Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hotel Perla Verde, Milano Marittima

With this new adventure, I am lucky enough to live in one Italy's most elite vacation destinations, Milano Marittima. Situated on right on the Adriatic Coast, directly between the beautiful cities of Ravenna and Rimini. People from all around Europe come to bask in vast golden sandy beaches, dance at trendy clubs, explore the near by wooded forest, and shop at high end fashion boutiques in the center. It is the perfect European beach town. And I just happen to live here...

Not only that, but I also happen to be living with some local celebs, I guess you could say... 
Arrigo Sacchi (who's name you would recognize if you followed Italian football in the late 80s and early 90s...) is a famous Italian football coach. And also the grandfather of little Giulia, the girl I nanny. "He was twice manager of A.C. Milan (1987–1991, 1996–1997), with great success... To this day, Milan are the last team that became European champions and successfully defended their title in the following season. From 1991 to 1996 he was head coach of Italy and led them to the World Cup Final in 1994, only to lose to Brazil in a penalty shoot-out."

So, he's a kind of a big deal here in Italy... But behind the fame, he's a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He's extremely welcoming and easy to talk to, and loves to practice his English with me (and if I'm being honest... does need some practice).

Now, the Sacchi family owns a magnificent, modern, four star luxury hotel, The Hotel Perla Verde. Take a peak...

I love the textured cow skin on the bar. It just adds something fun to the pallet.

The clear furniture is right on trend, and brilliantly efficient for a hotel.

"The chef, Daniele Calderoni, proposes the discovery of ancient flavors of Romagna tradition, such as the salt from Cervia, extra virgin olive oil from Brisighella, cheeses from Cesena and fresh fruit from the surrounding area, with national and international recipes... And a rich selection of fine wines."

Gotta have the championship photo!

"The sixth floor hosts heated swimming pool and large solarium, from which you can admire a breathtaking views over the sea while sipping tasty cocktails." ... Sign me up!

The Hotel Perla Verde is a wonderful example of contemporary luxury design. 

For more information on this fantastic hotel, check out their website! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Au Pair in Italy

Yet again, I've embarked on a new adventure. As though living in Spain and traveling Europe for four months wasn't enough, I obviously decided I had to move to Italy, because pizza, right?... So here I am. Currently living in Milano Marittima, a small beach town on the Adriatic Coast. And working as an au pair to a wonderful family and their precious two year-old girl, Giulia for the last month. So far, it has been amazing and challenging all at once. At first it was a bit of an adjustment, for all of us involved. But now that Giulia and I have our little routine*, it's been a blast. I've met some amazing people, I've traveled through Italy (well... Florence, Venice, and Rome that is). I eat amazing food all of the time. I also might add that the world's greatest gelato is down the street from me (they put fudge in the bottom of the cone...), which I'm still not sure is a good or bad thing. Either way, I bike practically everywhere, so it's okay... Oh, and I'm finally starting to grasp Italian! Alé!

This is Giulia.

 Bubbles are kind of our thing...

La spiagga.

 A typical Italian breakfast is not complete without pastries and cappuccinos.

Downtown Milano Marittima.

 Piadina stands on every corner.

Cappuccinos with Nonna.

*And in case you were curious, this is what I get paid to do everyday - minus weekends:

8:30-9:30 - wake up, watch "Peppa Pig" with Giulia while she eats breakfast, change and dress her for the day, play some more.

9:30-11:30 - walk 50 meters to the beach, play with Giulia at the beach (either make sand castles, play on the playground, or jump on the saltarello (trampoline).

11:30-12:00 - walk to the family's hotel to visit the Mama and the Nonna, drink a cappuccino with them, and then walk to the Nonna's house to mangia la papa (eat lunch).

12:00-12:30 -   mangia la papa with Giulia and Ruby, the maid.

12:30-16:30 - walk the dogs (Rocco & Nina), and then free time. During my free time I either nap at the beach, go for a run, or hangout in the center with my friends, Esther and Sorsha.

16:30-18:30 - usually meet Giulia and the Mama at the beach, play with Giulia some more.

18:30-20:00 - walk the dogs again, and eat dinner at the Nonna's house.

20:30-00:00 - free time, usually meet with Esther and Sorsha in the center, eat gelato and browse the flea markets.

Although it may seem like an easy job, at times it can be very hard. Dealing with a toddler is difficult on its own... Add a language barrier, now you've got yourself a real challenge. But being able to be a part of and see her growth is so rewarding, and totally worth it. Not to mention I'm learning just as much, or even more, from Giulia. I've learned to be more patient, attentive, responsible and independent. I guess you could say my motherly instincts are coming through... Don't worry, even though I sometimes do get excited for the day a mini-me is walking around, it definitely won't be happening for a very long time... that's another thing I've learned.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Venice ...

... is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.
 Truman Capote 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

They Say Home is Where the Heart is...

... and Sevilla, you have stolen mine.
I have been living in Sevilla for approximately ten weeks.  This is the point in my journey where I can firmly call Sevilla a home.  I've created my routine.  School, friends, etc.  I've gone through the depths of homesickness, and back again.  I've mastered all the secret shortcuts to get to and from school, Santa Cruz, La Alameda, Triana, Los Remedios, and beyond. It never gets old passing by the jardines and being overcome with the smell of orange blossoms, or spend hours with good company drinking tinto de verano by el rio.  The siesta has been fully adapted into my routine. Jamón Iberico de Bellota is my new obsession, and I'm sure the waiters at the cafe near my house know me by my consistent order of café con leche...  Am I turning Spanish?  Possibly...

It's amazing that it's so easy to create something so completely foreign, apart of you and your comfort zone, and ultimately grow. You just have to make the first step....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cordoba y Granada

Photos from my weekend trip to Cordoba & Granada.


La Alhambra