Almost ten years ago I set sails in Leiden, a small little city, near Den Haag and Schiphol airport which has vibrant characters and charismas. I was directly in love with the city and still do. My first encounter with Leiden went even way back than 2007, when I lived there as an international student. It was in 2004, when my eyes had not only been enchanted by the lovely small canals of the Nieuwe-Rijn but also by a man, who now is my husband. However, I am not going to tell you about my love life through this blog, I am going to tell you why Leiden has to be one of your primary destinations when visiting the Netherlands.
Now that I live in Europe, I have managed to check list my travelling bucket list that I have since I was a little child. And I gotta tell ya, the list is loooong, waaay toooo loong to mention. There are places like Petra, Napa Valley, Manchu Pichu, The Pasific Highway or Andalusia that I still need to go to, but last July I was able to check out one of the many while in Italy. It was Cinque Terre! Checked!
I have to tell you. If you go to Italy, Florence is one of the must visit cities, even though only for one day. I have been in Firenze (Florence or Fiorentina, you name it) in 2010 and was extremely delighted by … well… the charms of the city. It is not Rome, It is not Venice… It’s Firenze. It’s Tuscany in a city. When you have just arrived at the train station Santa Maria Novella, you won’t believe me but when you are at Piazza Michelangelo, you will know what I mean.
A few posts earlier I mentioned about my plan of having my birthday “celebration” in Verona, at Giuletta’s house to be precise. Why? Because my name is Yulia, which is derived from Juliet, a.k.a Giuletta. Haha, nice try! However, Verona is quite far from Bologna, our main post for the week in Italy and after having two hectic days with the little one, it was wiser to stay in the city and explore it instead.
Have I not told you that this journey to Italy is basically inspired by programmes or movies I have seen on television or Netflix? And Modena is one of the places I wanted to see after watching the documentary series Chef’s Table. I have watched how chef’s Massimo Bottura cooked in the documentary and very curious about the dishes he creates. His restaurants Osteria Francescana is one of the best restaurants in the world and I am sure there would be pages of ethic rules just to go into his restaurants and going to a three Michelin stars restaurant with a child is not a good idea. I am sure the Matrie D of the restaurant would not like it either. So what did we do?