The Ladybug on curls and contemporary art (at Boccioni exhibit!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Boccioni (6)

I finally learned to embrace my curls, I can say it loud and proud now! Many people ask me if this is my real hair or I made something to make them curly, well this is my real white-afro hair!

I can’t explain how my life changed since I finally accepted and loved my natural hair! I spent more than 25 years using straightening products because I wanted so much those classy straight hair instead of my lioness mane but I have finally fell in love with it (never too late!). I think it represents me so well and it really expresses my personality at the point that I cannot see myself with straight hair anymore!

You may wonder why I am so much into self-acceptance today and the reasons are: 1. I am always into self-acceptance and self-support; 2. I took this pictures just after a good haircut at my favorite hairdresser in Milan (the one who made me understand how great my hair was!) which explains why my curls are just curlier than usual!

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The real goal of the post was to tell you about my visit at the Boccioni exhibit in Milan at Palazzo Reale (until the 10th of July) but if I have to be honest, I expected a bit more from it. Too much space for Boccioni’s early works and so little room left for the futuristic artist that I love and appreciate! Still I think it is worth a visit for the second part of the exhibit and for the exhibit “2050” that could be visited with the same ticket until the 29th of May, exposing 46 contemporary artists with 50 pieces interpreting the future of the planet. A great surprise and an amazing exhibit on contemporary art including one of my favorite artists, Louise Bourgeois.

I wore Zara pale pink spring coat, Topshop palm shirt and mom jeans (both from my last trip to Topshop in Edinburgh!), Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers.

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The Ladybug in the streets of Edinburgh

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My weekend in Edinburgh wasn’t all about vintage and charity shops but also about enjoying this incredible city and walking all day to see as much as possible during our two-day trip. We were lucky enough to have two wonderful sunny and warm days to enjoy the town at its best!

Our hotel was in Princes Street, one of the most important streets of Edinburgh not far from the train station, almost near everything and full of shops for your late and deserved shopping after a whole day of walking (Topshop was on my list, of course!).

It is from Princes Street that we started our journey, walking past the beautiful Princes Street Gardens full of green and colored flowers from which you can admire beautiful views of the famous Edinburgh Castle. It is from there that we started our way up to the castle where we spent hours admiring the best views of the city (you can easily see the sea from there!) and visiting every corner of this amazing place!

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From there we walked down to Grassmarket, one of my favorite areas not only for the vintage shops but also for the energy and the atmosphere. After a walk in West Port we came back there for a quick lunch in the sun before starting our way along the Royal Mile (with a lot of deviations in the lovely side streets) straight to the amazing Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland that is worth the visit especially for the wonderful gardens. Here you can also see Mary Stuart rooms, including the outer chamber where the famous murder of her secretary David Rizzio took place.

On this long road from the Castle to Holyrood Palace you can also find the Saint Giles Cathedral (where we saw a real Scottish wedding with sexy Scottish men in kilt…yes, I find them incredibly sexy when they wear it!), the Real Mary King’s Close (let me warn you, this is a real touristic attraction but it’s not too bad!), the modern Scottish Parliament Building and the Queen’s Gallery. From here you can also admire the beautiful Arthur’s seat mountain.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh (10)

The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh (9)

We decided to spend our Saturday night in the New Town, a lovely part of Edinburgh on the northern side of Princes Street, full of lovely restaurants and bars. After a well-deserved drink at the incredible bar The Dome we ate delicious fresh fish at Fishers in the City.

We started our Sunday trip with a free visit at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery where you can find, among kings and queens portraits, also Tilda Swinton and Sean Connery’s portraits. From there we took a long walk along the most beautiful Georgian buildings in town to reach Stockbridge where we fell immediately in love with the place and decided to spend all day there (see my last post about Stockbridge’s vintage and charity shops’ paradise here).

Just a last tip: while walking down the roads in Edinburgh and falling in love with the Georgian buildings, make sure not to miss the beautiful vintage bookshops. The city is full of them and they will be a joy for your vintage eyes!

I wore Bloody Edith striped sweater, Imperial trousers, Max&Co coat, Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers and vintage quilted bag.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh (7)

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The Ladybug’s Vintage Tour of Edinburgh

The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh Vintage (8)

It has been more than a month now that I visited Edinburgh for a weekend with one of my best friends who lives not too far from there. It was definitely one of my best weekends ever: not only I was with a friend that I love and that unfortunately I don’t see too often (with my same passion for traveling, drinking and shopping!) but we were in one of the most amazing cities ever! I didn’t know that Edinburgh could be so beautiful and captivating, I was amazed at every corner! I took hundreds of pictures, which explains why it took so long to make up a decent post with less than fifteen pics! (Which I didn’t manage, that’s why there will be another one later this week!).

We walked and visited a lot but we also made time for some good vintage and charity shopping in town, so today I will share my personal tips for a full vintage/charity shops experience in town while in my next post we will talk more about the sightseeing and what not to miss if you plan a weekend there anytime soon!

As I often say the first thing to do when you go abroad is to check online if any vintage fair is in town: for example Judy’s is often in Edinburgh so you may be lucky enough to find one of the Judy’s Vintage Affordable Fairs around (I wasn’t that lucky unfortunately!) or you may also check Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair’s events site and Facebook page (I’ve never been to their events but my friend told me that they are worth a visit!).

Most of my favourite vintage shops are near the Edinburgh Castle, in a lovely area around Grassmarket with loads of lovely shops and bars that are worth a visit even if you are not really into vintage. In the Grassmarket square you can find the oldest vintage shop in town, Armstrong’s, a real institution in Edinburgh and once you head in you will immediately understand why: the place overloads of incredible and rare pieces for men and women and it is impossible to leave without a bag from there. It may happen that you also spend a lot of time with your head up looking at all the beautiful pieces hanging from the ceiling!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh Vintage (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh Vintage (1)

On the opposite side of Grassmarket, walking to Westport you can find some other great vintage shops. The first that you will find is Godiva, an adorable shop that mixes vintage pieces with new retro inspired jewels (that’s where I found my beautiful flamingo brooch from Erstwilder, one of the loveliest jewellery brands that I discovered in this lovely boutique!) and clothing with a vintage twist. I really loved this coloured, young and fresh boutique and their vintage selection is really interesting!

If you walk a bit more on the same street you will find another lovely vintage shop called Herman Brown: the place is amazing, full of vintage pieces, with a great collection of accessories (I was in love with their shoes, bags and quirky jewellery!). My friend bought there a lovely pair of cat-eye glasses and we enjoyed a pleasant chat on vintage in Edinburgh with the adorable owners of this beautiful place full of amazing vintage pieces for every style.

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If you have the time (make sure you do!) the best thing that you can do in Edinburgh is a 15/20 minute-walk (during which you will also see the most amazing Georgian buildings in town) from the Castle to Stockbridge, one of the most incredible and vibrant areas I have ever visited in my life! The area is full of charity shops, amazing bars and restaurant, little markets and, as we visited it on an incredibly warm and sunny Sunday, people!

In Stockbridge you will find one of the loveliest vintage shops in Edinburgh, Those were the days in Saint Stephen Street, but make sure to go there during the week as it was closed on Sunday and I could only stare at their lovely windows. In front of this shop there is a tiny and dark vintage shop, Skinny Pig, with a lovely owner and with some interesting pieces at affordable prices that is worth a visit before heading to Raeburn Place and Deanhaugh Street where you will be completely lost in the charity shops’ paradise. You will find dozen of great charity shop one next to the other so prepare for a long session: Hospices of Hope (possibly the best bargains), Debra, Barnardo’s (with the best vintage pieces), Capability Scotland, Cancer Research UK, Mary’s living and giving shop by the famous Mary Portas (one of my favourites, I bought palazzo pants for 4 quid), British Red Cross, Shelter, Oxfam (both with dedicated book shops for the best books bargains), Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland. We were exhausted after that but incredibly happy and full of bargains including books, china and clothes for ridiculous prices!

I wore Miss Patina cat shirt, Topshop boyfriend jeans, Primark long waistcoat (bought in Edinburgh – as well as my flamingo brooch from Erstwilder!), Max&Co coat, vintage quilted bag and Nike 4 Other Stories white sneakers.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Edinburgh Vintage (9)

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The Ladybug on how to get the perfect retro look for the office (again!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Capra & Cavoli (3)

This is one of the most debated topics among vintage lovers and one of the questions that I receive more often from my readers. We love vintage, but how can we try to have a retro or vintage look when we work in a corporate office and we are supposed to wear suits? Shall we leave our passion for our weekends?

My answer is always: No! When I started working in a corporate office (where I still work) I standardized my workwear to look like the others: dark colors, blazers, pencil skirts etc. It didn’t work for too long as after a few months I realized that this was totally killing my personality. With time I decided to add small vintage and retro pieces just to add color or a retro touch to make people get comfortable with it. After more than ten years I wear vintage shirts, dresses or jewels at work and I have managed to make my colleagues understand that this is just a part of myself. I never cross the line but I don’t want to hide my own personality every day during the week or have a double wardrobe, one for work one for my spare time. Well, there are still things that I wear only during the weekends and that I would never wear at work but I can say that they are limited.

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If I’m not wearing vintage, I always try to make it look retro, by adding details that say “Hey, this is me!”. I went all black for this outfit, wearing a classic little black dress from Diffusione Tessile paired with a bon-ton retro black spring coat by Benetton (they have them in many colors though and for a very good price!). If you wear all black with a pair of heeled bicolor lace-up shoes like these from Fratelli Rossetti, you will see that they will change the whole outfit! I added my day bag from Miu Miu (it pairs perfectly with the color of the shoes and it is big enough to contain all my stuff!) and a very retro touch with this adorable flamingo brooch from Erstwilder, one of my favorite jewelry labels lately (I am totally obsessed!) that I bought in the lovely Godiva vintage boutique in Edinburgh (btw, I will tell you everything about my last trip to Scotland very soon!).

If you also add waves to your hair I guess that your perfect retro outfit is ready for your next workday!

PS: The pictures are not taken in an office, but mostly in Capra e Cavoli, one of my favorite spots in Milan for a good aperitivo (I love their mojito and they always offer new great side dishes!), but it was just a drink after work, so my outfit comes from a real workday! (I thought the disclaimer was pretty much needed! Hehe)

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The Ladybug goes retro for a movie date

The Ladybug Chronicles Miss Patina dress (2)

How many times did you find online (or on women magazines) the best outfit tips for a movie date (usually with him)? Well, this is not the purpose of my post! It happened that I wore this outfit for a movie date but if there is an advice that I can give if you go for a movie/theatre/dinner date with whoever it will be, make sure to be yourself and to dress only for yourself and not to please your date or anyone else!

That said, I see no other way to be myself than wearing vintage or retro inspired clothes!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Miss Patina dress (1)

This is the reason why I went for this lovely retro tartan dress by Miss Patina with white peter pan collar and cuffs. I really love this brand, they make the cutest things with a vintage and retro touch that made me fall in love!

I added thrifted Prada patent shoes, Miu Miu bag and red lipstick by Mac (I don’t know if it is a good choice to wear red lipstick for a night date but make sure you have it in your bag in case you need to put it on again after the movie!!)

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The Ladybug’s personal Stramilano “after party”!

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As I mentioned in my last post, once the physical effort of running 10K at the Stramilano run was over, with the girls we thought that we deserved a serious “after-party”!

After stretching, partying with the other runners and showering we were ready to head to the Navigli to have a serious drink and food session in one of our favorite spots in town: the Brazilian-Sushi restaurant Temakinho! They have irresistible sushi made with Brazilian ingredients and everything on the menu is a mixture of Japanese and Brazilian cuisine that we adore! Also, they have the best caipirinha and amazing fruit smoothies…but it wasn’t a day for smoothies…we needed to celebrate!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Navigli (4)

We spent our Sunday afternoon on the Navigli just enjoying the sun and the cocktails, walking around and taking some pictures for my outfit post hehe!

I wore a retro printed pink shirt from Diffusione Tessile, Max&Co navy cape-coat and Imperial navy trousers. I added  New Balance sneakers, Valentino shades, Miu Miu bag and a retro touch with my palm brooch (a tribute to the upcoming warm season!) by Marion Godart.

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The Ladybug is a Stra-Milanese runner

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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!

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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…

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

The Ladybug on Spring, girlfriends and Herb Ritts

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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.

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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!).

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The Ladybug’s “friendly” weekend in Rome

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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.

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The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (7)

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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).

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The Ladybug wandering in Venice

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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!

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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).

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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)

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