In just two days I will be in Berlin to attend The Hive Conference, “a gathering of digital storytellers, tastemakers & bloggers” where I will get to meet many European bloggers and learn about their experiences with food, travel, lifestyle, crafts and fashion. The Hive co-founder Yvonne suggested that we share 40 facts about us (#40Facts4TheHive), as a way of presenting ourselves to the other conference attendees. I hope that sharing personal facts about myself will make it easier to interact with people I’ve never met before, as well as satisfy the curiosity of all my readers!
1. I was born in Rome in 1981.
2. I was born on the Capricorn-Aquarius cusp so my personality has traits of both signs (for example I am stubborn, driven and responsible, but also day-dreamer, creative and absent-minded…).
4. I have an elder brother who also lives in London and we are very close.
5. I met my husband at a Couchsurfing meeting at The Chandos pub in central London.
6. My husband and I got married three times: in London, Rome and Mumbai. We celebrate our anniversary on the 1st of September, the date of our London wedding.
7. For our honeymoon we travelled for 5 weeks to Australia and New Zealand, with stopovers in Singapore and Dubai . My highlights were eating at the hawker centres in Singapore, visiting coffee shops in Melbourne, swimming at Bondi Icebergs in Sydney, the caravan road trip in New Zealand (in particular Lake Wanaka and Lake Tekapo) and the luxury of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Resort in Dubai.
8. I love coffee and I would love to work in the coffee industry one day. My favourite drink is a cortado.
9. My favourite meal of the day is breakfast. At home I have black filter coffee with biscuits or a slice of bread with peanut butter and jam. When I’m out for brunch I have flat white and smashed avocado with poached eggs on toast, or Eggs Royale (without hollandaise sauce).
10. I love doughnuts with custard cream, especially the ones from Maltby Street or Borough Market.
11. I speak five languages at different degrees of fluency: English, Italian, French, Spanish, German. I also studied Japanese and Hindi.
12. I am short-sighted and I wear glasses 90% of the time (contact lenses any other time). When I was a kid I used to play with my mum’s glasses and dreamed about having my own pair, so the first time I told my mum (as a teenager) that I was struggling to read the blackboard in school she thought I made it up.
13. I am clumsy: I break things all the time and I fall down a lot (slip on pavements, fall from bicycles, walk into lamp posts, bang against doors and corners, and so on!). I have a lot of scars and a big bump on my forehead from a time I fell from my brother’s bicycle (he was riding).
14. I have never ridden a motorbike, but I have been on a motorbike trip from London to Norway (via Denmark) with my husband. I was the pillion of course.
15. I am a very good swimmer and a bad skier. I learnt how to ski only last February, but I’m planning to get better in the future.
16. I love summer and spending days on the beach with friends, sun-tanning, playing, eating gelato and bathing in the sea.
17. I grew up in the outskirts of Rome, in a place called Infernetto, which literally means “little hell”. It’s actually a very nice residential neighbourhood now.
18. For my Mehendi ceremony I had to get intricate henna designs on my hands and feet, which took 8 hours to make. It was incredibly boring: I couldn’t move, go to the bathroom, use my phone or eat. Also, the henna stinks. The end results was awesome though!
19. My favourite singers are Jovanotti and Jack Johnson. One of the best concerts I’ve been to was Jack Johnson (and Ben Harper) in Hyde Park, London in 2008.
20. I get really scared when flying during a turbulence and my fear gets worst as I grow older. But I won’t let my fear stop me from doing what I love: travelling.
21. I moved to London in 2006 to do an internship at a film company for 6 months. I never intended to live here for more than a year, but I met my husband, stayed and eventually I fell in love with the city. I have been living here for nearly 9 years, but I still plan about relocating to a smaller city with a better work / life balance.
22. I have three tattoos: Japanese kanji characters on my lower back, a spiral on the back of my neck and a Hindi quote on my ankle. I got the 1st one in Mexico, the 2nd in New York and the 3rd in London.
23. I have always been very crafty: painting, making jewellery and bags, cross-stitch and other stuff. Nowadays I do very little DIY, but I use baking and photography as my creative outlets.
24. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 23 years old and I have never been in a (serious) relationship with an Italian man.
25. I have already been to Berlin once in 2007, I was there with my best friend Giovanna. I have seen the city’s landmarks and touristic spots, so this time I plan to explore the city through the eyes of a food and coffee blogger.
26. My biggest dream is to travel around the world for one year (or more). I wouldn’t plan my itinerary too much, as sometimes you can discover amazing places just by following the recommendations of people you meet on the way.
27. My dream travel destination is Cuba.
29. I was a Girl Scout for about ten years, we used to build wooden kayaks and sail in lakes near Rome.
30. One of my favourite places in the world is Grado, an island near Venice and Trieste where my family owns a beach house. I try to visit every summer for at least a couple of days, to see my grandma and the rest of the family, and to relax. I love that I can walk everywhere and eat gelato everyday!
31. I was in psychotherapy in the past and it helped me overcome difficult times of stress and depression. I believe anyone should try counselling for a few months as a way of understanding themselves better.
32. I got my passion for photography from my dad and I used to always pose for him. Now I prefer to be behind the camera!
33. I am very touchy and get offended easily. I used to hold grudges for a long time as I was too proud / ashamed to talk about how I felt. I have learnt that speaking up is better than keeping feelings inside, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do.
34. I have always done a lot of sports since I was a kid, but I never enjoyed going to classes. I used to cry a lot before swimming practice! I love working out at my own pace. I run, cycle and go to yoga every week.
35. I started running five years ago: I had a personal trainer at the time and felt strong enough to run long distances. I have run the 5-mile Olympic Park Run and two half marathons (Run To The Beat and Royal Parks in London) raising money in support for NSPCC and Mind.
36. When I lived in New York I was a fundraising volunteer for Emergency, an independent nonprofit organization that provides support for medical care, rehabilitation and relief efforts for the victims of wars, land mines, poverty and natural disasters around the world.
37. I baked my first loaf of bread after my trip to Norway. We couch-surfed for a few nights, our hosts were baking bread, it looked simple enough so I decided to try as well. I didn’t have a food blog yet, but that experience probably gave me the confidence to start one.
38. I have been trying to lose weight ever since I was a teenager and I have tried many diets. I lost weight, then gained it back whenever I felt depressed. I don’t obsess about my body anymore, but I would like to be thinner.
39. I love going to the cinema, especially watching indie or foreign movies. I always fall asleep watching Bollywood movies and I have a soft spot for romantic comedies. One of my favourite movies is Y Tu Mama También (I used to have a crush on Gael Garcia Bernal).
40. One of the happiest days of my life was when I sky-dived in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. The joy and freedom I felt during and after the dive were worth the risk.
So that was hard! I am having second thoughts about this, so I will hit “publish” before I can change my mind.
I hope you enjoyed discovering something new and personal about me. If you are attending The Hive this weekend, please don’t be shy and introduce yourself when you see me. I can’t wait to meet you all!
And don’t forget to send me your Berlin food and coffee tips! I will only have one day to explore Berlin before the conference starts, where should I go?