Tag Archives: Milan

Corso di Porta Ticinese, Milan


Corso di Porta Ticinese, with view of the Ticinese arch, the city’s southern access gate. One of the hippest shopping streets of Milan.


What did I learn? Pre-Christmas Edition.

What did I learn?
What did I learn?

It is a relaxing weekend and you can already feel the Christmas atmosphere everywhere. It is raining outside and everyone who can enjoys staying in the warmth of home, with candlelight and the smell of Christmas cookies… Ok, you see, I am in the right mood! 😉

Thinking about what I have learned lately, a great Twitter workshop I visited during the IAB Forum in Milan comes into my mind. Among many other things, I have learned the following:

  • Twitter became “The largest couch in the World”. As per a research among Twitter users, 60% have the feeling to watch a TV Show with other people in the room. I found that interesting, as also the TV now has to handle a completely new behavior: a direct feedback and mood that can be read in real-time during the TV Show. I must admit that I am also one of thesepeople that looks at the Tweets in order to see how people are talking about the show I am watching, and I find it quite amusing as people are often very ironic and funny in their comments. Are you tweeting too while you sit on your couch and watch TV?

    Twitter: the largest couch in the world
    Twitter: the largest couch in the world
  • Talking about the interaction between TV and social media: My idea was that the TV advertising is suffering a loss of importance, giving more space to social media advertising. Well, that is wrong: more and more people do not change TV station anymore during the advertising as they use the time to look at their Smartphone, maybe writing some tweets on the TV show they are watching or chatting with friends… while they unconsciously hear the advertising and are automatically influenced. I absolutely recognize myself in that and I am impressed!
  • A great quote that perfectly explains how one should act to be successful with social media: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be” Wayne Gretzky

  • I have learned to bake Christmas cookies! I tried for the first time and I think the marine look with the seahorses looks great! (and of course they are delicious too! 🙂 )

Pinkvel Cookies

  • But not only: I have also learned to bake a traditional Engadin Nutcake!! This is a typical case of how tastes can bring you back to far away places and experiences. So I tell you a secret: most of my Christmas presents will have to do with my newly discovered fun for baking! 😉
  • Do you also think that it is impossible to live healthy and make some sport while traveling? Of course some hotels have a fitness room, but not everyone has the time and the discipline to use it (I do not! 🙂 ). The news is that you automatically have your sports done while traveling. Have you ever thought about how much you walk even only to take a flight? Here are the airports with the longest ways to the gates:

– Peking (PEK): 3.20 km, which is 46 minutes walk!!
– Atlanta (ATL), 2,09 km, which is 27 minutes walk
– Frankfurt (FRA), 1,88 km
– Hong Kong (HGK), 1,58 km
– London Heathrow (LHR), 1.22 km
– New York, 1.13 km

Well, imagine this with your heavy luggage and when being late (and I am constantly late).

  • If you’re thinking about living abroad, here is a chart with the cost-of-living index, which I think can also be considered when planning a trip to these cities:

That’s all for now. Enjoy the Pre-Christmas time and try not to be too stressed with the presents, put some love in it and it will work out perfectly! 😉

– Pinkvel –

Stay tuned :-)

My dear friends and supporters,

I know, I have not posted too much in the last time. Not because I do not think about you anymore. It is just a kind of blockade. As some of my friends out there know, I have been to Santorini in Greece in September. It was so relaxing … you can easily recognize in this picture 🙂

Relax in Santorini
Relax in Santorini

And somehow I still feel like this.

I came back with 1000 ideas on what to write about and as soon as I was back home… it was too much for me to put down in words. I needed some time to realize and order my thoughts.

Straight away I restarted traveling for work and went to Milan, Rome, and some other cities… so that these impressions were added to the list of things I feel the need to tell you.
I am happy that my instagram followers have been with me in my travels and know that I did not stop. I’m still here… with a lot to write about!


So no worries (in case anyone out there worries, which would be very surprising! lol) – I think I’m back now.

My next trips? Barcelona for the EIBTM Travel Fair, Milan, Switzerland, Berlin.

Stay tuned! 😉




The hidden Soul of Milan

Duomo di Milano - Dome of Milan, Stylized
Duomo di Milano – Dome of Milan, Stylized

A man dressed in a working overall rushes to the door of the train and wants to jump off while the doors close and the train departs. He did not make it in time to get off. I wonder if he realized too late that he is sitting in the wrong train, but then I see him going to an American woman, handing her ticket back and saying “è partito” (it has departed) with a sorry face. All is clear for me at this point: he wanted to jump off to stamp the ticket for her. In Italy you have to always stamp the train ticket before entering the train. If she had asked me I would have told her that all the stamping machines are broken on this track and I didn’t have the chance to stamp it too.

I keep thinking about this man, trying to help her to the point of risking to lose the train himself. This is part of the Italian hospitality. The American woman is a guest and he is at home here.

This is also why I rarely get to pay for my food when I invite someone for a business lunch or dinner in Italy. Even if I am the one inviting, I still remain the guest.

“In Milan I do not really feel like a guest” – I think while the train takes me away from the city where I lived for around 6 years to bring me to the airport.

View from dirty train window on the train to Milan Malpensa Airport
View from dirty train window – On the train to Milan Malpensa Airport

The city I loved and the city I hated. The city that embraces all the guests but can also be very cruel and give you the sensation of real loneliness.

I think I went away because of this feeling of loneliness. It felt like being with the person you love but who ignores you. I went away to make the point of my life. And it was the best choice ever. Sometimes you need to force yourself to leave the things you love in order to rearrange your relationship. I am not sure you can say this about a place where you live, but that’s how I felt.

Milano, Navigli Area - This is where I mostly feel at home
Milano, Navigli Area – This is where I mostly feel at home

I never lost my love for Milan and the enthusiasm to show the city to all visitors that come here with me, because Milan is often not very appealing for the guests coming for the first time without knowing the city. You have to know someone who makes you “live” the city, who explains the spirit to you. I had the luck to be able to show the city to many friends, and they all discovered a new face of the city – they all loved the city like me.

I am here often for work now and I always have mixed feelings when I arrive, but also when I leave like I am doing now. A mix of excitement and sadness.

Ok, maybe this post seems not to have much to do with travel but for me it still has.

It shows the feelings one can have for a city.

It shows how friendly Italians can be in regards to strangers.

And it has a recommendation: go to Milan with someone who knows the city and the Milanese lifestyle – you’ll love it!

Spectacular flight from Milan to Cologne, overlooking the Swiss Alps
Spectacular flight from Milan to Cologne, overlooking the Swiss Alps

Here are some hidden angles of Milan:

Rainy Navilgio Grande
Rainy Naviglio Grande


House with banana-trees on the Naviglio Grande
House with banana-trees on the Naviglio Grande


The new supermodern Milano Porta Nuova area
The new supermodern Milano Porta Nuova area


“La Dolce Vita” combined with Swiss Efficiency: Lugano

Lugano9There is a part of Switzerland which is mostly not being considered in the general common idea people have of the typical Switzerland. It is Ticino: the Italian speaking part.
It is not about cows and cheese fondue. It is a very classy, upscale and dolce vita loving part of Switzerland.

Delicious italian food and lifestyle in Lugano
Delicious italian food and “dolce vita” lifestyle in Lugano

Lugano is one of the most renown cities of Ticino. It all develops on the mountains around Lake Lugano.

The charming city center is very small, formed by numerous banks (ok, this is also part of the typical idea of Switzerland), luxury shops, Swiss/Italian restaurants and bars and one casino.

All the other buildings are spread on the mountains, which give this place a very picturesque look. Wonderful villas, luxurious hotels, restaurants… Everywhere you go, you will be stuck by the unique panoramic views. Lugano loves its Lake and the view of it.

You can have a refreshing swim or do every kind of watersports you desire on Lake Lugano.

Stand-up water paddling and a Whales tail in the Lake ;-)
Stand-up water paddling and a Whales tail in the Lake 😉

To get the “real” Lugano feeling I recommend staying or just drinking a coffee in one of the hotels which made the history of this place, that has lived the golden era and still is in a splendid shape.

One of them, a very intimate place, is Villa Principe Leopoldo. Not only has the Villa wonderful accommodations, it has a Restaurant with one of the most stunning views I have ever seen. Don’t miss it, even if it’s only for an aperitivo in the evening.

Me and my friend enjoying the view from the panoramic restaurant at the Hotel Principe Leopoldo
Me and my friend enjoying the view from the panoramic restaurant at the Hotel Principe Leopoldo
We also had a wonderful Aperitivo with unique view of the lake and the surrounding mountains
We also had a wonderful Aperitivo with unique view of the lake and the surrounding mountains

I have actually staid at the Villa Principe Leopoldo. It is located on the so called “golden hill” not very far away from what used to be Hermann Hesse’s house. It is one of the most charming places I have ever seen, and the staff is very friendly. They even have a shuttle service which brings you up and down the hill to the city center.

You can combine Lugano with a round-trip through Switzerland, by flying to Zurich (it is only 3 hours from there by direct train), and maybe cross the Italian border and fly out from Milan.
Milan can be easily reached in one hour by train. There is a bus shuttle service which even brings you direct from Lugano to the Milan Malpensa airport. Swiss efficiency! 😉