Sunday, March 20, 2011


What you might not expect about the Italians is that they're much more obsessed with horoscopes than any other country I've been to. Horoscopes are everywhere, on the radio the first thing in the morning, features on daytime TV, newspapers, magazines.... It's something the Italians really do believe in. Well, most Italians at any rate.

Even on the underground in Milan, at the stops that have TV screens showing news, and advertising events around the city, there's a horoscope feature. Each sign has a star rating for love, work, and health for that day. If I had to get up in the morning at 7am (luckily I get to sleep for a little bit more than that!) and turned on the radio I'd hear Paolo Fox, one of Italy's most respected and well-known astrologers, giving his predictions for the day on Radio Deejay.

One of the most intelligent people I've met in Italy completely believes in them. It's something that fascinates me, how she judges people through their star signs; how she's able to say so much about a person from their date of birth. Someone like her might not have been taken very seriously had she been born a Brit, but here her knowledge's respected, and never questioned.

It's brushed off on me too. I used to read my horoscope before moving here, but I didn't have the same kind of belief in it that I do now. I'm an Aries, if anyone's wondering. Stubborn, impatient, immature. But also independent, energetic, optimistic. I always used to say that the only Aries qualities that I had were the negative ones, but now I'm not so sure. It's as if all this time in Italy seems to have made me suit my star sign more. Who knows.

The mug? I bought it during my year abroad, in the Ipercoop in Pesaro, and it's followed me around ever since!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Song of The Week

Last Friday Jovanotti's new single, Le tasche piene di sassi debuted on Italian radio and TV. This is the second single from his fantastic album Ora, and always makes me cry!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tanti Auguri Italia!

Yes, I know my photo skills are somewhat lacking, but that's the Galleria dressed up for today, the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification. Happy anniversary Italy, tanti auguri!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Milanese Pet Hates - Part 6

Ok, this's another one that isn't just common to Milan, but never mind.

Supermarket opening times. Oh yes, I'm back on the supermarkets again.

For the last two years of my degree I lived about five minutes from a 24 hour Tesco. It was fantastic. I could rock up there at any time of the day or night (ok, bar Sundays...) without thinking about it. We'd even go on raids at stupid o'clock in the morning after nights out. But here it's not so simple.

Luckily the supermarket I have about 10 minutes down the road isn't as old-skool as to close at lunch, but it's the Sunday closures that annoy me. Because some Sundays there's that one thing you want to eat, or maybe that one thing you need to clean the house or do the washing, but you can't get it because there isn't a supermarket nearby open.

I've discovered that my supermarket seems to be open every third Sunday. There's some sort of law that dictates that only a certain amount of supermarkets in one particular area can be open on any given Sunday, but I've never looked into it in detail.

I'm not the sort of person do to a full-on shop on a Sunday, but just having the security of knowing that my supermarket's open on Sundays would be nice, just in case...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Milan Fashion - Spring

Milan's known as a capital of fashion. Full of designer shops and extremely well dressed people.

I don't really go in for all of that though. Most days you'll see me in skinny jeans and one of my three beloved pairs of Coverse. So I had an idea, to show the other side of the coin when it comes to fashion, the high street fashion of Milan. Today I went shopping and picked up a few pieces:

A very cute gingham skirt from Pimkie

Cropped blazer from H&M (which's the exact same colour of a blazer I used to live in when I was in 6th form!)

Some very comfy wedges also from H&M

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Over-used Italian Words Part 1

It's funny how my over-using words in Italian annoys me more than over-using words in English or Welsh... At the moment I'm going through a phase of over-using:

Piuttosto: a bit of a nightmare to translate thanks to its various meanings. Can be used to express "instead", "quite", or "rather".

Assolutamente: even though saying this makes me feel a bit self-conscious about my accent, I use it a lot. It translates as "absolutely", "really", "completely" or "perfectly", depending on context.

Nel senso che: I wish I knew who I'd picked this up from, especially as I've caught myself using the literal English translation - 'in the sense of'!!

Song of The Week

Carmen Consoli's new song AAA cercasi is an interesting one. Earlier I read an interview with her on the La Repubblica site, where she speaks about what inspired her to write the song. To put it simply, it was inspired by the 'papi' scandal (we all know who Papi is, right??), and the four women she dresses up as during the video is an ironic way of representing the four different 'types' of women who exist in Italy according to the media.