site where you could find some good opportunities, get the chance to live and work in the nature and eventually find new friends.
I'd go for it if I were you.


Although I didn't spend so much time in this country, I can not say it really impressed me compared to what I've seen during this same trip through Central America. It's way more expensive then Mexico and Guatemala, but does not have any better coast line or points of interest.
The first impression you get at your arrival in Belize City is not that confortable due to the rude people I unfortunatly met. Maybe I was unlucky, but to tell you the truth these huge black guys you meet around (and I'm not racist AT ALL) don't really do anything to make you feel home (and at the customs you find the biggest assholes ever!!!).

Flores, Peten, Guatemala

This little island just off the shore of the "Laguna de Peten" is the perfect starting point to visit all the beauties this region has to offer, and the "Frida" hostel is hands down the place to stay. Most of the Lonely Planet travelers head to an hostel called "Los Amigos" just because they don't have their own brain and like to be robbed, but they have no idea there's a little corner of paradise just next to it where you can enjoy a cozy enviroment placed on a sweet little square and ran by a lovely owner.

Every summer is a tennis explosion

Just to remind myself that I'm not only a traveler, but also a tennis player in love with this sport and whatever is around it.
Attending tennis clubs, training, exchanging opinions about the latest win by Roger Federer...everything amaze me and gives my a great boost when talking about tennis.
What a great sport!

la torre 264 from flamingshoe on Vimeo.

Editing: by the tennis player itself
Shooting: by Elena Frova (a special thank to her, by the way)

Whoever wants a video like this for his/her tennis sessions, please contact me and we will find an agreement.

Semuc Champey, Guatemala

On the bus from Lake Atitlan to Antigua a great trio was formed, so Josè, Melody and I started traveling together for a while and together decided to head to this place we heard about since we entered Guatemala.

Antigua, Guatemala

What else could I call a well maintained colonial city, laying underneath a majestic volcano, where you can safely walk in the streets while enjoying the immense history each house, building or church has to tell you, where wide clean cobalt streets lead you almost every time to hidden jewels, where you can feel there's a special cultural vibe in the air? I can only call it Antigua!

Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

There's a direct line connecting Chiapas to Guatemala and this route passes right through San Cristobal and Lago Atitlan crossing the border in "La Mesilla". First of all be prepared to spend hrs at the customs, and then on the bus on the streets of Guatemala; you'll be watching astonishing landscapes but the ride is simply gonna take for ever.

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

And here I am, finally in Chiapas, the land of Zapatistas, where el comandante Marcos has his headquarter to bring on the fight for the campesinos and indigenous people right.

Mazunte, a hippy paradise on the Mexican Pacific coast

It's February by the time I'm writing this post and in my country this is probably the worst part of the year in terms of cold and weather. The Pacific coast is there blinking at me and my will of jumping into the water is just too strong. It takes 6 hrs by bus from Oaxaca to Potchutla, and from there you have quite a big choice where to go. Zipolite is the most popular seaside of the area and when I first left was actually my first choice, but as it happens all the time when traveling I changed my mind and headed to Mazunte.

Oaxaca. A city, a state in Mexico

I'm from Rome, and as you might know that is the Capitol of Catholicism and the city where you can find the biggest number of churches in the whole world...well forget about this statistic! Oaxaca, considering how small it is, smashes that record!

Districto Federal...mind the gap. Next stop Oaxaca!

Mexico City is so huge that I have no idea where to start from, but let me be alternative and begin from San Angel. This colonia (that's how neighbors are called here) is just lovely, where time has stopped and all the rushing in the rest of this mighty city is left behind.

A'dam between Rome and Mexico City

It's always a pleasure to come back to Amsterdam, expecially if it's a stop over for your flight bringing you to hotter places then Italy in this period of the year (in this case is Mexico). With 4.5 euros the train takes you from Schipol to Central station in a blink of an eye and then you're in the middle of the scene!

Dattilo, the country side you'd never expect to visit.

Rocco and Lia are two marvelous persons I was so lucky to meet during my stay in Pantelleria, and eventually happened that they had this ancient house in this tiny village in the country side of Trapani...right on my path leading me to Palermo (my next stop). And guess what? They invited me to stop by and spend the night there feeding me, showing me their micro agricultural world and making me feel part of their family.

Km 720 Pantelleria

Ape riding in Pantelleria from flamingshoe on Vimeo.

Off corse I had to take the ferry (from Trapani) to get to this enchanted island, but once there I cycled my ass off on the up and downs of the many mountains it has!
Are you looking for nightlife and disco times?! Choose another place for your summer vacation...this is for sea and wild nature lovers!

Il bacarozzo ubriaco

Camminare scalzo è ormai la normalità dopo quasi tre mesi di vagabondaggio x le isole del basso mediterraneo italiano, ed a volte il nero sotto la mia pianta del piede fa addirittura fatica ad andarsene dopo svariate passate di olio di gomito abbinato alla mia fida amica saponetta. Gli unici momenti in cui indosso le scarpe sono quelli in sella alla mia bici, che ormai da mille kilometri mi sta accompagnando in questa fantastica, colorata e profumata avventura; ma già questo è bastato a ridurle ai minimi termini.Lo sfregare del tallone ha sbrindellato il tessuto nella parte posteriore, la terra mista a sabbia e polvere le ha rese irriconoscibili da quello che pochi mesi fa erano, ed il sudore puzzolente della fatica non può più permettermi di versarci dello champagne dentro e brindare alla vita come si potrebbe fare in stile holliwoodiano con una scarpa da donna col tacco a spillo!
Anche io ormai provo disgusto a doverle indossare ma ancora il callo podologico, che col tempo è andato formandosi sotto i miei piedi, non è abbastanza spesso da contrapporsi ai miei pedali dentati! Ed è questo il motivo per cui la notte le tengo (insieme ai calzini) a distanza di sicurezza dal mio naso e quando possibile le lascio fuori dall'ambiente in cui vivo. Così è successo anche stanotte.
Alle 11 mi sveglio, faccio colazione, indosso scarpe e calzini e vado a prendere un caffè al bar per scroccare la connessione wifi (e siamo già alle 12 circa); dopodiché mi incammino verso l'alimentari per farmi fare il mio bel paninozzo da sbranare sugli scogli, quando all'improvviso sento qualcosa muoversi nella mia scarpa destra! Come preso da attacco epilettico inizio a scalciare manco fossi un cavallo da rodeo, colto da un istinto idiota che mi fa pensare che a quel modo possa liberarmi di qualsiasi cosa sia nella scarpa. Finalmente realizzo che così non vado da nessuna parte e col le mani piene di dita mi affretto a slacciare e sfilarmi la scarpa per scuoterla e liberarla dall'essere misterioso. Niente! A quel punto rimane un'unica possibilità. Che la bestia sia nel calzino. Con un acrobazia in bilico su una gamba, nel centro della piazza del paese, mi prendo la punta del piede e, come una ballerina di danza classica davanti ad uno specchio, stendo la mia gamba con una scioltezza che mai mi sarei aspettato dal mio quadricipite femorale. Il calzino si srotola al contrario con una perfezione quasi pitagorica e, dalla forza cinetica di tutta questa combinazione di gesti, una pallina nera viene fatta volteggiare nell'aere. La seguo con gli occhi manco fossi una Phantom che riprende a 600 fotogrammi secondo fino a sentire un sordo TOC!
"Ma che cazzo è?!?!" mi chiedo.
La risposta è li che si muove e scappa, barcollante e impaurita allo stesso tempo. Un bacarozzino che aveva scelto il mio calzino come ricovero notturno e che ora potrà raccontare ai suoi amici in giro di essersi fatto di puzza di piedi umani con annesso un viaggio infinito alla velocità della bici fino in paese...sempre che gli passi la sbornia e riesca a tornare dalle sue parti!

Trapani & surroundings

Trapani has been my gate to previous trips to other islands before (see my older posts), but I never spent time visiting it and getting lost through its many beauties!


Back on my schedule because I stopped for too long in CF and Sant'Antioco, Lillo (read previous post) suggests me to take a train from Iglesias to Cagliari that will take me there in only 1 and a half hr.

I would have never expected this city to be this wonderful and this thanx to Omar e Claudia (two guys I met one day on Lucaise beach in CF) that showed me around and explained me the history of the place. The most fascinating part of Cagliari is of course the upper one called by the indigenous "Casteddu".