With great pleasure I present ‘La Luce di Venezia’ event!

I’m happy to announce that our magical “La Luce di Venezia” event  I have been organizing for so long, has finally taken place this weekend, on June 22nd and 23rd. I’m overjoyed by the fact that this event, meticulously planned with such care and effort, has been so thoroughly appreciated by everyone who has attended it.

It is not a coincidence that, with LIGHT as the theme of the event, I have chosen the days of the Summer Solstice as the perfect time for it to take place, and it is only appropriate that it should be set mainly in Murano.

On Saturday 22nd, as all our guests settled in the hotel, they were delighted to find a unique gift in their rooms. That evening, our guests enjoyed a cocktail, mingled and admired the artist Aristide Najean’s gorgeous chandeliers, glass creations and artworks in his Verriere La Cathedrale, Murano. The guests were also allowed to witness Aristide’s master glass-makers perform their craft in the Fornace. Later, as they were savoring the delectable dinner, with the menu inspired by light, everyone was charmed by the opera performances of Bel Canto a Milano.

However, the evening didn’t end there!
Half the group chose to stay in La Cathedrale to enjoy more cocktails and unique spirits. The rest were transferred by taxi-boat to the Casinò of Venice and were greeted by a private reception.

On Sunday 23rd, we visited Aristide Najean’s exhibition, “Sublimation”, in Palazzo Contarini Polignac, featuring a copy (in scale 1:2) of a glass altarpiece for the Sacré Coeur Church in Lourdes, where St.Bernadette’s reliques is to be installed–and the artist himself explained the concept behind his creation. Finally, everyone continued to mingle as they delighted in a private buffet in the Palazzo’s garden.
Eventually, everyone gave their final goodbyes and returned home.

I want to give a special thanks to our sponsors and collaborators, as well as our excellent staff: Valeria, Miriam, Andrea, Mario, Mimì, Massimo, Antonello, Roberto, Mavit and Mariano.

I would also like to offer my heartfelt praise and gratitude to Aristide Najean and his wife Sylvie.

Follow my posts in the next few weeks as I hopefully amaze you with the more details and pictures.

 

 

Exclusive Event: La Luce di Venezia 22 and 23 June

Perhaps nowhere else has light been so appreciated as in Venice. Indeed, the way in which light plays a role in this city’s beauty has not gone unnoticed by artists through the centuries.

The splendid light of these long and bright days of summer solstice are the theme of this special event, dedicated to a few exclusive guests, who will be able to see, listen, touch, and feel new unique moods.

You will be able to see and touch works of creative art, given life by master glassmaker of Murano, Aristide Najaen; listen to the performances of the artists of opera; taste a special dinner, as well as wine and spirits– all of this, in Aristide’s enchanting Fornace/Cathedral in Murano.

 

 

SUBLIMATION ACTE I by Aristide Najean

“Sublimation – Act I” is an exhibition by Aristide Najaen at the Magazzino Gallery, Dorsoduro 878, 30123 Venezia, from May 11th to June 30th 2019 in Venice

I strongly suggest everyone to visit and discover his project. Featuring his latest sculptural paintings of biblical and mythological inspiration, his poetic compositions, as well as a reduced model of the altarpiece conceived for the Sacré Coeur parish in Lourdes and realised at scale of 1:2 with glass lining on the walls, covered with symbols and sculptures to have some effective resonance.

The exhibition at Magazzino Gallery – Act I,
will be transferred, on June 3oth, to La Cathedrale, Calle di Odoardo, 10 – Murano – Act II during Venice Glass Week from September 2019, from the 7th to the 15th.

Enjoy the exhibition!

Extraordinary Event in VENICE

We have planned this event for whom is appassionate about Venice and would like to live two days to discover all of its extraordinary stories, traditions, art and culture.

Take part to this unique event to appreciate the light and flavours of Venice, biting mouthfuls of the alphabet, rolling the sounds on your tongue and chewing on its dialect.

10 things you need to know about Milan

Magic Escapes Holidays will give you extraordinary experience holiday.

 

Italy’s industrial powerhouse and the heart of European fashion and design hides its charms behind a tough exterior, but peel back its layer and you’ll find a city that is cosmopolitan and inviting.

Milan is isn’t the first place in Italy that springs to mind for a weekend away. It’s somewhat overshadowed by its prettier neighbours Florence, Venice and Verona. But this ancient, sophisticated city has some attractions that’s can’t be beaten anywhere else in the country. From the sartorially sophisticated locals, upmarket restaurants and opulent museums and galleries, Milan is a city that is surprisingly cool despite it’s industrial reputation.

Whether this is your first visit of a return of many, there are a few things to be aware and reminded of and a couple of things not to do. That way you can really enrich your experience of Milan and the local landscape.

1. Aperitivo

If you’re going to be in Italy for a while, the eating rituals should start to ingrain themselves on your constitution. Italians are nothing if not conformists, especially when eating; this means a small, sugary breakfast: usually coffee and brioche, and then a large lunch and small dinner. However, these small dinners do not transition so easily when it comes to aperitivo.

Most foreigners’ ideas of aperitivo come from the French ‘aperitif’ where you have a cocktail and canapés before dinner. If you’re invited for an aperitivo in northern Italy the tradition is somewhat different and more drawn-out, you buy one drink (priced from €8-12) and are hereafter given licence to eat as much of the bar food as you like. Aperitivo culture has really taken off in Milan and most locals now see it as their main meal instead of the warm-up.

campari

2. Learn some Italian

Most professional Romans speak excellent English, especially in the larger, touristy areas where you will be hard pushed to find a waiter who won’t reply to you in English. Despite this it’s always an idea to learn some conversational language which helps build a rapport with the locals. Here are some basics that should get you through any eating experience in Italy…

Prendo (I’ll have) tre birre, un caffè, una pizza etc.
Per favore, Grazie (please, thankyou)
Un tavolo per due (a table for two)
Il conto per favore (the bill please) – You have to ask for this, see point 3.

3. The waiter isn’t being rude when he leaves you alone to eat

This phenomenon isn’t unique to Rome, but it’s worth mentioning because it catches so visitors many off-guard. Italian food rituals command that food (and people) take their time, so it’s up to you to wave a cameriere (waiter) down and ask to order and also for the bill.

The same relaxed attitude also applies to tipping which is rarely done in Italy. I was once chased down the street by a barista for leaving an extra €5 on the tray after paying. Ok that’s not true, but often bar staff will question a tip, especially if the establishment is small.

 

4. Mosquitoes

If anything were to cause trouble in Italy’s industrial paradise it would be the smallest of parasites, no? Yes. Milan is a hotbed of mosquitos (le zanzare) and they punctuate the night air from May-October. The city is built on swampland and the hot, humid weather brings these creatures out in droves. The best protection comes from pharmaceutical sprays and plug-in repellents; it’s best to buy these in Italy, as the chemicals work best to fight-off the natives. There are many things that could ruin a trip to Milan, but the zanzare needn’t be the biggest threat, unless you want to pay in blood for your foolhardiness.

Milanese trams in the city centre © Bert Kaufmann/flickr

MILANESE TRAM IN THE CITY CENTRE © BERT KAUFMANN/FLICKR

5. Mussolini didn’t make the trains run on time

There’s an urban legend that 20th century fascist leader Mussolini made the trains run on time in Italy, well it’s not true, despite the protestations of many of the older generations. Italians and their watches very much march to the beat of their own drum. This is not an elaborate music metaphor Italians pay liitle attention to time keeping – it’s not uncommon to see two clocks in a piazza displaying totally different times, even in Milan. Trams, buses and trains rarely run on time, neither do meetings or lunch-hours. This can be infuriating for a foreigner trying to do business here, but the best advice I can give is that you’ll do well to just go with it. Meetings start when the most important person arrives, and if that’s not you grab a coffee and wait; it’s the Italian way.

6. Not all roads lead to Rome

Milan is a great city of course, that’s why you’re here! But if you’re on an extended trip you’d be crazy not to escape the commotion and pollution and get some fresh air in some of the picturesque local countryside. Wealthy Milanese have been frequenting the lakes of Maggiore, Lugano, Iseo and Garda and Como since Roman times, the latter is mere 40 minutes train journey from the city centre. With their red-roofed holiday homes, grand hotels, warm, flower filled shores and on-the-water restaurants the lakes are a luxurious paradise where the city’s bright lights seem a million miles away.

Simon-Greig-photography-Villa-Monastero-in-Varenna-Lake-Como

VILLA MONASTERO IN VARENNA, LAKE COMO © SIMON GREIG PHOTOGRAPHY

Florence is also a close call from Milan, with the fast-train (FrecciaRossa) taking you into the city in an hour and half. The smaller cities of Pavia, Bologna, and Verona are also short train-rides away and offer a more authentic experience of Italian city dwelling than cosmopolitan Milan.

7. Coffee

Nowhere does coffee like Italy. Making a good caffè here is an art in itself and the Italians know how to serve and consume it with style. The Milanese are busy people and the surcharge imposed upon sitters means they drink small espressos standing up at the bar. Please note: order a caffè and you’ll get a simple espresso; all other types of coffee need to be distinguished as such.

Coffee at Peck, Milan

8. Cash is king

You might now be used to paying for everything on your debit card; and the thought of carting around a wallet full of cash isn’t ideal when you’re in a strange city, but in Milan get used to it. Independently run cafes and shops (of which there are many) in Milan often have minimum card spenditures. Italy has years of mistrust in banking systems and merchants pay huge card bills. It may seem backward, like a lot of things in this country, but it’s better to just carry cash and get on with it than to argue with a bar tender because he won’t let you put a €1 coffee on your travel money card.

*Bonus tip: Always keep your receipts. Local police patrolling can ask for a proof of purchase as you leave a shop, if you’ve already chucked-out the receipt the merchant can be fined up to €1200.

Navigli district in the south of Milan, © Jeff Krause/Flickr

MILAN’S NAVIGLI DISTRICT IN THE SOUTH OF THE CITY

9. Romantic ideologies

Italy is still a new country, (unification didn’t occur until 1847) and for this reason many people identify themselves with their region first, and their country second. With this heightened sense of local identity comes certain stereotypes. For example…southerners see the northerners (in particular the Milanese) as cold, money-driven and high-maintenance whereas those from the north see the southerners as hot blooded lazy, tax-evading outlaws.

Like all stereotypes these views can be debated. But it’s fair to say that Milan, as a dynamic and international city is still affected by some of Italy’s rigid traditions and customs. Though these are charming and unique they often seem detrimental to the country’s economic progress. Whenever an Italian tries to impress a certain way of doing things on to you don’t take it as gospel…I guarantee that they’ll be doing the same in reverse.

Parco Sempione, Milan

PARCO SEMPIONE, MILAN

10. Actually, none of this matters so much because…

Italians love to talk, and if you’re friendly enough the owner of the restaurant, shop or hotel will happily tell you all about themselves, their family and their country. They’ll advise you on where to eat, where to shop and tell you all the secrets of the place you’re in. This is a really lovely part of Italian society; even the busiest Milanese people will help you or chat if they can. You’ll also learn an awful lot that no travel guide can tell you. Milan is one of the best places for people watching: the clothes, the language and the expressions are all a part of what makes this such a glorious place to be.

Buon viaggio.