Se vuoi seguire il mio viaggio su Facebook...clicca Like

sabato 24 dicembre 2011


Dear friends,
when I came back home I thought that my adventure was over, but it was just the beginning of a new one. My round-the-world tour is in a book now! The English version will be available soon. I'll let you know :-). Since this version is in Italian I'll continue in my mother tongue...

Sono felicissima di annunciarvi che è uscito da qualche giorno il libro che ho scritto sul magnifico viaggio intorno al mondo, raccontato brevemente in questo blog. Si intitola "Viaggia con me...spendendo poco", di Florinda Klevisser con illustrazioni di Goran Parlov (autore di Tex, Nick Raider, The Puniser...). Oltre al mio diario di viaggio, ho incluso nel volume quello che ho imparato per riuscire a partire anche con un budget limitato e ciò che bisogna sapere sulle diverse tappe del mio magnifico itinerario. Tutte le informazioni sul libro (e molto altro ancora) le trovate sulla pagina che abbiamo creato su Facebook e nella quale siete ovviamente più che benvenuti.

Mi auguro che sia uno spazio che permetta a noi, appassionati di viaggi, di comunicare e condividere esperienze, informazioni e suggerimenti per realizzare i nostri sogni e fare tanti viaggi.

domenica 20 febbraio 2011


San Diego is like a second home for me because is where my American Mum lives. She adopted me unofficially 5-6 years ago. I love that city and I spent there many beautiful moments this time and in the past. Coming to San Diego brought back to my mind many memories and it was emotionally very intense.
It was very different from the other destinations of my trip and I don't really consider it part of my travel-adventure but more like a come back home. To keep me in the explorer's mood, Jan (my American Mum) took me around to a lot of nice places. It was a perfect transition before going to Europe. The climate is great in San Diego, always sunny, but still cold compared to the tropical Samoa- It helped me to slowly adapt. I had hot showers, tv and internet and we went to the theater and shopping. These things can seem normal but I didn't experience them this year before coming here.
downtown from the sea
old town San Diego - a bit of the Mexican feel

Jan took such good care of me, body and soul. We went to the gym for aerobics and zumba and to yoga on Sundays in a wonderful venue facing the ocean in La Jolla. I love that part of San Diego (it has always been my favorite), with its cove and the seals and sea lions resting on the sun or swimming in the waves.
La Jolla children's beach, now seal's beach

We went to Coronado yacht club at the party held every year for the first 100 members that joined the club. It was really nice and Jan tried to make me dance some R'n'R but she is too good for me and I have to practice for next time.

We went to the Wild Animal Park and it was really amazing to see this huge area transformed in different habitats for many species of wild animals. It seems that these animal live quite well in captivity as there are many babies born there. Jan compared it to a 5 star hotel for wild animals. We were very lucky and saw a baby cheetah (only 2 months old) and then an adult cheetah, the animal ambassador, that walked in front of us so we can see it from close distance. It is such a beautiful animal! I loved also the gorillas. They act so human but are so big. The lions sleeping on the sun were amazing as well. But there were so many beautiful animals. I like this park more then the zoo (SD zoo seems to be the biggest in the world and is incredible) as it feels more natural even if it is artificial.

After the pleasant almost all day walk in the park we went for wine tasting in Ofelia. I love California and Zinfandel is my favorite in general even if here I had a surprisingly good San Giovese and Shiraz. The owner is a former Argentinian diplomatic with Italian origins that puts a lot of passion in his winery with excellent reasults.
Jan rows and one day she went rowing and I took a nice walk on Mission beach and then an amazing breakfast at the Eggery in Pacific beach, where we had mixed fruit pancakes with whipped cream.

We went to see three shows at the theater and they were all different but all very good. I really enjoyed and one reason was the nice dinners before the shows. Before "Emma" and "Death of a salesman" in the Old globe theater in Balboa Park we had fish tacos in the Prado. Fish tacos are a "must have" in San Diego. It is basically a grilled or crisp maki maki fish with salsa and vegetables. Very special and one of the things that I usually miss from here (with Trader Joe's pita chips dipped in hummus, but this is not a local specialty). Another show we went to see was at the Horton plaza theater in the Gaslamp district downtown. We saw a commedy, "Superior donuts" and it was great. I loved in particular one line of the play that says " my shop is better then (...) as I sell Croatian pornography" . I couldn't believe my ears :-). Before going to the play we had a lovely Mexican dinner, San Dego style, sitting outside as it was so warm. I loved my margarita and lobsters :-). It was the night of the superball and it was quite calm as all the crows was concentrated in the pubs with tv screnes and totally focused on the game.

One day we went out with some friends on their powerboat and it was really wonderful.

We've done a lot of things and had great time but the most important thing for me was to be with Jan, a person that I really love and care for. I was missing so much our nice chats about important things in life. I love to talk with my Mum but my American Mum has a different point of view and I always love to hear it and reflect about what she is saying. Thank you Jan for adopting me and for being such a good friend :-).

domenica 6 febbraio 2011


I arrived in Auckland (North island - New Zealand) on Dec.12th flying from Sydney and spent in the country a little more then a month. It was great not to fly directly from Europe, as I did last year, as it is really a long flight and 12 hours time difference. My sister and her family live in this nice and peaceful city, that spreads for more the 60 Km on a land with more then 50 vulcanoes (my sister lives just under one of them, mt. Eden,a  beautiful place to have a nice view of the city and enjoy the sun and breeze) and this is the reason for my frequent visits to New Zealand.
downtown Auckland from the sea
We had a beautiful Christmas holiday and I want to use the occasion to thank all the friends that have invited us for dinner during the holiday season and made us all feel at home :-).
Soon after Christmas we (my sister Manuela, her husband Vanja, her son Orlando and I) flew to Christchurch in the South island, where we started a fantastic tour in a campervan.
The city shows the signs of the recent earthquake that caused major devastations but the overall situation is better then we expected....
Christchurch is the third biggest city in New Zealand with approximately 360.000 inhabitants. It is the biggest in the South island, known for its British feel and for the gardens (I recommend the botanical garden). The colonist that founded it around the 1850 wanted to bring on the other side of the planet a part of the victorian culture and make it live through the architecture.
In Christchurch we rented the van that took us around the island: a Wicked van named Jesus!!! :-)

Vanja, Manu and Orlando at Wicked vans parking
the Jesus van - this was the polite side ;-)
From Christchurch we headed first south to Akaroa (you can use this link to follow our itinerary: interactive map of New Zealand ) to this interesting French-British settlement and the amazing scenery. Akaroa has a very interesting history. In 1838 Captain Jean François L'Anglois bought this land from the Maori but when  the French settlers arrived some years later, from their vessel they saw a British flag (rised only one week before, after the signing of the controversial treaty of Waitangi). Can you imagine the surprise and disappointment of these people seeing that the British were claiming their "promised land" that they reached after such a long and surely not easy journey? They decided to stay and fight for their rights and at the end the land remained British and the town was divided in two fractions. It has still quite an intense French feel.

the view just before driving down to Akaroa
the view from a walk in the Banks peninsula 
Then we decided to go North and we went to Kaikoura, famous for its seal colony (very cute but dangerous). I found it funny that they go hunting and then they sleep for weeks to rest :-)

From there we continued our journey North with a new member joining the family :-) and went to Bleinheim in the Malborough region for wine tasting (btw, I love Sauvignon blanc from that region, it is my favourite white wine!)

We went to Nelson for New Year's eve and had great time there. We had a wonderful dinner, a great party and the best banana pancakes in the world for breakfast :-). We headed further North and reached the Firewell spit, with its nice walk by the ocean and through the dunes to the bay of fossils.

Then we went back and headed South reaching the West coast. Inspired by the amazing breakfast pancakes that we had for more than one day, we went to see the pancake rocks (heavily erored limestones and blowholes) by Punakaiki.

I loved the incredible energy of the Tasman sea. No swimming but such beautiful landscapes and beaches full of beautiful stones and shells.

Another thing that I loved was the Franz Joseph glacier.
Soon after, we reached our favourite place on this trip: Wanaka (I think everyone on the team will agree on that - you can comment if you don't). This small town with its nice and warm lake was just perfect for some relaxation and rest.
We continued to Queenstown and headed to the East coast to the amazing area south of Dunedin, with its beautiful scenery....

and fauna...
We continued North, direction Christchurch where I took my flight to Samoa and our tour ended.
A lot of things happened and I've been to a lot of other places but this is a short summary of our amazing family tour in the land of the changing scenery and incredible natural beauties.

sabato 5 febbraio 2011


I visited Sydney in the beginning of December and so many things have happened since I left Australia that I've just now been able to write this post. But better now then never.

Sydney is beautiful, just amazing. A city where old and new are complementary where traditions of the past meet the future. People feel free to walk around dressed in shiney broadway dresses or to just lie down in one of the many parks, drink a beer in the middle of a working day with friends or work hard.... It is an ordered mixture of everything and you can smell that freedom everywhere. It is often ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I can easily understand why.

sitting in front of city hall

the city tower

Sydney is surrounded by beaches (the water was not really warm) and you can surf every day of the year and even on your lunch break :-). Still, freedom is strictly regulated and there is an alcohol ban in all outside public areas. What I love about that ban sign below is the martini glass - I can imagine my friends and I drinking from martini glasses on the beach  wearing a Santa hat ;-). If you look well you'll see the martini glass in the water with the guy drowning.

Downtown Sydney is quite big but pedestrian friendly. Everything is well connected with the metro and the train and if you want you can go to Circular Quay, and after having a coctail at the fancy bar by the Opera house, you can take a ferry

and, of course, I did :-)

Sydney has some very beautiful and very pleasant neighborhoods, not far from the busy downtown like this old residential area close to Oxford street

and the condos by King's cross

It shows its modernity, elegance and importance...

without forgetting about tradition

and old and new seem to peacefully cohesist in a beautiful mixture.

venerdì 28 gennaio 2011


I'm sorry for not being able to keep the blog updated this year but I had very limited acess to Internet and it was just not possible. And... I've been VERY busy enjoying life and having fun while hippy-gypsy touring in a campervan around the South island in New Zealand and couchsurfing in Samoa (Thank you Pietro for hosting me!!)  

I hope you don't mind if I decided to write about Samoa first even if I have to post something about Sidney and New Zealand, that happened before. I'm just too excited about it and wanted to share some emotions and insights.

Samoa....unexpectedly beautiful, gentle, romantic. This is definitely the nicest place I've visited on my tour. It was love at first sight.

I landed at the international airport Apia-Faleolo, about 45 minutes drive from Apia. The first thing you see from the aircraft are palms and blue water. Just beautiful. Like in the pictures. It is hot and humid (around 30°C) but you get used to the climate immediately. Everything is nice and gentle. Even the taxi drivers offer fair prices but you can take a bus for a much cheaper price and it takes you wherever you want. I was alone in my bus (it cost me about 8€) and I got a lot of information from the bus driver and even a banana (the have the best bananas I ever had. just amazing!! and many different kinds). The first thing he said is: "Samoa is a romantic place. You should not be here on your own!". And I took his advise seriously ;-). He also said I have to go to church on Sunday but, even if I tried to, it just didn't happen. You just can't do everything they tell you to. Right? ;-)

the main church in Apia (but they are all that big and even more)
This is the most religious country that I've ever seen. They live in big groups in poor houses and fales (the house with just a floor, pales and a roof), with usually the toilets outside and a lot of nice grass and flowers around the houses (they keep their gardens really in order), but they have big churches everywhere. This is one of the first things that you notice since you see one every couple of kilometers. Tents of churches and hundreds of young playing cricket, volleyball and rugby outside. Sundays are completely dedicated to the church and they go to the function (even twice) all dressed in white. Everybody has to be quiet that day and alcohol is prohibited (so no Vailima for the boys ;-) - the only Samoan beer and the most common drink here ).
you can have this in your fridge only in Samoa!! ;-)
They have big family meals with oka (my favourite Samoan food: pieces of row fish with cucumber, lemon and I don't know what else in coconut cream. delicious!!!), chicken, tuna, taro (like a big potato, a bit sweet)....

this is the huge plate of food that we received from a family on Sunday. 3 of us ate and didn't finish it
 Another great food is palusami (baby taro leafs - similar to spinach but different taste - in coconut cream, baked in vulcanic rocks). You can buy it in restaurants and at the food market and eat it with bread fruit. Soooo good.
the food market in Apia

The first thing you need to buy when you get to Samoa is a lavalava (a squared shape piece of coloured clothes that you wear and use in every occasion). You can do everything in your lavalava and even go out for dinner. Both man and woman use it and it is really handy. You don't need really much clothes in Samoa and definitely nothing fancy (and everything get quite ruined by the humidity and the washing). Life is very laid back here and nobody cares about fashion. All you need is a lavalava and a flower for your hair which serves also the purpose of communicating to the man if you're available or already married (on the left side for the singles and right for the married ladies).

me in my lavalava (actually Pietro's, later I bought one)
Everything is clean and nice. If you don't find the garbage bin someone will come to you and take your garbage. If you ask for a toilet, if there is no public toilet available somewhere close, they will offer you their private one. Samoans are so nice that is hard not to feel welcome.
I based myself in Apia and stayed there much more than I planned before coming. At the end I felt at home there and it was great fun. 
Apia's waterfront

The watch tower in the center of Apia
The first week-end we went in a big group, all people working like Pietro in international organizations, at Sa'moana, a very nice resort in the south if the island. It was beautiful and even the weather was nice (you have to consider that it's the rainy season). Great people, nice fales, golden sand, black lava rocks, huge waves breaking on the coral reef not far from the coast line, crystal clear and warm water, coconut trees for the shade, hammacs to relax and read a book, a natural infinity pool to chill out and party (can't believe I forgot to take a picture of it, was too busy using it probaby), great food (I had pankaces for breakfast - yummi), canoes for a bit of fun and surfing the waves (almost got smashed on the rocks but was great fun).... It was just perfect :-)
The rocks are amazing and it is possible to recognize the lava flow in many places. The contrast between the colours make this place even more beautiful. The waves breaks on the coral reef so the oceans calms down before reaching the shores. You can take really nice long swims or snorkle and find beautiful stones, corals and shells on the beach.

Another great trip was the one in Sawaii, the big island. It is less inhabited and more wild then Upulu (the smaller but main island) and we (some new american friends and I) toured the island all around, on the only road, in a van that I drove since I was the only one to have the temporary Samoan driving licence. A really nice adventure. We went first to the dwarf's cave, through a path in the rain forest and explored it with a local guide and  just the light of our torces. There was water everywhere.

Then we decided to visit a friend, a peace corps guy that teaches in a village and has hosted us for the night (thank yo again!) and shown us the school.

With him we went around all together the 4 of us, and a nice thing we've done was the conupia tree walk: a huge tree that is higher then the rest of the rainforest and has a small wooden house, roofless, in which you can sleep. You reach it by steps and bridges. Very nice and exciting.

Another amazing experience was to visit the village destroyed by a cyclone in 1990. It was an apocalyptic scenery. This is what is left of the church, the most solid building...

To make my stay in Samoa even more exciting, cyclone Wilma decided to head directly here and in the last moment it just started changing direction and went around the island creating just limited damage. We were really lucky even if I have to say that we were quite excited about the idea of experiencing a cyclone. We bought some cans of food, water and prepared our basic needs in case of urgent evacuation but at the end everything was ok and there was no need to move from our place uphill. We flooded twice but that was quite interesting, too. The good thing is that thanx to the cyclone we had a great cyclone party at a friend's house uphill (and ended up to spread in another friend's house just next door). We were recommended to stay all together (by "we" I mean the people working for international organizations that I met and since I was a guest of one of them they have been so nice to include me, too) and we decided to do what the bosses said ;-). Was great fun. And I got an extra day in Samoa as my flight was cancelled and I left one day later (plus I got an extra day when I arrived as I crossed the line of date change so I arrived one day before I departed from NZ. All this with just 3 hours and a half of travelling and it is one extra day in your life in a Pacific island! that's quite a gift)
This is just a short story about Samoa. It was sooooo amazing that I could talk for days about it. I think you should go and check it out yourself one day :-)