Does Train ride induces creativity?

Everyone has their favorite place to write: it might be at that little table in Starbucks, in the bathtub, in the car; at the office…favorite places are as many as there are people.

Evelina Galli
In Tiger print Komarov top

I have read about Catherine de Great that she had a tiny room where she liked to write her letters and about Pushkin that he liked to write in his bed…it made me think where do you write your blogs? Do you have a special place where you feel you can think better than anywhere else?

Mine happens to be at my desk, but after hearing resent announcement by Amtrak that they will give long-distance travel accommodations to 24 writers as a part of their residency program, made me fantasize about writing on a train…I think I want to test that idea by taking a train from LA to Santa Barbara and just try to write my blog posts from there and see what happens.

I am really curious if any of you have  tried it and what results you’ve got?

Travel from LA to Tokyo in 16 min!

Travel from LA to Tokyo in 16 min!

Have you ever traveled to Tokyo from LA? …Have you ever traveled from LA to Tokyo in 16 min?

Well, I recently did!

16 minute travel full of sounds, visuals (if you have a great imagination!) and smells!

Smell was the most important part of this journey, since I was present at the Scent Concert conducted by the LA based Institute of Art and Olfaction at the Hammer Museum in the Beverly Hills.

perfume  Evelina Galli Hammer museum
before …

We all know that nothing impacts our memory deeper than a sense of smell. If a woman passes by wearing a perfume that your mom used to wear when you were a child, your childhood experience vividly comes alive in your memory.

perfume  Evelina Galli Hammer museum
The science behind…

Scents are very powerful since they affect us on our subconscious level and get stored in our psyche.  Scents have a power to seduce as well as repel, so masterfully using the power of the fragrance was the focal point of this event.

Scent Concert started from Black blindfolds that we needed to put on. Then all of a sudden we start hearing all the airport noises, announcements, someone unzipping their bag nearby, a baby crying etc… and intoxicating smell of perfumes filled the air, like at the duty free store.

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Before the “flight”

Next Scene was on the plane, flying business class and hearing how champagne is popping and stewardess is demonstrating safety procedures. It followed by a relaxing long flight enveloped in a luxurious perfume.

Third act was arriving at the Tokyo airport and getting on a Metro (the most efficient way to get from the Airport to the city), and sounds change:people were walking fast, eating, joking, hurrying, dropping change… and smells moved as rapidly as people.

perfume  Evelina Galli Hammer museum
With the curators of the event: Saskia Wilson-Brown and Allison Agslen

Finally we have arrived at the Luxury hotel in Tokyo, and we  didn’t even needed to hear anything because the smell announced luxury by itself. For a moment we were so cocooned in the entire experience that it almost felt real, for that time we were there in Tokyo, experiencing that 5 star hotel…

The only regret was when I woke up ,that  it only  lasted  16 minutes!

perfume  Evelina Galli Hammer museum

All pictures are curtesy of Sophie Lee, who invited me to this unforgettable event.

New Year’s Resolution

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Hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas!

Now it’s time to look forward to 2014.
I’m looking for the perfect quote to inspire my new year resolutions , so far this is my favorite:

“If you want your life to change, your choices and actions must change. Every day brings a chance to start over”.

Do you want to change anything in 2014?

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Lost and Found in Tuscan Hills

Lost and Found in Tuscan Hills

People don’t normally like the feeling of being lost, me included. It is the uncertainty, the loss of control, disorientation, frustration, anger, denial, and the list can go on.

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

But if we have time and we can move past the initial sense of anxiety, being lost can be an opportunity to see new places, to discover new things, to become an explorer…almost like Columbus.

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I was not quite in the philosophical mood when I got lost on the way from Florence to Sienna. Rain and feeling hungry did not help the situation. But pretty soon a structure that resembled old city walls appeared, as well as promising signs of Trattorias and Pizzerias nearby. The medieval city structure was so impressive that for a little while I forgot I was hungry. Rain almost became a drizzle and my iPhone finally got an Internet signal showing that my location was at San Gimignano.

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

Since I had never heard of this city, I wanted to get inside and see what was happening inside the city walls.

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

Especially after seeing that TriplAdvisor.com recommended an amazing restaurant there, which had more then 1200 reviews on it, all being fantastic and fabulous!

Inside the city walls the cutest medieval city was hiding! Coming from LA it almost felt like a movie set. But of course it is as real as it gets!

evelina galli in tuscany:san gimignano

With the 14 towers that were leftover from the previously built 72 (the highest one 54 meters!), it was an architectural gem that I was feeling so blessed to see.

I will tale more about this fascinating city but I wonder if you can guess why people will build these labor-intensive tall towers in the 14-century, 72 of them and one higher than the other?

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Gritty Palace in Venice

Gritty Palace in Venice

Venice can be considered one of the most beautiful places created by man. It has been captured in millions of photographs and artwork and it almost seems that there will be no surprises when you visit it.

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On the contrary, from the moment you jump into a water taxi at the airport to the moment you leave the city, it feels like you’re on a “Hollywood set” with the constant element of surprise. With the perfect weather and the perfect clouds it felt like a Las Vegas version of itself. (I know it sounds like heresy 🙂

Layers of history can be seen everywhere from the San Marco Square, Rialto bridge, Grand Basilicas to great palazzo hotels lined up on the Grand Canal.

One of these gems is the Gritti Palace, a 15 century palazzo that recently underwent a $50 million dollar renovation with the help of the celebrate designer Chuck Chewning.

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The Gritti was a nobleman’s home in the 15th century but later became a residence for Andrea Gritti, the 16th-century Doge of Venice who gives the property its name today. In 1895 the palazzo was converted into the Grand Hotel.

Staying there seemed nothing short of a time travel even after its “modernized” high-tech restoration with natural marble bathrooms and Aqua Di Parma Spa.

Gritti Palace was a prominent place for the artsy types and even made an appearance in the Hemingway’s novel Across the River and into the Trees.  Hemingway who was one of the frequent visitors of the Hotel alongside Peggy Guggenheim, Somerset Maugham and John Ruskin, all of whom now have suits named after them.

EVelina Galli Gritti Palace

Now it is all in the past and among exceptional art and elegance, the restored Gritti Palace retains its reassuringly  “Old World” feel with the high-tech comforts of a modern life.

Dramatic views of the canal and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute are absolutely breathtaking when you sit on the restaurant patio.

It’s a centrally located hotel so there are varieties of attractions within walking distance (yes there are actually walking streets in Venice)… But for the Stiletto addicts like me, a friendly recommendation: not the best idea to wear them in Venice! I was able to survive the walk from the Gritty Palace to the Opera House, (which was very close), but that was my limit.

EVelina Galli Gritti Palace

I always wanted to visit Venice before it sinks, but it did not seem like it is sinking at all. Instead it is a breath of fresh air and is becoming the IT spot again like it was for centuries.

Do you think it can become a cultural center again or just stay as an open air museum?

For more pictures check out:

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Midsummer Daydream…

Midsummer Daydream…

One month of summer is almost over, I did not even have time to fully enjoy it, was so busy with work. So I have made a MUST list today, before the beautiful summer is over.

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1. Travel as much as possible near and far…

2. Visit Farmer’s Market weekly, make juices every day…

3. Watch Movies Outdoors..

4. Visit Summer Time Concerts.

and

5. Have long dinners with friends (with no phones close by)

…will need to come up with more. What are your ideas?

Did you hear this?!!!

What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away.  ~Chinese Proverb

Gossip, is one of the human vices and should be avoided at all costs!…But what do you do with a story that is so juicy that you just can’t keep it to yourself or you might explode?!

Evelina Galli Illustration

Was Barbara Walters right when she said: “Show me someone who never gossips, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t interested in people”…. ?!!!

Let’s meet!

Let’s meet!

I received a very interesting phone call today! One of my friends was asking me about a blogger who he saw liking my website:

“Evelina, do you know where in China she lives? I am going on a trip to Asia and I really think I want to meet her!” At first I thought it was kind of funny. He thought I personally knew everyone on my blog. And coincidentally, I just was talking about the “Global Village.”

But after I thought about it for a minute… It gave me an idea! Why not?

I would love to know you personally!

One way of doing that would be for you to write a little comment here about yourself and about your blog, sort of like a little intro

Hope to hear from you!

Evelina Galli

Can’t wait to meet you all!