All entries for April 2011

April 28, 2011

Junk food triumphs on Facebook

I've been doing some research on Facebook to understand how to use this platform to do business, to raise brand awareness and engage with online audiences. Yesterday I came across some statistics on the most loved Italian brands on Facebook, i.e. company pages with the highest no. of 'Like'.

Surprise surprise.... at the top of the chart is Nutella, followed by Kinder Chocolate (in the UK people might be familiar with the little kinder egg with the surprise inside). I was puzzled with these results. Chocolate tastes good but it's definitely not part of the Mediterranean diet Italy should be famous for! However, it's also true that there isn't any dominant brand with a very unique identity for mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil or pasta.

Prompted by curiosity, I checked also the UK data. The top four brands on Facebook are Skittles, Cadbury Cream Egg, Cadbury Wispa and Maltesers. I wonder why chocolate is so popular.....why not crisps?

anyway it's the triumph of junk food!

Data source:

April 20, 2011

The "happy hour" ritual

One of the coolest places in Milan is the Navigli District. The Navigli are Milan's waterways. Built in 1100 they were in use until about 1930 when some of them started being covered up and replaced with roads. They served commercial and trade purposes, connecting Milan with the main rivers and lakes in the north of Italy. For example, the Candoglia marble used for the Duomo was transported from the quarries near the Lake Maggiore to the construction site via the Navigli.

Today just two Navigli have surveived and they are populated with bars and pubs, one after the other and you're spoiled for choice. This area comes alive in the late afternoon, evening when the Milanese meet there for the 'happy hour' ritual. 'Happy hour' is basically a deal offered by all the bars in the area: between 6pm and 9pm all drinks (beer, wine, cocktails etc.) are offered at the same price, usually between £5 and £8, and there's a finger buffet available and you can eat 'as much as you like'.

April 17, 2011

I've seen amazing things….

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fashion company Trussardi the english-born design Michael Young created this installation made with gilt aluminium "links" that can be reconfigured in innumerable ways.

Every April Milan offers the best in domestic and office furnishing at the 'Salone Internazionale del Mobile' (International Furnishing accessories exhibition), 12 - 17 April 2011. In addition to the exhibitors at the fairgrounds, the city itself  hosts an endless programme of cultural events spanning various historical locations. There's an obvious link between design, art and fashion and the Salone becomes then an opportunity to celebrate what Milan is worldwide famous for.

The choice of what to see and do is just endless, it's an ongoing happening, day and night. I ventured out to explore the situation in the Brera distric (it's where the Brera Pinacoteca is located. It's one of the oldest art gallery in the city and the area around is just full of shops offering the best in design, craft, art etc...)

I visited the exhibition IX Mirrors by Ron Gilad at Dilmos . Those were not usual mirrors! They don't tell just the story of the person they reflect but they seem to have a story of their own, something from a magic world....just take a look at the picture I put in the gallery.

After that I stopped at the Lago Flat (see the picture in the gallery). Lago is a company producing design furniture for the house. They have obviously normal showrooms where people go and buy their products but the most innovative concept is to present their furniture in a real setting, a real house. The flat I visited is a private house all furnished with Lago products. So you have a chance to see a real 'working' home. If you're willing to refurbish your flat and are ready for a new way of life, then you should contact Lago. They offer you a 38% discount on the furniture and as an exchange you agree to have your house open to visitors interested in the products or open for any other kind of social event, meeting etc. Then you'll also get a 20% discount on the sales made thanks to your contribution.

Clearly, this is not a project for ordinary tenant. According to Lago's website this is their ideal tenant:

"The Tenant is a person who loves socializing, who manages to organize the coolest party in 2 hours, without losing heart when it’s time to tidy up. He lives in the Appartamento alone, with his family, with his friends. He doesn’t have a fixed timetable, he opens the doors of his flat according to his availability, making agreements each time with those who are willing to visit the Appartamento. In order to advertise his house he organizes dinners, hosts small events, turns his flat into an interesting and well-known place in the city. He tunes a serenade to his city from his houses’ balcony: he’s certainly not short of courage for it."

April 10, 2011

"My" amazing park in Milan

When I left England, one of things I expected to miss the most were my long walks, often with friends, in the parks in Leamington, along the Grand Union canal and in the nearby countryside. English countryside is simply beautiful, mainly untouched by human hands and scattered around with sheep.

The countryside in Veneto, the region I come from, is much different, more humanized and used mainly for agricaltural purposes. It's not really meant for people wandering around and walking the dog.

A couple of weeks ago I moved to Milan expecting to be surrounded by houses, offices, skyscrapers, basically concrete everywhere. However, to my great surprise, I discovered an amazing park just 5 min walk from where I live. There're four lakes, woods, allotments, birds and ducks. If I really have to make a comparison with England, the only things missing are squirrels and rabbits.

The park is called 'Parco delle cave' literally 'park of the quarries'. In fact, the four lakes used to be sand and gravel quarries.

beautiful view

and more pictures are in the gallery....

April 2011

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