Il Grande Anello dei Sibillini

From sibillini_giorno02

It was just a couple of weeks ago, but this experience is still alive in my heart and still can smell the thousands flower we met on our way.
Monti Sibillini natural park is the name and it's right on the boarder of two of the many amazing regions Italy has...Umbria and Marche. Just a couple of hrs from my home town, this place was new to me and my sweet E. but as usual we were greedy of new adventures and wanted to face the challenge. Three days and two nights, walking for 30 Kms and sleeping with our tent in a wild environment.

At first I planned everything and decided to start our path of the Great Sibillini ring from Colle le Cese hut, a sweet refugee in the area of Forca Canapine. We arrived there late at night after a nice stop at Narni for a delicious dinner over Cavallino restaurant, and put our tent in the fields right in front of the hostel; it was a pleasure to have two foxes watching us pitching our tent just few steps away from us.
The day after we walked form Forca Canapine to the A.N.A. hut for about 2 hrs and a half in the middle of no where , crossing endless fields full of flowers and birds of any kind, following a path part of the great ring leading to the base of the Vettore mountain. The walk is breathless as the valley underneath and the scenery you get are unbelievable especially once the huge mountain shows up suddenly behind the smooth hills you're stepping on.
At A.N.A. refuge (Forca di Presta area) is where we met Michele, one of the park's guide (you can contact him through his site We had a delicious lunch together made of great fresh food and refreshed our throats with an above the average local red wine. He is incredibly nice and competent and gave us so many good tips about our walk, since the weather was getting quite bad and our plan to reach the top of the mountain was not such a great idea for that day.That's why we headed towards Castelluccio through its flatland, to go up again to 1500 mtrs till capanna Ghezzi and pitch our tent for the night. The whole thing is a 15 kilometers walk, but for the first day is a great training for the day after, when you'll have to climb up to 2400 mtrs and experience the real trekking.


Oh well! We will never forget what we saw that day and how tired we were by the end of the day. From the beginning to the last meter it's a big fat tough walk, but walking on the edge of those mountains, with the whole valley opened up on one side and the Pilato lake on the other is something i will definitely tell the kids one day. As the forecast said, the weather was just awesome, with a bright shiny sun in a deep blue sky. Once in a while some fat clouds showed up from one side of the mountain making it a foggy situation...but just the time for the wind and the heat to clean up everything and give back the scenery the proper colors for that kind of light. Every once in a while we would stop for a little rest, a drink or a sandwich, but basically the day was just walking and walking and walking pushed by the beauties of the area.
From capanna Ghezzi, going through Forca Viola, to Ziliolii refuge is a 6 hrs walk, one of the best ones I've ever had, but don't do it unless you're well trained and wear the proper equipment.
Looking forward to do some other trekkings in the area, since there's plenty to see and do and because it's not only super hard walks, but also comfortable ones with great towns to visit and restaurants to try!

Art of the Title

This is a field of the computer graphic in constant development, and here you can have kind of an anthology of what has been produced over the years in the movie industry...the best of the best.
Good references for graphic designers but also just some bites of beauty taken to its highest level.
Click here an enjoy wisely.

Shoe(t) the world

How many times you've thrown away a pair of shoes just because they're not on fashion anymore?! Or just because they had some scratches or a little hole where your toe is?!
And what about your kids' shoes?!?! They grow up so fast that in a few months you're not able to fit them on your kid's feet anymore, and most of the times these shoes end up in a box in a closet or in the worst case in the garbage.
During my journeys around the world's poorest countries, I've noticed many little kids walking barefoot getting infections or skin disease just because they're parents can't afford to buy shoes in order to feed them or send them to school (this is the luckiest option!). Some other times I took part to soccer games with locals where I was the only one with shoes on both feet...well, this is when I came to the point to develop a project to bring this people our shoes. The ones we don't even think about fixing them or don't like them anymore.
Shoe(t) the world is my own (crazy) idea to bring these items to these far countries (maybe taking advantage of the many people sailing in the oceans) and organize events to bring joy to these people giving them our shoes for free and recording everything on a picture (here comes the word game).
Maybe one day I'll have so many pictures to publish a book and do some fundraising to help the world in some other way. Maybe this will be a one shot challenge, but at least I wonna give it a try....

Otranto, lu salentu, lu sule, lu mare, lu ientu.

What an amazing area of Italy!!! Il Salento.
This has been the stage for some of the most unbelievable vacations I've ever had in my whole life. Camping at Frassanito is something you gotta experience at least once in your life, and the bar Giro di boa right on the sand is the perfect place to hang out during a arsh day under the strong sothern sun. There's not so many words to describe the feeling you get from watching that coastline, the countless bays waiting for you to discover them and enjoy their wildnes, the crystal flat water shining for you just like two deep blue eyes belonging to a charminig norwegian lady. I'll let the pictures talk and the day you'll be roaming around the Otranto area and will be looking for "i laghi di Alimini", remember about this post and try to get lost the same way I did, because this is the place where no maps are welcome, no GPS, no nothing...just you and the unbeatable nature to make one thing.
There's one place in particular I want to mention in case you're a food lover and a special place hunter. L'osteria degli amici in Giurdignano. I've never seen and tasted something like that.
And if you're looking for a special place to stay and go back home with that special feeling only this land is capable to feed the people with, try the B&B Rauccio (

Amsterdam...aka A'dam

This is hands down the city in Europe I visited the most. Since my first time back in 1998, I think I went to Holland more then 20 times in any way: by car, by train, by plan...actually I'm missing hitchiking...gotta do it soon.
Not only I experienced the capital city but also Utrecht (probably nicer then A'dam and more cozy), Haarlem (that was my very first city I visited during an unforgettable new year), Nijmegen (the unbeatable Van der Drift family lives there in a tiny town next to it called Molenhoek) and the surroundings, Arnhem (you gotta stop there as soon as you cross the border with Germany coming from Itlay by car) and the quite island of Marken with its lonely lighthouse.
Of course the first times I'was there was just for getting wasted and stoned (and I defenatly tried lots of coffeeshops), but the more I use to go there, the more I fell in love with the atmosphere you can breath riding a bike and ringin the bell around the canals. From winter to summer I tried 'em all, and to tell you the truth this country gives its best with a butt cold weather...and if you're lucky enough with the snow. It's a waste of time to try to explain what you feel when you're walking around this peacefull streets and some snowflakes start to fall from the flat grey sky (this is mostly the color of the sky you get during cold seasons) and the whole area surrounding you turns into a fairy tale. Everything gets quiet and the bikes riding on the narrow streets of the canals ring their bells just like a bunch of elf's cart. The inhabitants and their smoky mouths look all like comic strips from a romantic drawer helped by such a perfect architetcure for such a setting. Fearless of the icy roads people face this temperatures with total confidence, even if sometimes you see someone crashing on the ground for stepping on a camouflaged block of ice. And once you're too cold to keep walking around and admiring the bending buildings (it's them bending not you stoned!), you can easly walk in any bar, coffeshop or tearoom and you'll get the best out of it.

But let's talk about places to visit in A'dam. First of all try not to stick around Dam square and the red light district...this is the most anoying and crowded and sad area of the town. It's ok to give it a try just to say you've been there, but trust me the rest of Amsterdam is way better then what you get here.
Taking central station as the starting point (if you're coming from Schipol there's frequent trains connecting the airport to the city), if you head right you'll run into Single (the first of concentric canals giving Amsterdam that special look) and here you can already stop at my favourite coffeshop called Rokerij. This is already a sparkling area and you can get a lot out of it if you spend some time walking around and being a bit courious. The famouse bar "The Doors" is there and just around the corner there's Frederic with its bed and breakfast and bike rental shop. If you visit Amsterdam, you can't miss the opportunity to rent a bike, because that is the best way to move around and feel like a local...and what place other then Frederic to rent it?!?! He's sweet, gentle and always ready to help you...he loves grappa, so if you're kind enough show up with a bottle and he will be so thankful!
If you're looking for a cheap place to stay, but with a great location and close to the most wonderful area of Amsterdam (De 9 Straatjes and the Joordan area), then on Keisersgracth there's the Keisersgracth hotel, a budget place but with an easygoing staff and a decent standard.
De 9 Straatjes is the ideal place for relaxing if you're in the mood of it, or doing the best shopping downtown, since this is the area where most of the emerging stylist have their base and atelier.
In the same area you also get the world famouse Anne Frank museum , but be ready to face long lines since this is one of the main attractions of the city.
Keep walking south on one of these canals and you'll get to Leidseplein (consider moving around by tram as can reach almost anywhere and be warm at the same time if you end up there during the coldest months) where plenty of restaurants, bars and discos are. The most popular hang out place around here is the Paradiso with its many concerts ranging from techno music to Hard rock (for sure you'll ben listening quality stuff!!!), but if you're looking for something more particular and where mostly locals go, then head to Lijnbaansgracht and look for a place Korsakoff. I think I had some of the best times in my life here, and it's easy to make some goodfriends since everyone is here to enjoy it and and dance like hell. But if you're not that kind of person (here you mostly get very loud music but excellent), and you're more into blues or softer rock in general, then just outside the door there's Maloe Melo.
Among the many places of interests you'll also be able to spot on any turistic guide, I want to mention Vondel Park, an exquisite green area where A'damers like to fully enjoy either riding their bikes (there's more bikes in Holland then in any other place on earth I think) or just taking a nap on a blanket during sunny days. Right next to the park there's another budget hostel (the Stayok hostel) where I spent few nights, and to tell you the truth I would reccomend this place to any backpacker for its price, cozyness and level of level of cleanliness.
Let's cut it with usless information you could easily find anywhere (the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum and the many other culutar places of interests) and let's talk about Marken.

It's quite a long ride by bus from Amsterdam (buy the Waterland ticket for abot 7 euros) but once you get there you get a rare taste of Holland with its wooden and colorful houses all around the fisherman harbor. During summer time I heard is possible to see people dressing in the typical way, but since I was there during a 20 degrees below zero day the best option was to take an ufrogettable walk in the countryside to reach the light house stuck in the middle of a frozen sea (check out the pics...that is a freaking amazing place!).
A place in Holland you can easly and in a cheap way reach with a low cost flight landing at Weeze airport in Dussendolf is Nijmegen.

The beloved Van der Drift family hosted few times me and my sweet Elena in the past years and so many good memories will stay with me forever. The city itself is not so charming, but still has got some highlight in the very center and some other natural attractions in the area. It's hard for me to remember the names of the places Pieter, Manon and their wonderful 4 kids took us, but I can assure you there's things to do and see if you're in love with trekkings, iceskating and wellness SPA. Molenhoek is not that kind of town mentioned so many times on the internet and that's why I take advantage of this blog to remember our homebase in this tiny place on the border with Germany.Just sweet!
Well, Utrecht is the last town I want to talk about shortly in this post. Everytime I ended up here I felt like to be in a special place, one of those places you can feel that special vibe. It's small and all concentrated around two canals, but the cathedral in first place and the many students living there (there's one of the best universities in Holland here) make it a little jewel to visit and spend a wonderful day coming from Amsterdam (it's very well connected by train and it takes only 30 minutes to get there).

And if you're to stoned or drunk to head back to your place in Amsterdam, you can stay at the best hostel I've ever stayed in my life. It's called Strowis and if you go there you'll thank me for the rest of your life!
All right, I'm out of here now, but if you're interested in knowing more about other places to visit (unconventional ones I mean) or thiings to do, please leave a comment and I'll be right back at you.
Enjoy wisely.

Da San Quirico a Castelluccio

This is quite a demanding walk (click here for more infos) but as the one suggested in my recent post it's something you gotta experience if you visit the Val d'Orcia. For a small part it intersect the "Anello di Bagno Vignoni" trail, but for the rest it's a good mixture of paved roads and the tipical white country street framed by cipresso trees and views you will never forget. The end of the hike is in Castelluccio, one of those little medieval towns that made Tuscany world wide famous, but you'll also be facing sweet towns on the way such as Castiglione d'Orcia with it's massive Rocca d'Orcia. Be aware! In the first part of the path you'll be stepping on the "Via Francigena".
Respect bro!

L'anello di Bagno Vignoni

As hiking is one of my favourites hobbies and this area is hands down one of the most beautiful you will be able to find in Italy in general, I totally reccomend some trails you will never forget. L'anello di Bagno Vignoni is the one I experienced lately (you can take a look at the map here) and for sure this is affordable even for non trained people. It takes about 4 hrs taking it easy, and it's half in the shade and half under the sun (depending on the period of the year you go to this area). The path has got it all: form astonishing views to silent walks in the woods and at a certain point you will totally be breathless when you'll be facing the Orcia river and you'll be able to admire the ancient bridge crossing it (you can see some pics from my post called Val d'Orcia. It's worth to stop there for a rest and to enjoy the enchanting atmosphere (and maybe take a bath) and, depending where you started from, then head to the next town to refresh with a freezing beer (or a glass of wine since you're in the cradle of good taste).
Highlights of the walk are the Ripa d'Orcia castle and Vignoni alta, beside all the rest of course.Don't forget to deep your feet into the the natural thermal pools you run into when you'll be passing underneath the town of Bagno Vignoni
Please give it a try and then let me know what you think about it.
Comin' up more hiking trails I've tested just for you...stay tuned!


Click here and smash your ears with the just released track from "Camion".
They are a grinding, noisy, stoner rock band, have cutting edge riffs, raw vocals, pumping bass and smashing drums, it’s that kind of metal what made Soundgarden to be kings in the “Badmotorfinger” era. And some of their themes, riffs, verses may sound familiar from different angles. “Here Comes the Harlay” and “Here Comes the Cadillac” had a riff – the same one – which is very “I’m Broken” (Pantera), “Route 666″ obviously contains the verse “six, six, six, the number of the beast”, “Cowbell From Hell” keeps adrenaline high with the perfect tempo and some wining riffs. “Beers On Wheels” could be a Manowar song played by a punk/hardcore band, well, with your boots on or high on beers and wheels, life it’s just Rock N’ Roll. “Can A Truck Splat A Lollypop” may had a place on any earlier Social Distortion album and in the end, “A Serenade for Yokels” reminds me of Green Jelly.

Skilled immigrants...

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This could be your chance to make your dreams come true if Australia corresponds to your ideal place to work and live.
Check it out here and give it a try.
Good day mate!