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Lifestyle
22 June 2015
A diary of an Italian holiday

This month the column will ben a little sui-generis, a trip to Italy. I flew to my home country and visited some of my most favorite places that I hadn't been to in a long time.  I, always too American in Italy and too Italian in America, saw an Italy different from the usual. The "darsena" in Milan and the "navigli" area are the new happy meeting point, newly refurbished and open wide for summer gatherings. Besides, the 2015 EXPO has made Milan shine like when you are forced to clean up your bedroom as a teen ager. My trip coincided with Pitti Uomo: it's totally transformed from when it was my job place during college, but just for the simple fact that it's still housed in buildings built by the Medici centuries ago, it assumes a regal aura and it gives the whole kermess an uncomparable stile. The vibrant social media activity, the "peacocks" walking slowly to leave the street-style photographers the chance to snap them are all realities I have been able to assess at distance and, I dare to say, the least relevant. As the "Italian style suffragette" I became, I must confess what stroke me the most are some common elements: high quality, refined tech, avan-garde, style, originality. The presence of small and medium size, mostly family style, precious rocks of Made in Italy  is not only tangible in an international affair like Pitti Uomo, but down the street of cities like Milan and Florence and boroughs like Monterosso, one of the Cinque Terre. I am not only referring to garments, shoes, jackets, but food, architecture and art. In my two-week tour, I was lucky to appreciate everything, from the small sandals boutique to the Botticelli's Venus at the Galleria degli Uffizi, unique examples of Liberty in Viareggio to the "Macchiaioli",  a rare sunrise on the day of the summer solstice in the Apuane Alps to the most simple pappa col pomodoro, blooming jasmins  and the overwhelming fragrance of the "belle di notte" and the dunes at sunset. I don't intend to praise the banality of hot water,  but this Italian holiday put into perspective that idea of Italian style made of clothing, fragrances, food, frescoes and conviviality.  

Francesca

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