Thursday, 31 July 2014

First Stop: Venice

I can not tell you how much I love Venice. There is so much culture, art and history. I actually just arrived onboard that evening while the sunset over looked the islands and was ready to get out and explore this beautiful and enchanting city. This was my third time visiting this magnficent land built on canals and bridges and yet there are still many secret passages leading you to unknown, but exciting discoveries.

I was in a rush to get out which meant I needed to throw on something quick! At night it tends to be a little bit more chilly so I threw on my favorite black jumper and my "go-to shorts" of summer 2014. I also wanted to wear a pair of my black strappy heels for a more dressy feel, but opted to put on my brown sandals to be more comfortable, plus I knew it would be easier to walk around Venice due to the uneven pavements. My boyfriend and I walked around Palazzo Ducale passed Saint Mark's Basillica through Piazza San Marco until we ended up near the Grand Canal. That's when we decided to have dinner near the Rialto Bridge. It was perfect way to end the night drinking white wine and eating one of Venice's typical dish, Bigoli. Delicious! 

 Rated as one of the top destination in the world, Venice is definitely a must. A great romantic getaway I would say! 

Can you believe that this city has 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges? AMAZING! 

One of my fav movies was filmed here! Italian Job!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Forever a Paradise, Cuba

CUBA arriba arriba !! Well here I am on my way to Cuba for a lovely 2-week vacation. Since I am living in Italy and my sister is currently working in Germany for the summer, the family hasn’t been together in over a year: so we reunited in Cuba for a good old family vaca. Unfortunately my fiancĂ© couldn’t join us, since he has to work and as much as I would love love love to go and see him on the cruise ship, we decided to save the money for a relaxing vacation together when he is home. Oh the sacrifices one has to make! So I went alone with the family just like many years ago. The trip started off amazingly well since my dad had booked Super Elite on Sunwing (a recommendation to all: you can pack an extra 10 kg and you get express check-in and more in flight room). We ate dinner in the I pad lounges they now have at Toronto Pearson Airport. I must say that they really serve cool comfy and great food!! It really enriched the whole traveling experience. Adhering to my motto that the world is my runway, I dressed up for the flight with my new pair of Seven stretch jeans and lace tank top, I tell ya: you don’t need to wear sweat pants to feel relaxed. These jeans are chic and extremely comfortable. I always believe in a good hat and why not wear one when traveling like this large floppy sun version to feel classy.

We arrived late in Cuba and went straight to our hotel, the Iberostar Varadero: 5 stars and the best address in town! It is a breath-taking hotel with soft sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, good food, great pools and spacious rooms. We knew right away we were in for a lovely and relaxing 2 weeks. My godparents and sister arrived from Germany and we celebrated with some champagne as the vacation began.

 One of my favourite events was the tour through Varadeo in the old-timer car: a convertible pink Dodge Crown Royal from the 1950’s. I have a passion for anything vintage, especially from the 50’s, so you can imagine my absolute excitement to dress in style for this opportunity. The driver arrived in the early morning and we (my mom and dad came along for the experience) hopped in for a 2-hour drive around town. I felt right at home with my white shorts, jean crop top with white trim (actually a vintage piece from the 50’s) and my headscarf tied in a knot in my hair (perfect for a windy ride). We stopped at Al Capon’s house, and Dupont’s mansion, which is now a golf club, as well as the downtown artisan market. And yes: I most certainly took every stop as an opportunity for a photo shoot. That’s when I fell in love with the charm of Cuba and the vintage feel of an island frozen in the year1959: the old buildings and the old timer cars everywhere, the straw hats and the bands playing on the street, while the rhythms and sounds accompany you on your discovery walk. I don’t think there is another place on earth that is this authentic! I felt immersed in a really lovely reality on this wonderful first excursion: a beautiful day spent cruising with the top down, sun on my face and the wind in my hair.



Stay tuned for more of my cuban adventures,

xo Nicola 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Every Hundred Feet the World Changes - Roberto Balano

It's been a while since I've posted about my whereabouts. For an update, Nicola had gone off to Germany, then later returned to Toronto for a family visit which consisted of a vacay to Cuba. As seen in her last post, she is definitely enjoying herself with her friends and family.

Meanwhile, I continued to live in Sicily as I worked up some magic at school. Luckily, I was able to take some time off and have my own little adventure. It was a great opportunity to reflect and get inspired!

When I was working on the ship I was very fortunate to have met the love of my life. Since my boyfriend still works on the Dawn Princess as an officer, I was lucky enough to tag along for two weeks and travel with him. When I'm onboard I love walking around the deck, smelling the fresh scent of the sea, while the strong winds sweep my hair from side to side--  not to mention taking in the beautiful sights of Europe!

I believe that cruising is the best way to travel. I always tell people that it's almost like a taste tester but for traveling. It allows me to discover different parts of the world in one dose! That way, if you enjoy a particular location you can definitely return for your next trip since you already know what to expect.

Here is a sneak preview to the different ports I visited....


Can you guess which cities I visited?

xo Stephanie

Sunday, 20 July 2014

There Is Something To Be Said For The Pure Joy Of Dressing Up And Going Out, Of Being Young And Alive In The City

Oh Canada, how I have missed you! It was so good to be home: “you really don’t know what you got till its gone” and that’s what I realized more and more as the time passed when I was gone. I made a long list of places, food and experiences I wanted to go to, taste, smell and see. I had the overpowering desire to jut stand in the middle of the beautiful city, the place where I found my back bone, Toronto and just look up: where all you see is a glimpse of sky and skyscrapers around just hugging you. I wanted to go to Starbucks and stand in line to order my non-fat caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso and have them miss spell my name on that iconic cup. I wanted to wake up and sit at the breakfast table with my family. I wanted to sit on the patio and girl talk with my friends. Or have sing along musicals with my best friend Trevor. Or taste the foods of the world that are only a dial away. These are all things and more that you realize you are so used to but will miss so much, when they are no longer available to you.  So trust me: I made sure upon setting foot in Canada to get going on conquering this list of things to do.

First things first: a Starbucks coffee… and why not get dressed up for your errands. I never miss an opportunity of creating a cute new outfit to wear. Like this one here: just high-waisted jeans, cable knit crop top sweater with nautical accessories to make it more summery.


I also had to go downtown right away for brunch since Italians believe that one espresso or three is a good enough breakfast for anyone, when they don’t know what they’re missing: an amazing breakfast lunch special that will start any day  off with a smile. So I took my sister to Insomnia on Bloor, where they have the best homefries around and did I mention the French toast, which is to “die for”, where you will find heaven in just one bite Then we proceeded to walk the shops of Bloor and Yorkville to parooze the vintage shops and buy those delicious macaroons from Morocco! And what better way to celebrate a girls’ day out on he town with a fun patterned pair of pants (which I sewed myself) with big accessories to match.

 I also took the time to catch up with my oldest and  “bestest” friends and my family, whom I had missed so much. I took every opportunity there was, when I wasn’t busy cooking, helping around the house, or exercising at hot yoga to spend a nice lunch or dinner with them. Here you can see some fun pictures from a pool party with Bbq that I hosted at my parents’ house.  I made my own guacamole, salsa, mango chutney, quinoa burgers and hamburgers for everyone to enjoy! It just tastes better when it’s homemade.

I then met my friend Jenn for lunch at Gusto, where we got to catch up and take her adorable little Morkie Monty for a walk. Where I took the opportunity to wear a wrap dress I had sewn many years ago but still great for a nice lunch pairing it with nice earrings or just to throw it on to go to the beach.


But best of all was the patio at el Catrin (in the Distillery District), which is amazing (the best in the city), I have to say, not to mention the Mexican food and pitcher of Mojitos and Kathleen’s company: all in all a fabulous experience! But to top it off, just before I left for Cuba I spent a night with Jenn and Trevor and Kathleen at a Spice Girl cover band concert. You can’t go wrong with that! It was soo much fun dancing to all the classics as Trevor twirled me threw me around the dance floor. I had such a good time! …and of course I had to wear my self -made jeans with leather details to this event, because what else could be better to wear on a night out dancing on the town.

Well, that pretty much concludes the first part of my Canadian adventure! 
Now I’m headed to Cuba ….Ciao till then! 

xo Nicola 

PS. All pants and dress were created and designed by me #shameless 

Fashion Is Instant Language - Prada

My photo

It’s a classic tale of destiny. Two former cruise ship workers fall head over heels in love with two Sicilian Officers. Leaving their family and friends in Canada to live the Italian dream of romance and fashion. Both attending fashion school whilst waiting their men to return from the sea. Their struggles, adventures and experiences depicted here in two very different, but similar styles as they entertain you with fashion as they see it.