China · 184 Days · 19 Moments · February 2018

Living and traveling in China

28 August 2018

“The only obsession everyone wants: 'love.' People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You're whole, and then you're cracked open. ” Philip Roth Indian dinner with the girls, and a last cocktail at Kartel bar. Then, the last awakening in my room, and the day is so lovely that I think Shanghai wants to bid the best farewell.

27 August 2018

My last days in the city where I’ve lived 5 adventurous years, and there’s too much to do and see to make a choice of where to go last. So, I let my friends chose. Today we went to the 1933 Shanghai Millfun, which used to be a slaughterhouse, in the Hongkou district. This complex now hosts restaurant, bars, vintage shops, offices and art galleries, and is so unique, nostalgic and instagrammable that it seems made for farewells. The area all around still has an old Shanghai vibe.

17 July 2018

The Shikumen (stone-framed-door houses) of Tianzi Fang still feel genuine despite being mostly converted from residential buildings into artsy boutiques, cafes and craft shops. This is a designers and expatriates heaven, and a good place to go shopping for canvases, tiles with Chinese designs, fabrics and souvenirs. It is also known as Taikang Lu.

16 July 2018

Xintiandi district combines the Shikumen housing typical of old Shanghai with modern architecture, and it’s the right place to be around lunch and dinner time. While you walk looking for cafes, restaurants and fancy shops, you get the taste of both Shanghai in the 1920's and in the 21st century. Being a fan of xiaolongbao ( pork dumplings 🥟 filled with broth) I knew what to order.
I usually avoid the overcrowded touristic spots whose beauty is weakened by hordes of selfie sticks tribesmen, however I had to make an exception today to show my parents the Old Town and the Yu Gardens. We were blessed with the bluest sky and they were fascinated by the people more than the architecture: the selfie stick tribesmen are a show I had underestimated.

10 July 2018

Shanghai has been at its best during the first two weeks of July, and my parents could enjoy a real sunny summer without the usual storms and typhoons. They loved my neighborhood with its mix of old and contemporary architecture, and never had enough of the night view from my apartment.

9 July 2018

My mom loved to watch this lively, spontaneous dance show going on in the park around the corner, but she was too shy to dance when asked by an old neighbor. My father, instead, was scared to death by the loud, aggressive aunties who kept eying the white foreigner. 😂
Shanghai is a megalopolis where at sunset, every evening, no matter the weather, people still meet in parks and public places to dance as if they were in a ballroom. Old ladies and gentlemen practice their movements while kids run around and play.

3 July 2018

Flying machines above the Hai: Miyazaki art exhibition on the 94th floor of the Bottle Opener, and all around the endless sea of skyscrapers of this huge city.
I wish it was my neighbor: Totoro! Miyazaki exhibition at the Shanghai Financial Center.

1 July 2018

The rooftop restaurant and bar at The Captain Youth Hostel in Fuzhou Road. This ship-themed residence offers stunning views of the Bund and Pudong skyline from its rooftop Sunshine Bar, and is perhaps the least expensive watering hole on this area, and a Shanghai (almost) hidden gem.

18 June 2018

Country girl but with a pool! A few days off in Mogan Shan, a district in Zhejiang province, about 200 km from Shanghai. Because of its cool temperatures in the torrid summer, it has been known as the playground and summer retreat of the Chinese and foreign elite since the last decades of Nineteen century. Large European style villas, houses and churches were built for businessmen, customs officials and their families. Many of these villas and houses are still standing, and some have been turned into hotels and guesthouses.

4 June 2018

A vivid gray landscape on a cloudy Monday morning, while strolling along the Huang Pu river in Pudong. Rather than looking at the futuristic view of the new buildings from the Puxi river bank, I prefer to look at the Bund from the east bank.

8 May 2018

New hair to celebrate! Today marks the anniversary of my 5th year in China. What a journey it has been so far!

4 May 2018

Street life

17 April 2018

The tree-lined streets of the French Concession are one of my favorite sights in this bustling 22-million city.

5 March 2018

One of the things I will miss most about Shanghai once I’ll leave is the variety of food that can be found at every corner, wherever you are in the city. From street food from different Chinese provinces to Michelin starred restaurant, the choice is wide. And even Starbucks here is a bit different, cause you can find Italian pizza al taglio and croissant from Princi bakery instead of the usual chicken wrap and blueberry muffin!

1 March 2018

School life. Being a teacher in China has not always been an easy path, and challenges are usually coming from cultural differences rather than language barrier. My lil students are among the cutest human beings, though, and totally worth the effort.

26 February 2018

March in Shanghai; Spring is finally coming and I spend my free time going to exhibitions, biking along the Huangpu and the Former French Concession and enjoying colors all around.