Home and Travel

Looking back from Venezia.

The sun was shining so bright today when we headed out to catch the train from Sacile to Venice, that it felt like spring, like the cold, early days of spring.

I’ve been lucky and blessed enought to see this magical city against various backdrops. May it be the cold temperatures and chilly winds blowing through the maze of canals in the winter, the burning hot summer sun making people look for shade in the shady little cul de sacs or the salty sea air playing in your hair while you walk along the the edge of Parco delle Rimembranze, enjoying the warmth of spring and observing the little lizards run along the stone edge on one side of the road and tranquil waves washing the edge of the patway on the other side, this city is always magnificent, always new.

I’ve had the most amazing year of my life here, 2016 was everything and more than I could have ever hoped for. Walking around in Venice today made me a bit sad though, a bit reminiscent because I know that this time next year we will be thousands of miles away from this beautiful city, this gorgeous country.

I can only hope that the new year will be as beautiful and full of love as this one. I’m waving to my friends and family in Estonia, I left with a heavy heart again and soon I’ll have to wave goodbye to Italy too but we will always have our memories, always. Until we meet again, arrivederci.

And to my little family here, you who make up my home and take up my heart – I love you, thank you for this amazing year! Together we stand strong, together we will sail the seven seas… 

Home and Travel, Uncategorized

Italian summer #2 Venezia, Burano

I adore Venice, every single time I get to visit this magnificent city I discover a new aspect of it, a new nuance of its presence. These discoverings are very personal and because Venice has created a treasure chest of lovely emotions and visual beauty in my soul it is very dear to my heart. These details, magnificent architecture and intricate chaos, liveliness of the place, the locals, the tourists, the food and smell of the lagoon and its canals, the heat, sun and dirty but charmingly fairy-tale-like mazes of streets, dead ends, weird corners and pathways all make up a vibe of Venice that is so appealing to me.

It was a given that when one of my best friends Annika came to Italy for a week I wanted to take her to Venice. That was the first thing on my list, to go there together. I felt it would suit her and hoped she would love it as much as I do. She did. 

But it wasn’t our usual Venice trip. Last time I was there, we visited Murano, the island famous for its artistic glass. We went there in June with Teet and Anthony and I loved the atmosphere. Since visiting Murano  added such a nice nuance to the whole Venetian experience for me, I was waiting to go back again and this time take a trip to this magical island of Burano where coulours are brought to life under the hot Italian sun.

Burano is amazing, this place is more than I ever could have dreamed! I have to say I was totally mesmerized by just the colours of the walls, the architectural mosaics they created and how amazingly therapeutic the whole place was. Imagine 30 degrees Celsius, a burning hot summer day, the occasional whiff of wind that brings the salty smell of the lagoon into your nostrils. Aah, a paradise on earth! And the best possible company a girl can ask for! “We’ll always have Venice” we said and opened a bottle of frizzantino when we got back home. Sitting on the patio, sipping the bubbly drink from Murano glass tumblers that we got from our last trip to Venice, the night sky poured shooting stars at us. A magical day with a magical ending. We’ll always have Venezia and so much more, cara mia! 

Pictures by me and Annika, snapped and shot with our phones.

Home and Travel

Benvenuti in Italia!

It’s been a while since I last took the time to gather my thoughts and put something down here. The irony being that instead of a lack of subjects to write about, there’s probably been too much going on so I’ve just been lazy in blogging and more busy #instagramming my adventures away. But I’m trying to fix it now and gradually add more bits and pieces of my adventures and experiences here for you to read about, although Instagram is and will be my favourite visual social media platform so if you wish to keep an eye on the everyday life here in the sunny side of Europe, come join me @janekukk.

So, long story cut short, I am now waking up under the Tuscan sun. Or to be more precise, at the foot of the Alps and under the warm sun of Friuli Venezia Giulia. And yes, Venice is close by and it IS a dream!

This spring was all about planning the move from Tallinn, Estonia to here and, well, getting rid of my stuff. Let’s just say that at the end of the day, I was very pleased I lived in a small studio appartment in Tallinn so I couldn’t collect that much clutter around me. A large portion of my wardrobe found new owners or a new home in second hand stores and the other stuff I couldn’t really take with me was distributed around to friends and family to whom I owe big thanks for helping me out a lot! I will miss hanging out with you all in Kalamaja and having those beers in the Old Town. Thankfully Italy is not as far as, say Australia, so I’ll be taking a raincheck on those drinks.

By the end of June, I was ready to go. That last month in Tallinn passed living in an already half–empty appartment, running from work to offices around town to finish any unfinished business and eating sandwiches and salads because they didn’t require any pots, pans or mortar and pestle to prepare. It was starting to get warm by that time (yes, I know – it was June and I was still wearing my woolen coat) so I spent most of my evenings out meeting up with friends and most of the weekends away from the capital, visiting my family or taking on some last–minute freelance styling gigs. Nighttime was reserved for some sleep and packing. And by packing I mean spring cleanout like I’ve never done before – I think getting rid of all the junk and those boxes and drawers full of “sentimental value” was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. We collect a lot of material things around ourselves and for some reason tend to give it more meaning and value than real life, real adventures and experiences. I personally felt, by that time, that all this stuff I owned was weighing me down, keeping me from taking on some real, new challenges rather than dwelling on the past and being too tied down to dare take a step forward. Or maybe I had just reached a time in my life when I really couldn’t handle clutter around me.

I do miss my books though, a lot. So now when I visited Estonia at the end of September, I just dragged books back in a suitcase and, well bought new ones from Frankfurt airport during my four hour layover (love their little book store there with piles and piles of paperbacks!). I really do dislike baggage weight restrictions, I do. And why do they make the books so heavy nowadays, huh?

But here I am now, since July’15. With my 11 books, 2 suitcases of clothes, a couple of Italian Vogues, 4 sketchbooks, a set of pencils and brushes, big bottle of Indian ink and box of Russian watercolours. Enjoying La Dolce Vita with my three precious companions from the west – two American Staffordshire Terriers and one charming American with no tail or floppy–pointy ears. The weather is warm, the food is delicious, Italy is as amazing as ever and the company is exquisite. So, benvenuti, I’ll keep you posted. But now, since it’s raining outside, I’ll go make myself a new cup of coffee and indulge in some old movies. “Roman Holiday” for the fifteenth time?

Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek of our weekend in Verona. Full-length cover on this magnificent trip coming up soon, stay tuned and have a happy Tuesday!