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books, people

Why you should read Elena Ferrante books

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Five reasons why you should read the whole series of Elena Ferrante books (My Brilliant Friendthe Story of a New Namethose Who Leave and Those Who Staythe Story of the Lost Child) and why you will enjoy it.

Elena Ferrante books

My brilliant friend, “L’amica geniale” in the Italian version

Elena Ferrante books are probably the most explosive Italian literature phenomenon of the last years.

The four books of the so called Neapolitan novels fascinated people worldwide. Here’s five reasons why you should read it (if you have not done it yet).

I guess it’s unnecessary to spend too many words about the plot of these four books, which actually form one story of nearly 1.700 pages (or an infinite soap-opera, from detractors’ point of view). I will only say it’s about two main female characters, Elena and Lila, born postwar in a poor neighbourhood of Naples. The books are about their life from childhood to elderly years and about their precarious friendship.

I will also say that I agree with the most widespread readers’ opinion I’ve seen on the web : “My brilliant friend” is incredible. Not that the sequels are disappointing, but they are not as strong as the first one.

So why should you read the whole saga? In my opinion to read the four books you must want to read them. I did it and I’m not disappointed.

Here’s five reasons why you should dive without hesitation into Elena and Lila’s lives.


What to do in Milan in 4 hours. Five things to see for free.

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Looking for what to do in Milan for 1 day or less? Here’s two churches and three artworks you can you can discover (for free) in Milan city center.

I’ve been asked many times what to do in Milan because it was considered just a gray, polluted and chaotic city. The 2015 World Expo in Milan was accompanied by many critics, but it had at least one result: the discovery of Milan as a touristic destination (click here to find hotels).

After years having friends from the beautiful Italian shoreline and small pretty towns mocking us for coming from such a city, it was a small payback for us Milanesi to find that New York times elected our hometown as the number one place to go in 2015.
You’ll easily find the best things to see in Milan in your first stay in many travel guides or articles like what to do in 36 hours in Milan.

Now you are looking for what to do in Milan besides shopping, Duomo and Navigli. If you’re in a long layover or in a business trip and you don’t have a lot of time, there are some other interesting things you can discover in Milan just walking around  – and completely for free.

Here’s some. 

lifestyle, people

Italian lifestyle and mobile phones

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Italian lifestyle is changing because of technology, as everywhere. A survey found that Italians are using smartphones more than their European fellows.

I have the feeling that Italians are especially obsessed by their mobile phones.

A few days ago I was on a local train and when I looked around here’s what I saw. I could see fourteen people around me. One lady was reading a book, one guy was doing a business call and another one was writing on laptop. All the others were staring at the screen of their smartphone. I have to include a twelfth one: myself. I had been focussed most of the time on my twitter feed.

My mini-survey might be done on a small sample, but I have a more comprehensive set of data to rely on.

According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Survey 2015 Italians are really using their smartphone more than their European fellows.

books, Places

Looking for unusual things to do in Venice? Here’s three books to help you

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Two unconventional guides and a novel to find hidden things to do in Venice.

Things to do in Venice

Riva degli Schiavoni

You’re trying to find the essential things to do in Venice and you bought a city guide. So you will easily discover the origins of this amazing place, its raise as a world commercial superpower, its important churches and museums. You plan your tour: a visit to St. Mark’s cathedral, a walk across Rialto bridge, maybe a ride in gondola on the Grand Canal.  

Than you arrive there and you find yourself running around with other thousand tourists, all queuing in front of the same places. But there’s no escape: if you are a tourist in Venice, no matter where you come from, you are meant to go through this.

But you know Venice is magic. Writers and poets spent thousand of words about this unique city and this charm must be somewhere. Only, you can’t find it, overwhelmed by the crowd.

The only thing you can do is: change plans.

If you have enough time in Venice, there’s much more to discover.

You can even skip the things you “have” to do in Venice and you will anyway find great places. I’m not recommending another Venice travel guide, maybe called “the unconventional Venice”. To help you to find your unconventional path in Venice, have a look to these books.