The village where the 3 Lapponias meet is pure magic

Here is where the three Lapponias meet , the Finnish, the Swedish and the Norwegian. A strategic point for spotting the magnificent spectacle of the northern lights . But not only.

Time seems to have stopped in this village. The nature dominates majestic. The unusual landscapes of the Malla Nature Reserve invade the horizon. From the highest mountain in Finland, Halti, you can also see the Arctic Ocean , about 40 kilometers away.

From the ancient mountain of Saana, with its particular shape and symbol of the area, you can admire the lakes that surround it and the magnificent tundra populated by reindeer , including the very rare white reindeer. A pristine corner, ideal for those who want to relax and recharge their batteries.

It is also an excellent area for outdoor activities, even in winter, such as cross-country and downhill skiing. For the more adventurous, there is ice swimming , a “regenerating” immersion in the lake, like the real Lapps do. And, for photography lovers, every corner is an unmissable subject to capture.

You sleep in a small family-run resort consisting of several cottages, the only one in the village, far from the rest of the world, but with all comforts (each room has its own sauna that never fails), right on the shore of the frozen lake to Kilpisjarvi . It is the classic Nordic cottage , made of red wood with white frames that, when surrounded by snow, stands out like a traffic light in the middle of nowhere. Typical Lappish food is served in the hotel restaurant.

From here we leave every day for snowshoe hikes, ice fishing and husky dog ​​safaris along the northern fjords. And then, on a snowmobile, during the day and especially in the evening, in search of aurora borealis.

To reach the Finnish village of Kilpisjarvi you fly to Tromsø , northern Norway, skirting the Lyngen (or Lyngenfjord) fjord, an arctic area that has achieved sustainable Destination certification for daily commitment to reduce the environmental impact of tourism and preserve their character and their nature.

Difficult to get there alone, better to rely on a specialized tour operator like Norama who also offers a guide who speaks Italian and who also wakes guests up in the middle of the night when the Northern Lights are about to arrive.

Marsa Matruh, Caribbean Egypt

Legends of a distant time and beaches of fine sand. We are in Marsa Matruh in Egypt, the town on the north coast, 290 kilometers from Alexandria. In Marsa Matruh the sea is an expanse of crystal clear water that is lost on the horizon, and is even one of the main attractions of Caribbean Egypt. It is the last Egyptian city before the border with Libya and therefore makes it even more fascinating.

Yes, because even if it is less known than other places like Sharm el-Sheikh , Marsa Matruh is the place you don’t expect. It is a pleasant surprise, in short, with its landscapes where you can organize excursions and even reach the natural sculptures of the Siwa Oasis. But what are the places you must see absolutely at least once in your life? Here’s all what you need to know.

The beaches on the Red Sea of ​​Marsa Matruh

It doesn’t take that much to reach Marsa Matruh, you get there easily and the plane journey only takes a few hours. So you can carve out some time – relaxing – without having to face all those hours of flight that are already stressful in themselves. In addition to its beaches – very white that stretch for miles – the city of Caribbean Egypt has many villages and resorts where you can spend a pleasant, relaxing holiday. In short, Marsa Matruh is diversified between the lagoon basins and the rocky coastlines.

Marsa Matruh in Egypt: what to see

It is precisely its beaches that make it an enchanting place with Caribbean colors. In addition to enjoying ad hoc relaxation paths, you can undoubtedly go to discover the beauties . But what are the places to see at all costs?

The Great Sand Sea : the “Great Sand Sea” is the desert that extends between Egypt and Libya. Here, in addition to the golden sand, there are also oases like those of Siwa and Bahariya, among caravans and ancient legends

The fortress of Shali : erected in salt and mud, it is located in the center of the Siwa oasis. You can even climb up to the top to enjoy the enchanting landscape, especially at sunset Cleopatra’s pool : it is a large stone pool, fed by a hot water spring. It is said that Cleopatra came here to bathe in her visits to Siwa

The oracle of Amon : for the Egyptians it is the god of the sun, it is found inside the oasis of Siwa. Although today only a few buildings remain of the temple, from there you can admire the landscape
Marsa Matruh is the ideal place for all those who love the sea and culture at the same time. Besides, precisely in this city of Caribbean Egypt – and according to tradition – even Alexander the Great would have stopped before reaching the oracle of Amon. To have predictions on military campaigns.

If you are looking for a place that is different from the usual mass tourism, Marsa Matruh is the place for you.

In Gambarie you can ski on the Aspromonte with a sea view

Climate change plays bad tricks. In the North the snow is struggling to arrive, while Southern Italy is always whiter. Who wants to ski, therefore, must do nothing but go to Calabria .

In Gambarie d’Aspromonte , in winter, the slopes are naturally covered with snow. Gambarie is the first ski resort in the south, famous for the slopes, for the recently renovated ski lifts, for the natural environment in which it is located, for the suggestive landscapes that surround it and for the hotels. Very close to Reggio Calabria , it is only 35 kilometers from the city. So much to be frequented since the 1950s. In 1956, in fact, the first chairlift in Southern Italy was built with the first ski slope. Twenty years ago two new chairlifts and two ski lifts were opened.

Despite the strong development, this town has remained intact and is a fine example of perfect symbiosis between nature and extraordinary surrounding landscape.

The station is located at 1,400 meters above sea ​​level, in the Aspromonte massif. Sea that can be seen very well on the horizon while skiing. From the slopes, in fact, you can see the Strait of Messina, the Aeolian Islands and even Mount Etna which, when erupting, is a real spectacle. A truly unique context, in short, that not even the Dolomites can offer.

There are 11 km of ski slopes of varying difficulty on Mount Scirocco (one blue, three red and one black), with a maximum height difference of 400 meters. The chairlift operates all year round. Yes, because Gambarie is also a summer vacation destination .

Where to find drinking water sources in Italy

Every year, March 22, we celebrate World Water Day . An increasingly precious element that can still be found, in some places, uncontaminated. And drinking.

There is no shortage of water sources in Italy and they represent a slightly different opportunity to explore the woods and take a nice and healthy walk.

A bit like what happens in Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, in the province of Aosta , with the water that flows from the Citrin spring. Its taste, sweet and effervescent, is ideal for those seeking an intense and pure mountain flavor.

The alternatives are not lacking in neighboring regions, such as Piedmont or Lombardy. Who wants to know where are the sources of drinking water in Savoy land must go to Roburent , in the province of Cuneo, where is the lightest water source in Europe.

In the midst of the Lombard mountains, the water of Santa Apollonia is born, in Ponte di Legno , an alpine town in the province of Brescia. Its slightly bitter and alkaline taste does not make it appreciated by everyone, but by drinking it you can appreciate all its beneficial properties.

Going down towards central Italy, the places where the sources of drinking water are located do not cease, giving suggestive glimpses into the villages or villages. This is the case of the source of Sassetta , in the province of Pisa, where people rush from the surrounding Tuscan hills to take light water and taste very good.

In the province of Rome, in Anguillara Sabazia , there is also the famous source of Acqua Claudia , from which a fresh natural effervescent water is born, which can be used by everyone paying the price of parking.

The places where there are splendid sources of drinking water do not cease even in southern Italy. In Calabria, for example, you can collect the so-called Acqua delle Fonte, more precisely in the Parco delle Serre , in the province of Vibo Valentia . Its detoxifying taste is ideal for those seeking waters with beneficial properties.

In Sicily, finally, the springs of Scillato, in the province of Palermo, are unmissable. The clayey sediments make the sources present in this part of Italy of the places from which water is born with important diuretic characteristics.

Love is the most beautiful thing in the world

My life is so overwhelmed lately, that every morning, every awakening seems like a dream to me. As soon as I open my eyes, memories of travel pass by, past times, some of these are like stabs in my stomach.

Fortunately, a strength in me can make me think without regret, I’m still here, life goes on but this time with new dreams, with goals that will make it more useful. Nothing is easy, you know it better than me.

Only 20 days before the start , I’m really excited. In the last 5 days I have walked a lot between valleys and mountains, traveling from 18 to 25 kilometers a day, I think I’m quite ready for our   tour of Italy on foot .

Regarding the first month of travel, every day are covered by those who will open the doors of their homes to a stranger, people who believe in our project  # marta4kids . I was confident but I did not think I received so many positive feedback, I will never tire of thanking you.

In one corner of the room, the backpack appears that looks like I’m watching promising that I and “him” we will make a long way together. Oh yes, we will really make a long way.

Life is not easy, it is not for me especially in this period and it is certainly not for many of you, the important thing is to continue to believe without jumping down, without falling into despair, anger or thinking “why it happened to me “, so much an answer to this question can not be found, I repeat it continuously.

The future is for me such an abstract word that now it is difficult to make long-term plans, I concentrate in this year, it is necessary to follow your dreams.

Love is the most beautiful thing in the world, for me it was the most important thing in life. A kiss to his wife, a boyfriend to a son, a handshake to a colleague, 2 nice words, a caress is all that really matters.

The beaches of Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a true natural paradise. A pearl immersed in the Indian Ocean . I saw colors on that island that I had not seen anywhere else in the world.

The first time you are faced with this magnificent sea, you can not but be breathless. The fast flow of the tides gives true color shows because the sea acquires infinite shades of blue that change very quickly. The beautiful white beaches are able to give more prominence to the ocean, making the landscape a continuous postcard.

But despite the beauty can be found everywhere, and you can hardly be mistaken in choosing one place rather than another on the island, it is good to consider that the small Zanzibar offers very different maritime locations between them. I can not make a top because it would be very difficult and probably wrong to put them in order of ranking. I believe that everyone should look forhis special place , the one that responds completely to his needs that can be very different from one individual to another. So I will try to describe the three main areas so that everyone can understand where to choose to stay.


The main towns located to the north of the island are Nungwi and Kendwa . In general, this part of the island is less affected by the trend of the tides and this is why it makes swimming possible at any time of day. Nungwi is larger and most of the accommodation is located here. It has a very tourist center but just move to the northern part to find an oasis of tranquility. In fact, the area near the lighthouse, still retains a very genuine character thanks to the beautiful beach that the villagers use to build their typical boats, the dhows .

In Nungwui the beaches are not immense and the rocks alternate with suggestive beaches of fine sand. The village is the most beautiful that I have seen on the island and, although it is a bit snubbed by tourists, I think it is worth visiting because it offers the opportunity to observe more closely the busy inhabitants in their daily activities.

Travel low cost to Zanzibar

Have you ever thought it possible to spend 15 days in Zanzibar , one of the pearls of the Indian Ocean, in the two central weeks of August , spending just over one thousand euros ? Yes, I am witness to the fact that it can be done without renouncing any of the pleasures that can be experienced by living this marvelous island fully.

First you need to monitor flights a few months in advance. You have to keep an eye on two destinations: precisely the airport of Zanzibar , but at the same time that of Dar Es Salaam . In my case, in fact, it was decided to take the flight that landed in the capital of Tanzania and then reach the island by ferry , which does not take a direct flight, too expensive for that season. And if you choose more ferry flight, opt for the boat ticket in second class, no one will check once you have gone up so the extra cost is not justified. Surely land in Tanzaniait is more inconvenient, but in my opinion it should not be underestimated the charm of moving by sea, using a means mostly used by the natives and therefore allows you to immediately enter into direct contact with them. It is also a way to give a more authentic flavor to your journey from the very beginning .

Once you have bought a very convenient flight, the rest of the organization of a low cost travel is all downhill! 
For overnight stays you can also decide to book everything from Italy, also because the distances are short so that the itinerary can easily be planned from home and there will be hardly any serious setbacks that will prevent you from complying with the timetable. The advantage of booking before leaving is the ability to compare many prices and, perhaps, wait for offers. However, the fact remains that Zanzibar offers many solutions for overnight stays, both in the capital and along the coast. In addition, all the facilities in which we stayed overnight, had free rooms, so there is no risk of not finding a place to settle down.

And we dispel the myth that in Zanzibar there are only tourist villages: nothing more wrong! Small and simple facilities, clean and cared for, can be found everywhere on the island. In high season, spending € 15-20 per night , you can stay in lovely places. I mention one above all, the one that struck me so much to really feel in paradise: Baraka Aquarium Bungalows in Nungwi . Consisting of only 4 bungalows immersed in the forest, a charming central pond in which lives a friendly family of sea turtles, breakfast served directly on its own terrace and the beach no more than 3 minutes walk. A paradise for € 20 per person!

Essaouira, the pearl of Morocco

In the 60s Essaouira was the destination of the hippies , thanks to Jimmy Hendrix who is said to have composed “Castle made of sand” thinking in this city; Orson Welles shot us “Othello”. Today Essaouira is one of the most beautiful cities in Morocco.

This small town, with a population of just over 70,000, attracts many tourists every year: from penniless surfers to golfers in extra-luxury resorts .

But what makes this city so magnetic?

First of all, it is incredibly beautiful: the first time you set foot in Essaouira you will be fascinated. Certainly I’m biased, because I have maintained an emotional bond with this city, but this pearl deserves a stop on a tour of Morocco.

ut what is really unmissable? To visit Eassaouira it is necessary to consider stopping at least two days; if you want to surf then the stay is prolonged. Many travelers often stop for a long time in Essaouira to savor the tranquility and leave the chaotic Marrakech behind. There are no shortage of places to relax, but pay attention to the existent months: even the Moroccans know the beauty of the beaches and take them by storm!

Here is the best of Essaouira:

1- the Medina is rather small but really beautiful: you can find local craft shops , small restaurants with typical cuisine, luxurious boutiques and corners of natural cosmetics.The wood craftsmanship is typical of the area, so you will find many stores of objects derived from it. Also the argan is typical of this area: there are in fact numerous cooperatives of women who work this miraculous plant. In this regard, I would like to mention that the argan grows only in the region south of Essaouira so here you find the original oil coveted in Europe (at more than fair prices, which can also go to women’s cooperatives).

Cairo (El Qahira) and the Arab spring

When my friend told me “I’ll be home by May, if you want to come and see me you have to do it now”, I realized that in 4 years I had never been able to go to her. Graduated in oriental languages, she moved to Cairo where she worked and studied but after 4 years she decided to go back home. It was January 2011, the one defined as one of the darkest periods of Egypt, the ‘ Arab Spring’ was beginning and nobody, above all the Foreign Ministry, advised to leave but I let the worst months go by and at the end of March I packed my bags.

To welcome a wonderful and immense city even if the impact was quite strong : starting from Ravenna I arrived in a city with about 20 million inhabitants, soldiers at every corner of the road, tanks and curfew, let’s add smog, traffic , the confusion … and the rain. In Cairo it was not raining for 7 years they told me … (it will have been a joke?) But after the storm always comes the rainbow .. so I received the Egyptian capital.The first stage of the trip was Giza but I do not want to talk about the Pyramids this time, but to introduce you to that part of Cairo that perhaps most tourists have never seen. Generally those who take the Nile cruise visit Cairo in one day: Pyramids , Egyptian Museum and a quick tour of the city seen from the tourist bus window. I wanted to live the city differently and I asked Egyptian friends to take me anywhere they could take me …

This mosque, named after its owner (the Arab-Muslim conqueror of Palestine), is located on the boundary line between the ancient part of the city inhabited by Copts and the predominantly Muslim part. The two Egyptian communities do not live in very close proximity and conflicts are often frequent. Reaching the mosque on foot was quite suggestive: soldiers armed with machine guns on the sides of the streets, I felt my eyes focused on me, the only westerner in the vicinity equipped with a camera at the neck .. good luck with me there was Egyptian friend ..
The mosque was tremendously silent, beautiful. Let the shoes out and cover the back of the neck we entered. Once past the door, it was like entering another world, the red carpets and the warm colors of the colonnade, out of the chaos of the city and in total peace … I would have stayed in the mosque for hours. The only thing that embarrassed me was the looks on me, the only woman and especially Western … but that situation made the moment even more magical.