Festival della Zuppa Bologna 2015

Aaaaand it’s over! The festival came and went while we worked our asses off to make it all happen. It was pretty crazy, the months or preparations, hours spent on the computer managing the inscriptions, promo materials, alel the comunication. Then of cours hours in meetings, finding the volunteers to help us, preparing the decorations. But we did it and on Sunday 19th, the Salgari street in Pilastro district dilled up with thousands of people that wanted to try all the 100 (and more) soups competing for the 1st prize.

On that day I also had the great pleasure and honour to perform with my friends from Djembe-Ta and we really made it count! Our performance was more than 1 hour long and you could easily that people enjoyed it. Here you have a short excerpt from our show, the mix of three different versions of soko rhythm:

Then of course, we had A LOT of cleaning to do, but who will remember that when in some time from now we’ll talk about this year’s edition?

Anyway, now that the pressure is over, I have my own project to work on: the infographic showing the festival’s history and facts. Meanwhile I leave you with the gallery of photos published on La Reppublica’s website.


Italian pride

There are some things you should never offend when it comes to the Italian culture and the first one of them is pizza. This is where McDonald’s fell. As you might know, this year’s EXPO is in Milan. It’s theme is Feeding the planet, Energy for Life. So, as it is somewhat related to food, McDonald’s has become one of it’s main sponsors. Recently it has come to my attention that the company released a TV commercial, that I think was not really thought through. Check it out yourselves:

An Italian kid that prefers Happy Meal over pizza? That’s a blasphemy (it’s already big coming from me, imagine the outrage of Italians). I mean, generally food at McDonald’s fa schifo, but even if it doesn’t, it could NEVER be better than a true Italian pizza. McDonald’s, what were you thinking? Of course, it was not necessary to wait long for a response:

It’s even more hilarious because of the language – the kid is speaking in the napoletano dilect (Napoli is of course the place where pizza was born). Dear McDonald’s, everyone makes mistakes, but this was just stupid…

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Thanks to Costruirecollego for the scoop!

Practical info (2)

Here we go with the second part of my very precious pieces of advice about life in Bologna (or Italy in general). Hope you find it useful and remember it’s my own opinion (as always)!

1. Be clever about shopping
Not only about how to spend as little as possible, but also how not to get pissed standing in the line in the supermarket. There is a simple solution: go to the supermarket during lunch time (which in Italy means around 12.30-14.00). I can guarantee you that there will basically be no one there. Just you and some other foreigners that are either as smart as you or they just have lunch at a different time of the day. This rule applies to the whole country, not only Bologna I guess. Just check first if the shop you want to go to is open during lunch time…

2. Carry a map of the city
You will always look like a tourist, but at least you won’t get lost. I have a good sense of direction and in most of the places I visited I could find my way around quite easily, but Italian cities are particular. Streets are narrow, rarely paralel to each other which would make it less difficult after taking a wrong turn and then it might be tricky to find the plates with their names (go to Salerno, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Believe me, it’s better to have a map, even after a couple of months when you think you don’t need it anymore.

3. Do your laundry in the evening and/or on the weekend
It’s something that I still don’t understand completely, but you need to know that using water and electricity in Italy is a bit like parking in the city center: cheaper in the evening (usually after 20.00) and on the weekends (ok, in Poland&Italy parking in those days/hours is completely free, but you know what I mean). For some reason you spend less, so it’s a good thing to schedule your laundry time cleverly. Of course it can happen that on the weekend your laundry machine is getting a hiccup from all the work (you, your flatmates, your flatmates girlfriends/boyfriends), but anyway, it’s cheaper. Keep that in mind.