Lost and Found in Tuscan Hills

People don’t normally like the feeling of being lost, me included. It is the uncertainty, the loss of control, disorientation, frustration, anger, denial, and the list can go on.

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But if we have time and we can move past the initial sense of anxiety, being lost can be an opportunity to see new places, to discover new things, to become an explorer…almost like Columbus.

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I was not quite in the philosophical mood when I got lost on the way from Florence to Sienna. Rain and feeling hungry did not help the situation. But pretty soon a structure that resembled old city walls appeared, as well as promising signs of Trattorias and Pizzerias nearby. The medieval city structure was so impressive that for a little while I forgot I was hungry. Rain almost became a drizzle and my iPhone finally got an Internet signal showing that my location was at San Gimignano.

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Since I had never heard of this city, I wanted to get inside and see what was happening inside the city walls.

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Especially after seeing that TriplAdvisor.com recommended an amazing restaurant there, which had more then 1200 reviews on it, all being fantastic and fabulous!

Inside the city walls the cutest medieval city was hiding! Coming from LA it almost felt like a movie set. But of course it is as real as it gets!

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With the 14 towers that were leftover from the previously built 72 (the highest one 54 meters!), it was an architectural gem that I was feeling so blessed to see.

I will tale more about this fascinating city but I wonder if you can guess why people will build these labor-intensive tall towers in the 14-century, 72 of them and one higher than the other?

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Styling à la Florentine

When you enter a city trough the medieval gigantic doors, you know it is a special place.

Firenze (Florence)  is an epitome of the Italian Renaissance where even the hotels are built with the Renaissance in mind.

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When the hotel room has a Renaissance themed frescoes on the walls, it must be Florence!

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Florence has a very distinct style.

It is an open air museum that would take a visitor a few months to experience and appreciate all the gems that this city has to offer.

One of the least touristy places is the Medicis’ villa. There are so many primary spots that I think the Medicis’ villa hardly gets any traffic.

It is a unique feeling to experience such historical locations in a Zen atmosphere.

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In this Zen environment, I have stumbled upon the most beautiful movie theater ever!IMG_1998

Doesn’t it just look fascinating?

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It just needs a popcorn and a soda machine!

Talk about Form NOT Following the FUNCTION!

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And if the movie is boring, one can always look up to the “sky” for more action!

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What do you think? Would you like a home theater à la Florentine ?

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Happy Birthday Achilles!

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Did you know that June 7th is considered the Greek Semi-God Achilles’ birthday?

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Greek Mythology is full of Gods, Goddesses, but Achilles was always very special for Ancient Greeks.

In some regions of the Black Sea he was even considered as The Sea God and Alexander the Great was priding himself as a descendant of Achilles.

What makes Achilles so special?

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According to the Greek legends Achilles embodied all the invincibility of the Gods: Strength, Courage, Power while he was vulnerable as a human.

His mother, nymph Thetis, was holding him from his heel when she dipped him into the waives of the legendary Styx, to make him immortal and Godlike, but his heel did not touch the immortal water and stayed vulnerable …

That vulnerability made him very relatable and very human…

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Achilles’ archetype is so strong that he even found his place in numerous works of literature and art, from Dante’s “Inferno” to modern pop culture.

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Sometimes we are trying too hard to be superhuman and hide our weaknesses, but maybe that’s what makes us human and relatable… what do you think?

Thunder Perfect Mind….

Poems are not highly popular these days unless they take the form of lyrics and appear as a song. But there are classics that certainly will withstand the changing times, like the “The Thunder Perfect Mind.”

Evelina Galli…Why am I certain?

Because it already did.

I stumbled upon it in one of my favorite perfume ads (my guilty pleasure).

It is a perfume ad for Prada and I keep watching it over and over, it was just so hypnotizing…. and of course, watching Daria Werbowy in Prada clothes can have a similar effect :)

But this was special… the words were puzzling and alluring and seductive and weird.

So I wanted to find out what it was.

The poem was apparently discovered only recently in 1945, but some scholars date it back to 350 C.E. It comes from Alexandria (Ancient Egypt) and talks about a feminine divine nature. It is believed to be about the expression of the goddess Isis .

It is very long, so I will give you just a taste of it.

I was sent forth from the power,

and I have come to those who reflect upon me,

and I have been found among those who seek after me.

Look upon me,  who reflect upon me,

and you hearers, hear me.

You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.

And do not banish me from your sight.

For I am knowledge and ignorance.

I am shame and boldness.

I am shameless; I am ashamed.

I am strength and I am fear.

I am war and peace.

Give heed to me.

I am the one who is disgraced and the great one.

Mars + Venus =

Judging from your answers, I feel as women we have really come a long way. Gone are the days of having to constantly prove ourselves, to validate our roles in relationships, at home and in business.

We live at a point in modern history when we have accomplished a lot and now we are more  “holistic” women…career women, mothers, homemakers..anything we want!…Being a career woman or a feminine woman is not mutually exclusive anymore. All the strong, brave women who came before us not only lit those torches, but carried those torches for us and gave us what we sometimes take for granted: a more gender equal world in which women are respected and revered!

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So this game of life should not be a battle between the sexes. We should not view the other gender as an adversary. There should be no Mars vs Venus, but rather Mars + Venus. It is clear to me that we women have arrived and we should happily co-exist and co-create a better world along with men!

Wild Wild West

What can we learn from our history?

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More precisely, what can we learn from the American Pioneers who were courageous enough to venture out of their comfort zones and move into unknown territories?

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I think this history lesson provides a perfect metaphor for the personal journey we each have.

To live life with a sense of adventure and bravery means always being ready to expand our horizons and discover new frontiers. Living a truly “Wild” life does not mean living in dust bowls and saloons, it means never allowing yourself to become complacent. It means always having a spirit that is willing to leave your “comfort zone” and conquer the your “Wild West,” whatever it might be.

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Any thoughts?