The Ladybug is a Stra-Milanese runner

The Ladybug Chronicles Stramilano (1)

It is hard to explain to a non-Milanese what the Stramilano run means for a Milanese (or an adopted one!). We could say that the Stramilano is a run (5, 10 or 21K) usually happening in March and opening the long series of runs in town, but it is more than that. Stramilano is a huge celebration party first. What do we celebrate? Basically we celebrate Milan and the upcoming spring as we know that there is no better time of the year to live the town than spring! This is indeed the most representative run and also the one with the greatest participation. It is not just for runners. It is for everyone! Families with kids (and strollers!) who walk for 5K, groups of friends who want to enjoy the party and have an healthy Sunday, serious runners and…us, passionate runners who also want to enjoy the party and have fun while performing our favorite activity: running!

The Ladybug Chronicles Stramilano (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Stramilano (2)

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny and warm day which made it perfect (even if we were dressed for a cold day!). Despite of my poor training due to the fact that I still find it hard to properly train in winter, I was quite proud of my performance, actually my best one on 10K!

We created a small group of workmates, all passionate about running (but with different levels and paces) and we achieved our first goal: enjoying it all!

There was also a personal after party but I will tell you more in my next post…

The Ladybug Chronicles Stramilano (4)

(Last picture is taken from Stramilano Official Facebook page…can you spot me?!?)

The Ladybug on Spring, girlfriends and Herb Ritts

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (5)

Imagine the first Spring weekend (well, the one just before!), your girlfriends being in town for the Stramilano (Milanese run) the next day and many girlish things to do during the weekend. What is on the menu? Food, running, shopping, pictures, art and much more!

It was hard to put everything in a weekend program but we managed and we are very happy about it, even if on Monday we felt like we needed the whole week to recover from the last two days! But let’s be honest, the time spent with your friends is the best time ever whatever you decide to do but when you do all the things you love and they love, well it is priceless!

This is just the photo-story of a Saturday in Milan, from a healthy regenerating lunch at God Save the Food to the Herb Ritts exhibit at Palazzo della Ragione, from shopping in the city center (including our favorite Bivio shops) to a vintage glass of wine at the Sine Modus shop in Porta Venezia, ending with a delicious Russian dinner at La Veranda, my favorite Russian-Ukrainian place in town.

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (1)

Let me just add a few words on Herb Ritts exhibit “In equilibrio” at Palazzo della Ragione until the 5th of June: there is not much to add about this incredible photographer but believe me, the exhibit is absolutely worth a visit for the collection exposed of fashion and celebrities photographs (including one of my favorite Prince photograph and my adored Bill T. Jones series) but also to admire his incredible art of making powerful portraits.

This is basically how we prepared for the 10K run of the next day…not really healthy preparation I know but incredibly fun!

I wore Diffusione Tessile navy maxi coat, Penneys striped shirt, Met jeans, Traffic People headband, Valentino glasses, Miu Miu bag, Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers and Nars red lips courtesy of Simona!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Herb Ritts (3)

The Ladybug’s “friendly” weekend in Rome

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (5)

My weekend in Venice was not the only one out of town in March: I also spent a great weekend in Rome to visit my adorable friend Simona and with her my new bunch of friends in town.

The great thing about it is that each of them has their own special feature: for example one is a great runner, which makes sport an important part of the weekend, one is specialized in great restaurants and music selection in the car (yeah, you know who you are!) ensuring at least a great dinner and lot of singing especially on the way back home, one knows (and makes) the best cocktails so that drinking is covered as well and Simona is the perfect pair for running, drinking, eating with special bonus for shopping and art.

Art was indeed the first excuse for this trip: the exhibit on Henry Toulouse-Lautrec was at the Ara Pacis museum (it is still there until the 8th of May) and we planned a lovely visit on Sunday morning. It was my first Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit and I was totally amazed by his art including posters, illustration and photographs. What I liked most about the exhibit was the way it managed to re-create the world in which the artist worked: the Paris of the Belle Epoque, the bohemian city of the late XIX century.  After the visit we walked to Piazza di Spagna, had a healthy stop for lunch at Ginger in via Borgognona and enjoyed some window shopping in this amazing city.

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (4)

I never get tired of walking in Rome: on Saturday (after a morning run with the girls and a classic dance class in the afternoon!) we headed to Campo de’ Fiori for a drink. It was a special occasion in Rome that day: the rugby match between Italy and Scotland turned the whole city into a great party venue. Handsome Scottish men in kilt were hanging around playing the bagpipes (it happened also in the restaurant where we ate later and it was AMAZING!), drinking beer and making it even easier than usual to chat and have fun with strangers in the streets! It was the funniest thing ever!

By the way, if you want to try a good restaurant in Rome we went to Casa Bleve, in the courtyard of wonderful XVIth century building in via del Teatro Valle where you can also visit the Roman ruins of an ancient wall, have a great quality dinner and be sure to find the perfect wine that goes with it.

(For the visit to Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit I wore Stefanel camel coat, Acne Studios jeans, Prada sweater, Lazzari brogues, Miu Miu bag and Momonì scarf).

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (1)

The Ladybug wandering in Venice

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (11)

How many times did we hear that wandering with no specific destination is the best way to visit a city? I don’t agree totally with this idea but it is incredibly true when it comes to Venice.

I am very ashamed of saying that, although being Italian and leaving in Milan, my last trip to Venice about a month ago was my first time ever in this wonderful city! Weird isn’t it?

Anyway I planned this short trip with a friend of mine and we enjoyed an incredible weekend there: we felt like kids taking pictures at every corner and being amazed at everything we saw. I still can’t believe that I didn’t visit this place before! Exception made for the biggest touristic areas like San Marco cathedral or Rialto Bridge we walked with a precise goal, but for the rest of the weekend we just wandered in the little streets (calles) and canals until we got lost a couple of times but it was absolutely worthy!

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (4)

We discovered new corners of Venice, we ate great Venetian food and we madly fell in love with this town…I truly find it quite hard to describe it with words!

We spent the first day like real tourists around San Marco, the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs (absolute must-see) but we also made some time to visit museums like the incredible Palazzo Fortuny, where we found among others an incredible exhibit on Henriette Fortuny, or the amazing Peggy Guggenheim Collection (another must-see, not only for the incredible pieces of Picasso, Pollock, Mirò, Magritte, Kandinsky and many others but also for the incredible architectural space, especially the internal court, and the wonderful view on the Laguna). On Sunday morning we enjoyed a great visit at the Gallery of Modern Art Ca’ Pesaro and some more Venice wandering (and eating!) in town. Unfortunately the Fondazione Prada was still closed but if you are around in spring-summer make sure to have a visit (it is just near Ca’ Pesaro).

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (9)

One address for eating: Osteria alla Vedova in Cannaregio, one of the best restaurants we tried! The food is great and you can try typical Venetian food like their amazing white polenta. It is a place with history, much loved from the locals, very warm and welcoming!

One address for vintage shopping: my friend Federica’s L’Armadio di Coco vintage shops (one in Campo Santa Maria Nova in Cannaregio and one in Campo Santa Maria del Giglio…there is also a third one in Mestre, just in case!): I loved both the shops and they are really mind-blowing for vintage lovers! They focus on different styles but Federica is adorable and she has a great selection of pre-loved vintage pieces and incredibly rare designer pieces especially in her second shop!

Venice doesn’t have a “vintage shop” culture even if it is very vintage! One of the interesting things that I found out while wandering is also a very tiny and lovely second-hand shop in calle Priuli. Moreover, if you visit on specific dates you may find some interesting vintage and antiques pieces at Campo San Maurizio a traditional vintage and antiques market.

(I wore Max&Co coat, Vivienne Westwwod boots, Valentino sunglasses, Miu Miu bag, Maison Momonì scarf, Acne Studios jeans)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (10)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Venice (12)

The Ladybug is “a Barbie girl in a Barbie world”!

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (9)

When I heard that Barbie was coming to town for a very special exhibit at Mudec I was not really impressed: I thought it was something for kids and I didn’t feel particularly interested in the event. After a couple of weeks I started getting feedbacks from friends and colleagues who went to the event and totally enjoyed it. They then used the magic world that convinced me immediately: there are a lot of “vintage Barbies”…

That’s when I decided to go and have a look before it ended in mid-March.

I was completely stunned by the event and, even if there were a lot of kids, I realized that I felt like a kid myself because in the middle of the vintage Barbies, of the iconic rare dolls and of the multicultural Barbies, there were pieces of my past exposed there: my old dolls from when I was a child, my Barbie’s car, swimming pool and house! I felt so emotional that I wanted to cry! And it wasn’t just me as I could hear many of my peers visiting the exhibit saying to their kids: “Look! Mummy had that Barbie car!” or “Aww this was auntie’s favorite Barbie many years ago!”.

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (3)

That’s when I became aware of some facts relating to Barbie: first of all, it is not just a doll. In 56 years she “has interpreted the aesthetic and cultural transformations of society for more than half a century; but – unlike the other myths of contemporaneity, worn out by the passing of time – this doll has had the privilege of being timeless and has crossed distant eras and lands, representing some 50 different nationalities, and bolstering her identity as a mirror for the global imagination” (from Mudec presentation of the event).

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (6)

The exhibit tells this story in many different ways, presenting the chronological order of dolls (I was totally amazed by the ones from the late 50’s of course!) from the end of the 50’s to nowadays. But there is more than that: the dolls are presented by designers dressing the doll, by fashion trends, by nationality (I loved Asian and African Barbies) or even by job. A huge part is also dedicated to the celebrities who gave their image to Barbie: from Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe to Carmen Miranda, just to name a few.

The exhibit will be now in Rome until the end of October, in case you want to try the experience!

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (10)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (11)

The Ladybug Chronicles Barbie Mudec (12)

A Ladybug’s new outfit of the first ray of light!

The Ladybug Chronicles via Solferino (3)

This is not a very recent outfit, I think that I wore it about one month ago but I loved it a lot for two reasons: first of all because it was taken in an area of Milan that I love (Bastioni di Porta Nuova-via Solferino) and secondly because it was a beautiful sunny day, maybe the first warm ray of light of this early spring season in Milan. I wore it for a Saturday lunch with my friend at the ramen restaurant that we love so much.

There’s not vintage this time but I thought it was worth a share!

The Ladybug Chronicles via Solferino (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles via Solferino (4)

I wore Imperial navy trousers with Zara lurex grey sweater (both from older seasons) and I added my new Max&Co grey coat  from the last winter sales and & Other Stories printed scarf.

I accessorized with Coccinelle camel bag, Valentino rockstud sunnies and Giordana F (bargain from Yoox) pointed brogues.

PS: Yes, I didn’t wear tights that day…I’m getting very Milanese, I know! LOL

The Ladybug Chronicles via Solferino (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles via Solferino (5)

The Ladybug’s Dublin travel tips

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (2)

Last week I wrote about my favorite vintage shops in Dublin but this beautiful town is perfect for a lovely and funny weekend even if you are not a vintage addict. I am sure that you’ll love it and that you will be amazed by the incredible Georgian buildings, the amazing historical pubs and the lovely and friendly people.

I walked a lot in town and I had the chance to see a lot of things so I thought I could give you a couple of tips if you are planning to stay there soon, even if for a short weekend. You can easily walk around and see everything without even taking a bus (which is not the easiest thing to do there!). But if f you plan to stay more make sure you get a Leap card and the Dublin transportation app on your phone as you will definitely need it!

Let’s start from the must-see: you cannot say that you have visited Dublin if you haven’t spent time at the famous Trinity College with its stunning campus and the immense library (you can see the Book of Kelly there). Walking around the campus will be a great and suggestive experience!

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (7)

Make sure you also visit the beautiful Castle and all the area around as it is worth a long stop; if you like libraries you must definitely visit the Chester Beatty Library in the Castle area.

I am not a fan of churches but the Christ Church and Saint Patrick Cathedral are really magnificent: you pay entrance for both but it’s well spent money! If you can have a look at the first one during nighttime just do it as it is even more appealing with night lights!

Must-see places are important but one of the best things to do in Dublin is getting lost and wandering to discover incredible things: from the fantastic buildings around Merrion Square (don’t forget to see Oscar Wilde’s statue in the park!) to the high-street shops in Grafton Street and the lovely shops in all the little streets around the area.

This is how I found the loveliest buildings, areas, art (for example Joyce characters’ statues) and The Little Museum of Dublin, one of the most interesting surprises of Dublin. It is a small museum where everything was donated by Dubliners and with a special room dedicated to U2!

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (4)

Of course Dublin means also Guinness: the Guinness storehouse is worth a visit even if you will need to get a tram to get there and even if the ticket seems a bit pricy (20 euros). It is a tour that will involve your five senses and it will end up with a pint of Guinness (included in the ticket) on the rooftop of the building where you can admire a 360° view over the city! Make sure you get there early enough to avoid the crowd and to fully enjoy it!

Speaking of beer I can’t remember another trip where I drank that much! Guinness in Ireland has a different taste and I couldn’t help having at least a daily pint of pleasure! There are loads of great pubs, many of them have also great history but let me give you a few tips about my favorite ones (also advised by locals!): I loved The Palace Bar, The Stag’s Head, The Mercantile and The Long Hall for their history hanging on their walls but I also adored Anseo (in Camden Street), the O’Donoghue’s and the Brazen Head (famous for being named in Joyce’s Ulysses). If you want to try other local beers the Porterhouse has a great choice. Temple Bar area is full of pubs (and vintage shops!) but they are not all the same so ask to locals if you are in doubt. One of the loveliest thing in Dublin is that people love to help tourists and you are often asked if you need help when they see you a bit lost!

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (9)

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (5)

My favorite place for eating in town was The Winding Stair, a lovely independent bookshop that has also an adjacent restaurant with great fish. Don’t forget to book your table because it is often very crowded. If you also want to try a great fish and chips make sure to head to Leo Burdock: they have more shops in Dublin but the one in Temple Bar has also tables and seats (try also a take-away if you can: eating fish and chips while walking on Ha’Penny Bridge is priceless!).

If you love rugby you can try to get tickets for the Six Nations if it fits your dates: I was there during the competition but not when Ireland played in Dublin so I had to watch the match in one of the abovementioned pubs and let me tell you that this is another experience that you shouldn’t miss!

Last but not least, if you have time try to reach the sea, especially in winter: I visited Howt (less than 30 minutes by train) and I was amazed by the cliffs and the lovely atmosphere of this fishermen’s village. While observing the nature here you can’t help making deep thoughts about life and enjoying the solitude in front of the sea.

Well, it was a very short guide but I tried to give my best advices; let me know if they were helpful for your trip!

The Ladybug Chronicles Dublin (10)

The Ladybug’s Vintage tour of Dublin

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (6)

Dublin is a city full of vintage: beautiful Georgian buildings with colored doors, Victorian pubs full of history like the Palace Bar or The Long Hall, famous writers, old lighthouses on the cliffs. You can breathe vintage everywhere in Dublin, and the city is full of vintage and antiques shops, local vintage and handmade markets to check out if you are around.

First of all there is a regular Flea Market in Dublin that takes place on the last Sunday of every month in The Co-op on Newmarket square but I couldn’t visit it as it didn’t fit my dates. I spoke with some local vintage lovers who told me that it is easy to find cool bargains there and that it is worth a visit. If you love vintage also check the Pure Vintage Fair to know their dates because I’ve been told great things about this event. Don’t forget also to check Smithfield Market Fair with regular events in Dublin: I had the chance to visit their Valentines’ Market Fair and I loved it! It was well packed but the stalls (mostly vintage and handmade) were lovely and I couldn’t resist buying a few items.

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (3)

When in Smithfield Square don’t forget to head to Dublin Vintage Factory, one of the most famous vintage shops in Dublin. It is quite small but I am sure that you will find your bargain like I did: a black velvet playsuit for ten euros during their vintage kilo sale.

Speaking of great vintage shops one of my favorites was Harlequin in Castle Market: two floors of great vintage clothing and accessories full of bargains! This is exactly the kind of shop that I love: full of things everywhere and with this sweet atmosphere that only true vintage shops can have…definitely a must visit (consider spending some time in there!).

A few steps away, in Drury Street, you can find Om Diva, a lovely colorful shop with vintage clothing mixed with designer, accessories and quirky jewellery. I had the chance to get their 10 euro-dress-offer and I got a lovely vintage dotted dress (but I would have bought at least 5 if only they fitted!!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (8)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (4)

Other interesting addresses: Tola Vintage in Upper Fownes, one of the most interesting areas in Dublin (don’t forget to check online their kilo sales, maybe you get the chance to find them when you are there – I didn’t unfortunately!); Nine Crows in Lower Ormond Quay one of the quirkiest vintage spaces around!

If you are in Dublin during the weekend, head to a small pop-up store called A store is born, opening only on Saturdays, that is worth a visit for its wonderful selection of night velvet or sequined gowns and silk kimonos.

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (9)

Other shops that I couldn’t visit but strongly recommended from local vintage lovers: Lucy’s Lounge, Jenny Vander (I saw the window in Drury Street and it looked amazing!), Tahiti Vintage and The Third Policeman.

A few last tips: if you love retro inspired pieces for modern pinups just have a look at Retroshop Dublin in George’s Street Arcade; thrift lovers, you can’t miss Siopaella in Crow Street and Temple Lane…the best designer at fair prices! For charity shop lovers, you will always find a bargain at Oxfam in Lower George Street (or Oxfam Books in Parliament Street).

The Ladybug Chronicles Vintage Dublin (5)

The Ladybug (finally) meets Amélie Nothomb

The Ladybug Chronicles - Amélie Nothomb (2)

When I started my blog I needed to understand on which of my many passions I needed to focus on: Vintage? Travel? Running? Books? Movies? But also make-up, tea parties, fashion, shoes, bags?

I must confess that I am a curious girl: I am always willing to learn and to discover new things, which may explain why I have so many interests and basically so many things to blog about.

I decided that I was going to focus on vintage and more in particular on bringing it into our daily life, with a bag, a pair of shoes or just a lifestyle but I have kept adding my other passions to it: I often write about my travels, my sport achievements, the movies and books that I loved, makeup and beauty and many other things even if I always try to keep them linked to vintage.

Why did I start my post with this long introduction? Well, today I am going to tell you about that day, a few weeks ago, when I finally met one of my favorite writers, Belgian author Amélie Nothomb, possibly the most “vintage” writer I’ve ever read, not for her age or style but because her writing has a retro something that I’ve never found anywhere else. Let’s add to this that she has a great personal style and that you will never see her in other colors than black or without her huge hats!

The Ladybug Chronicles - Amélie Nothomb (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles - Amélie Nothomb (1)

My “love affair” with her books started many years ago, I was probably in my last year at University and I was going around for book shopping (an habit that didn’t disappear after all these years!) with one of my best friends since then. She bought “Loving Sabotage” and suggested me to do the same as she read great things about the writer. We both read it in less than two days and – amazed by the reading- we decided to read it again in French and to look for more books of Amélie Nothomb. In a couple of weeks we read almost everything she wrote in French (if you can read French you can really enjoy her in her native language). Since then every new book means a happy moment in my life, when I can finally read something new from her (this happens only with my other favorite writer, Hanif Kureishi).

A few weeks ago she was in Milan to present her new book The Crime of Count Neville in many bookshops in town and I finally managed to meet her (and to have an autographed copy of the book!) at 10 Corso Como. She was lovely and fun (exactly how I expected her to be!), wearing of course a huge black hat and totally dressed in black!

I wanted to ask her if she wears vintage sometimes but I decided to talk only books in the few minutes that I could share with her: I really needed to thank her for being such a prolific writer and for making people lives a bit better with her incredible talent.

By the way, if you have never read anything from her look for Loving Sabotage in your nearest bookshop: I promise you will jump online after reading it to look for more books just like I did! Don’t forget to let me know (or to thank me for that!!!)

The Ladybug Chronicles - Amélie Nothomb (3)

The Ladybug and the fabulous world of Alfons Mucha

The Ladybug Chronicles Mucha (6)

Yesterday was the last day of one of the most interesting exhibits held in Milan lately: Alfons Mucha and the Art Nouveau atmospheres. Maybe his name is not very familiar but when you will see his work you will understand what I am talking about: the Czech artist is the father of Art Nouveau and his affiches and decorative panels were the expression of a new way of using art as a communicative language (for example for advertising).

More than 100 works are exposed in such an harmonious and powerful way that your path along the exhibit is a real amazing total involvement in Mucha’s art. From the wonderful iconic posters of the theatre actress Sarah Bernhardt to advertising posters, from the female representation to the oriental influences this exhibit is pure pleasure for all senses and a real proof of the best Art Nouveau works.

The Ladybug Chronicles Mucha (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Mucha (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Mucha (2)

I was completely amazed by his art and I spent a lot of time lost in his golden panels and in his women images!

I wore Max & Co grey coat (another winter sales bargain!), Sandro sweatshirt (sales bargain again), Acne Studios jeans. I paired with Replay biker boots, Zara quilted bag and handmade yellow hat with bow by Madame S.

The Ladybug Chronicles Mucha (3)

The Ladybug Chronicles Mucha (1)