[Guest post] Inziare lo yoga a 30 anni / Starting yoga at age 30

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Nicola Giorgioni YOGAA chiudere il Giubileo per i miei 30 anni (CLICCA QUI PER VEDERE TUTTO IL PROGRAMMA) non poteva che esserci il mio carissimo amico Nicola Giorgioni, runner e giovane padawan yogico. In questo nuovo guest post ci parla del suo approccio allo yoga e di come gli ha cambiato la vita. Perché non è mai tardi per scoprire cose belle e nuove.

***
Dicembre 2011 e i miei ventotto anni appena compiuti. Finalmente trovai  un corso di yoga (ne cercavo uno da tempo) nelle vicinanze dell’ufficio dove lavoravo. A distanza di poco più di due anni, posso dire che è stato uno dei miei incontri più felici.

Da allora, ho capito che l’età anagrafica conta quanto il due di picche quando la briscola è cuori. Essa può essere utile per calcolare a malapena codice fiscale… È  l’età biologica (BYOGICA, se uniamo i termini “yoga” e “biologica”) a fare la differenza. Secondo alcune ricerche, infatti, il mezzo per misurare l’età biologica è costituito dalla flessibilità del nostro corpo.

Ormai anche nel mondo occidentale (a parte gli sparuti bigotti, con occhi coperti da fette di prosciutto, ecc. che pensano che lo yoga sia una preghiera con canti e musichine indiane, incensi accesi e tende spesse…) ha preso piede la convinzione che praticare yoga potrebbe essere la pietra filosofale, una sorta di elisir dell’eterna giovinezza, senza scomodare  patti col diavolo alla Dorian Gray.
Quindi, cari trentenni (e over 30) che leggete…ormai il tempo delle scuse, del “vorrei ma non posso”, è finito… É tempo di cambiare, di evolversi,  di mettersi in gioco.

Praticare yoga permette di “sentire” il proprio corpo, di considerarlo  il nostro “tempio“, di esplorarlo dal di dentro, senza bisogno di “aiuti” esterni. Ciò può sembrare un discorso astruso, oppure che io venga da Marte, ma vi posso assicurare sulle mie scarpe da running che non è così.

Lo Yoga può essere praticato da tutti, come recita anche un aforisma presente nelle antiche scritture yogiche: “Il diligente raggiunge il successo nello Yoga attraverso la persistenza, che siano giovane, vecchio, malato o debole.

Perché iniziare a fare yoga a 30 anni? Io penso che sia l’età in cui possiamo permetterci di decidere come investire nel nostro futuro. Se ci sta a cuore la nostra salute, in un mondo che corre in maniera frenetica ma senza una precisa direzione e che, quindi, ci porta a riscoprire l’animo umano, allora è bene assecondare questo nostro bisogno.

Di questi tempi, è facile perdere il contatto con noi stessi, prima ancora che con gli altri. Ed ecco lo Yoga, il cui termine deriva dal sanscrito e significa unione. Nel nostro caso, si tratta di unione di mente, corpo e spirito. Sviluppando gli svariati aspetti dello Yoga, l’essere umano dovrebbe essere in grado di elevare la sua coscienza a un livello superiore, raggiungendo un benessere psico-fisico che anche chi pratica yoga da poco tempo (io ho iniziato a sentirne i benefici, a distanza di 2-3 mesi), è in grado di apprezzare.

Inoltre, lo yoga offre un valido supporto terapeutico a coloro che soffrono di malattie o infortuni. Sempre più ricerche, infatti, dimostrano come lo yoga possa fungere da moltiplicatore degli effetti delle cure alle quali si sottopongono i pazienti.

Degna di menzione, a questo proposito, è la storia di Garth McLean, affetto da sclerosi multipla, che ha scelto di combattere la sua battaglia per la vita attraverso la pratica e l’insegnamento dello yoga.

Last but not least, sempre più atleti professionisti utilizzano lo yoga come mezzo per migliorare le proprie prestazioni. Atleti del calibro di Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Ryan Giggs sono solo alcuni dei tanti che, anche grazie alla pratica dello yoga, hanno potuto compiere quel salto di qualità che permette di fare la differenza, ad alti livelli.

Qualunque sia il motivo per cui si arriva a praticare lo yoga, infine,  è sempre utile tenere in mente le parole di una grande yogin: “Armonizzare il cuore con la mente e la mente con il corpo è la chiave per raggiungere lo scopo dello Yoga:  la pace interiore” (Mira Mehta)

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My dear friend and runner Nicola Giorgioni will be the one who closes my Jubilee for my 30th birthday (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE). Nicola is also a  yoga padawan and will tell us how yoga has changed his life. It’s never to late to discover cool new things.

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December 2011: I just turned 28 and finally found a yoga class near my workplace. After two years of yoga, I can tell you that this yoga thing has been one of my happiest meeting in my whole life.
What I learned straight away was that age doesn’t matter. Your biological age makes the real difference – or better, the BYOGIC age (if we unite the word “yoga” and “biologic”) does. According to some studies, the most valuable tool to measure our real biologic age is our body flexibility.

Occidental world (a part from few people who think that yoga is just a prayer with Indian music etc) is, day after day, getting more keen in yoga, believing that yoga may be the new philosopher’s stone, a kind of long life elixir.
Therefore, my dear thirty-year-old (and over 30) readers, the time for any excuses is over! Quit your “I wish but I couldn’t”. It’s time to change, evolve and take a challenge. 

Doing yoga will allow you to “feel” your body and build it up as your perfect temple. You will be exploring your body from its inner inside without the help of any “external intruder”. You may think it’s crazy, or you might think I’m coming from Mars, but I can bet my running shoes on it – yoga does work.

Yoga can be practised by anyone, no exception. There’s also an ancient yogic aphorism that tells that: “Through persistence the diligent achieve success in Yoga, whether they are young, old, sick or weak.

Why starting yoga at age 30? I believe that this is the right age when we are aware of ourselves and we are ready to decide how to invest our future. If we care about our health, in a frantic, running world, it’s time to revalue our human soul and start supporting it as a need.

It’s very easy to lose the contact with our inner soul nowadays, way before losing the contact with the other people surrounding us. The Yoga has the power of keep us connected to ourselves: in fact, its name comes from Sanskrit and means “union”. We’re talking about union of mind, body and spirit, of course. By developing the different aspects of Yoga, every human being should be able to elevate his awareness to a higher level, reaching a physical and psychological well-being within a very short time. To me, the benefit started showing up after two/three month of yoga practice. Amazing, isn’t it?

Moreover, Yoga offers a great support to injured people. Several studies have shown how yoga can boost the effects of the treatments to recover from several injuries and diseases. It’s worth mentioning the story of Garth McLean, afflicted by sclerosis multiple, who decided to fight his battle with the power of yoga, practicing and teaching it.

Last but not least, the army of the pro athletes who chose yoga as a tool to improve their performances is growing day by day. Sport stars like Novak DjokovicAndy MurrayRyan Giggs are just some examples of the people who, thanks also to yoga, make the difference in their own sports.

Whatever it brought you to yoga, it’s useful to keep in mind the words of a great yogin: “Harmonising heart with mind and mind with body is the key to achieving the goal of Yoga – inner peace.” (Mira Mehta)

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30 things I learned in my 30 years of life / 30 cose che ho imparato nei miei 30 anni di vita

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30 things I learned in 30 yearsYes, today is the day. Happy birthday to me!
Thirty years. Cool, isn’t it?
Since that’s a very round figure, I spent the last few days thinking about the thirty things I learned in my thirty years of life on Earth. Here they are.

1) Help who deserves your support. Just don’t expect something back. Helping someone means acting with no ulterior motives.
2) Be the person your dog thinks you are.
3) Treat items and stuff well when you are in a store. There are people who actually work there, so pay them respect.
4) Don’t forget your origins and where you come from. Never.
5) You will be never ready enough when a person you love will be gone forever.
6) You can count your true friends on your hand.
7) Make always people respect you. Possibly by fair means.
8) World is not fair. We can work every day on our little things to make it better.
9) Surround yourself with people that make you happy.
10) You are the average of the five people you associate with most.
11) Don’t regret anything you did in your life. It’s better to make a mistake than live with the doubts of what you didn’t do.
12) Successful people forgive. And apologise.
13) Perfection is not the main goal, it’s just a tool to improve.
14) Remember to motivate and gratify the people who cooperate with you.
15) Don’t take for granted all the most beautiful and true sentiments you may feel for someone. They need to be looked after and nurtured every day.
16) A tiny lady takes an average of 20 minutes to pee 200ml of water.
17) Unwanted hair doesn’t “fall by itself when growing up” like your mother has always told you. You have to remove it. One. By. one.
18) Flowers are a bad gift because they attract bees, wasps and hornets. And they may sting you.
19) Don’t aim too high. Proceed with baby steps, it will make your success sweeter.
20) Life is a privilege. Some friends of mine never turned 30.
21) If you ask me a honest opinion, don’t expect me to do the opposite just to flatter you.
22) Pain is not a cause. It’s an alarm bell. Don’t ignore it.
23) Injuries, accidents and diseases are not punishments.
24) Life is too short to read bad books and to eat bad food.
25) If you recover from some issue, don’t thank God. Thank the medical science and the people supporting you.
26) I have a great sense of smell and a Vulcanian hearing. But if I take off my glasses I won’t either smell or hear or see.
27) I thank everyday the dark times at the high school, when I had my brace(s) on. Now I can smile without being ashamed of my teeth.
28) I’m very sorry for all the only children in the world. They will never experience the gift of having a sister or a brother.
29) I still haven’t spent more than what I earned. Maybe because I haven’t bought a home yet.
30) Seriously, what’s in turning thirty? The true is that I haven’t learned anything so far, a part from how to procrastinate by watching THEM.


Sì, oggi è arrivato il fatidico giorno. Tanti auguri a me!
Trent’anni. Figo, eh?
Dato che la cifra è quanto mai tonda, ho passato gli ultimi giorni a pensare alle trenta cose che ho imparato nei miei primi trent’anni di vita sulla Terra. Eccole qui.

1) Aiuta chi pensi meriti il tuo sostegno. Non aspettarti qualcosa in cambio, però. Aiutare qualcuno significa agire senza secondi fini.
2) Prova ad essere quello che il tuo cane crede che tu sia.
3) Tratta le cose e gli oggetti come se fossero tuoi, quando sei in un negozio. Ci sono persone che lavorano per te, ma questo non significa che tu non debba portare rispetto, sia per le persone che per gli oggetti.
4) Non dimenticarti mai le tue origini. 
5) Non sarai mai pronto abbastanza quando una persona a cui vuoi bene se ne andrà per sempre.
6) Gli amici più veri e sinceri si contano sulle dita di una mano. 
7) Fatti sempre rispettare. Possibilmente usando le buone maniere.
8) Il mondo è ingiusto. Ma possiamo lavorare sulle nostre piccole cose ogni giorno per renderlo un posto migliore.
9) Circondati di persone che ti rendono felice. 
10) Tu sei la media delle cinque persone che frequenti di più.
11) Non avere mai rimorsi. É meglio commettere degli errori piuttosto che vivere con il dubbio di quello che non è stato.
12) Le persone di successo perdonano. E chiedono scusa.
13) La perfezione non è un traguardo finale, ma solo uno strumento per migliorarsi.
14) Ricordati sempre di motivare e gratificare le persone che collaborano e lavorano con te.
15) Non dare mai per scontato i sentimenti più belli e intensi. Hanno bisogno di essere curati e alimentati ogni giorno.
16) Ci vogliono circa 20 minuti per trasformare 200ml di acqua in pipì.
17) I peli superflui non “cadono da soli, quando cresci”, come ci hanno sempre detto le nostre madri. Li devi togliere tu. Uno a uno.
18) I fiori sono un pessimo regalo perchè attraggono api, vespe e calbroni. Che pungono.
19) Non puntare troppo in alto. Procedi a piccoli traguardi, renderà la scalata al successo molto più piacevole.
20) La vita è un privilegio. Certi miei amici non arriveranno a compiere 30 anni.
21) Se mi chiedi un’opinione sincera, non aspettarti l’opposto solo per farti piacere.
22) Il dolore non è una causa, ma un campanello d’allarme. Non ignorarlo.
23) Gli infortuni, gli incidenti e le malattie non sono punizioni.
24) La vita è troppo breve per leggere libri brutti o mangiare cibo pessimo. 
25) Se guarisci da qualcosa, non ringraziare Dio. Ringrazia la scienza medica e le persone che ti sono state affianco.
26) Ho un ottimo olfatto e un udito Vulcaniano. Se però mi tolgo gli occhiali non solo non vedo, ma nemmeno sento.
27) Ringrazio ogni giorno i tempi bui della scuola, quando portavo l’apparecchio (o meglio, gli apparecchi) ai denti. Oggi posso sorridere quanto voglio senza vergognarmi.
28) Mi dispiace moltissimo per tutti i figli unici del mondo, perché non hanno avuto l’occasione di crescere con un fratello o una sorella.
29) Non sono ancora riuscita a spendere più di quello che ho guadagnato. Forse perché non ho ancora acquistato casa?
30) Che poi, alla fine, cosa sono 30 anni? La verità è che non ho ancora imparato nulla, a parte procrastinare sul web guardando LORO.

[Interview] Exclusive Chase Williams insights revealed to sci-fi bestseller Luca Rossi

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interview Chase WilliamsMy friend and sci-fi bestseller, Italian author Luca Rossi, has hosted me in his blog in Italian. I revealed him some exclusive insights about my new Chase Williams detective story (a novel) coming after Pull the Trigger. Do you want to know what I’m talking about?
Here’s the translation in English. Enjoy!

PS: the interview has been to celebrate my 30th birthday. Click here to see the updated schedule of my Jubilee!

What’s your dream?
Winning an Olympic medal! I know that ship looks sailed, but never say never.

Have you always dreamt to be a writer?
When I didn’t want to be a pro athlete, yes. To be fair, I used to want to be a pro athlete that wrote novels about other pro athletes. I’m about to publish a novel that digs deep into cycling’s and shooting’s environment, therefore I’d say I’ve done half of my goal!

Where does the inspiration for Chase Williams come from?
It’s complicated. Chase is not a merely fictional character, and I’m not going to say more. At the very beginning, Chase used to live in 1930s London, then I moved to London, so I decided to move Chase to the present, in a place I know very well: Italy. In this way, I added my personal experiences to Chase’s life.

Could you give us a little spoiler about your next novels?
Pull The Trigger is almost finished and is about to fall into my editor’s clutches. It’s about a double murder with a third surviving witness. Two young Italian sport talents – a cyclist and a shooter – have been shot in cold blood. Inspector Angelo Alunni will be helped by Chase and Gianmarco Betti, a ballistic consultant from Rome that Chase doesn’t like too much. This case will awaken in Chase some of his old life memories, when he was working as a detective in Scotland Yard.
Finally, I’d like to reveal only to you what the novel after Pull The Trigger will be about: it’ll be a case that involves Chase’s neighbour, Giulia, and the sudden, suspicious death of another college student. I’m not going to say more!

You are Italian but you publish in English. Why?
First of all because I live in the UK, therefore I speak and write in English all the time. Furthermore, English is the most widespread language in the world, so I can reach more readers. Actually, I’ve been thinking about releasing an Italian version of my books. At least for my parents, who are eager to read my stories!

How do you see your country from abroad?
I see an amazing country with serious troubles. I see meaningless parochialisms, corruption and too little freedom of expression. And a dreadful, alarming digital illiteracy.

Do you miss Italy? Would you like to go back to your country?
I miss my family, my dog and the bidet. I don’t see how contemporary Italy can offer me and my future family a sustainable future. No, I wouldn’t go back at the moment, unless it’s for some time off.

What do you prefer about British culture?
I love British humour, I think it’s one of the most distinctive and brilliant aspect of British culture.

You have left two publishing houses and went self-publishing. Why? What do you prefer?
We’re living a golden era for authors: you can write and sell without any middle-person. I like being free and independent: as a self-publisher, if nobody is purchasing my books I cannot shift the blame on others, I have the full responsibility; in the very same way, every sale I score is possible thanks to my marketing efforts. It’s challenging, because it constantly puts me to the test and lets me improve everyday by talking to other self-publishers like me.

Would you like a movie about Chase to be produced?
Even more, I’d like a TV series about Chase. Cutting Right To The Chase short stories are perfect for a procedural TV show.

We live in an era of remarkable innovations. What are you going to write about in thirty years?
I hope to write about the perfect murder, the murder you can’t solve in any way. The modern world doesn’t give a quarter to assassins, even less in fiction!


Il mio amico Luca Rossi, autore bestseller di fantascienza non solo in Italia, mi ha ospitato sul suo blog. Gli ho rivelato alcune informazioni in anteprima assoluta riguardo il prossimo romanzo giallo di Chase Williams dopo Pull the Trigger. Vuoi saperne di più? Allora fiondati sul blog di Luca Rossi

PS: l’intervista fa parte delle celebrazioni per il mio trentesimo compleanno. Clicca qui per il programma aggiornato!

[Guest post] 10 (+3) reasons to write mystery fiction/ 10 motivi per cui scrivere storie di mystery

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10 (plus 3) good reasons to write mystery fictionI love writing mystery fiction, and most of all I love reading it. I asked my friend Giulia Beyman, an Italian mystery besteller author, the same question. That made her twinkle and wrote a great blog in Italian about her ten reasons why she writes mystery fiction. Therefore, since my Jubilee is still in progress (CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED SCHEDULE) I obtained her permission to translate it in English.  Giulia agreed and asked me also to add my main reasons that push me to write mystery and detective stories. So here you are: Giulia guest blog and my reasons to follow.

***
I was dealing with  a window glass in one of my stories – just a simple window glass which was supposed to be unbreakable – when I realised that my main character had to break it if she wanted to save her own life. I deal with this kind of situations every day, while writing.

This time I asked myself: why I chose to write mysteries? You know, it’s not easy at all. You have to square things up and think of the plot at the big picture: there are so many threads to weave together! Anyhow, here are my reasons why, no matter what, I keep writing mystery fiction.

1) Do you know another way to kill a husband (yours or someone else’s) without ending up in jail?
2) In the eternal struggle between good and evil, the good always wins if you write a mystery. What a nice feeling! The world is full of bad news and uncertainties, but I can always have my happy ending.
3) I can put people I hate in my stories and drag them into awful situations. I feel better afterwards without hurting anyone.
4) I love questions. Writing mystery fiction opens me a whole world of questions.
5) Whatever happens in my stories I can always think that it’s all fiction.
6) I can find the murderer before everyone else.
7) When doing researches on some cool ways to kill someone (without leaving any trace) no one suspects about me. Never.
8) I can think “How cool would be if I kill him (or her)!” without feeling too guilty.
9) I don’t feel too weird when, while opening a newspaper, the first thing I check is the obituaries.
10) I write mysteries because I love reading them, and even more I love writing them.

What about you, Stefania? I know that you write mysteries too. And you’ve got such a cool detective… What are your good reasons to write mystery fiction?

Well, I can add at least three main reasons the lead me to the mystery/detective story road.

1) It challenges myself. A detective story cannot be predictable. And if it is so, there must be a very good reason. Mystery fiction keeps my brain switched on and pushes me to find better ways to amaze my readers.
2) I can distort reality. One day, my auntie was dusting her living room chandelier and loosened something in its attachment by accident. Few days after, the chandelier crushed down – no one was injured, luckily. But what if it was not an accident and my aunt wanted to kill someone? That’s the beginning of Into the Killer Sphere
3) It’s a relief valve. Whatever plot I create for my mysteries, whether it is inspired by true stories or not, it’s just fiction. It’s good to have a break from reality and get inside a world when dreadful things may happen, but you can control them. It helps me to stay balanced in my daily life.

What about you? Why do you (or would you) write mystery fiction?


Mi piace scrivere gialli, ma soprattutto mi piace leggerli. Ho chiesto alla mia amica Giulia Beyman, scrittrice bestseller di gialli e di mystery suspance, perché lei scriva storie di mistero e perché, per esempio, non scriva fantascienza.

A lei la domanda è piaciuta così tanto che ci ha scritto un post sul suo blog. Io, ovviamente, ho preso la palla al balzo per aggiungere anche il suo post alle celebrazioni per il mio trentesimo compleanno (CLICCA QUI PER IL PROGRAMMA AGGIORNATO), ma in versione solo inglese, per rispettare il suo lavoro.
Leggi qui i 10 motivi di Giulia Beyman per cui lei scrive gialli. Buona lettura!

[Guest post] A look inside British people/ Una vita da expat in UK, Martina Munzittu

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life as an expat - british peopleDo you think that my favourite Italian romance author Martina Munzittu could miss my Jubilee? (CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED SCHEDULE)

I asked her if she wanted to drop some lines about her life in the UK. The reasons why I proposed this guest post to Martina?
1) She’s been living in the UK way more years than me, so she knows what’s all about English people;
2) Chase is an expat as well, but his journey was the opposite, as he moved from the UK to Italy. Find out here the seven things Chase learned by Italians in Italy.

So here’s Martina experience. Life as an expat is cool!

***
I am Italian but I have lived in the UK for twenty years. Stefania has asked me to write a blog post about my impressions as an Italian expat. So here I came up with my list of twenty observations from twenty years in the UK. To be honest, it didn’t take me twenty years to notice all of these, some of them only took twenty days, some twenty weeks, some a bit longer.

They’re meant to serve as a comparison with life in Italy. When I say “English people do this or do that…” what I really mean is that Italians do not. Warning: not to be taken too seriously.

1. English people are very polite, they always say “thank you” when you do something for them.

2. English people are very polite (again). They say “please” when they ask for something. They say please, sometimes, even when they’re not asking for anything.

3. The British will always form a queue at the bus stop, supermarket till, bank and post office counter, airport check-in, or wherever more than two or three people have to wait for something.

4. English people don’t like to eat dry food. By ‘dry’ food I mean anything that is roasted or grilled. If it’s dry, they will cover it with something called ‘gravy’ or sauce, until what was once dry is now swimming in it.

5. The English put pepper on everything they eat. Even on pizza.

6. The British drink tea, Italians drink coffee. When the English drink tea they have it with milk, Italians have it with lemon.

7. English people rush, especially Londoners. If you travel on the tube, you notice that everybody is always running, on the escalators, along the platforms, through the ticket machines. It’s not clear where they are all going.

8. When it comes to plumbing, the English have given up on technology. 50% of modern bathroom’s basins still don’t have mixer taps.

9. See number 8 above. 99% of British bathrooms don’t have a bidet.

10. Half the British population prefers to have a bath rather than a shower.

11. English motorists respect the rules. They will stop at a red traffic light.

12. English drivers will stop at a pedestrian crossing if someone is trying to cross the road.

13. Despite 11 and 12 above, the British drive on the wrong side of the road.

14. Some English girls wear sandals in winter, when it’s only 5 C°.

15. Some guys wear sandals and socks in summer, on those rare days when the temperature reaches 27 C°.

16. English people don’t like to complain. They may have hated their steak tartare, but when the waiter asks ‘how was your meal?’ they’ll say ‘it was very good, thank you.’

17. The English are very punctual. They tend to be good timekeepers and respect deadlines.

18. Family routines are strict. The British tend to put their children to bed by 7pm. The kids wake up very early in the mornings, problematic at week-ends.

19. English people love to read, and they do it everywhere: in the park, on public transport, at the laundrette, while waiting at the doctor’s surgery. I even saw one read while he was walking once.

20. The English are animal lovers. They love them so much that it has been known for some to leave their inheritance to their pets, rather than their immediate family.

These are just generalizations, and as such, must not been taken too seriously. Have you yourself spotted anything about the English culture that is different from yours?


La presenza della mia scrittrice italiana di romanzi rosa preferita, Martina Munzittu, non poteva mancare durante il mio Giubileo (CLICCA QUI PER IL PROGRAMMA AGGIORNATO)

Le ho chiesto se aveva voglia di buttare giù due righe sulla sua esperienza da immigrata in Inghilterra. Perché le ho chiesto proprio questo?

1) Martina vive in Inghilterra da molti più anni di me, per cui sa bene il fatto suo sugli inglesi She’s been living in the UK way more years than me, so she knows what’s all about;
2) Anche Chase è un immigrato, ma al contrario. Rispetto a me e Martina, lui ha fatto il viaggio contrario, spostandosi da Londra all’Italia. Qui Chase ha scritto le sette cose che ha imparato in Italia dagli italiani. É tutto in inglese, c’è da avere pazienza con lui!

Martina ha pubblicato la traduzione italiana del suo guest post sul suo blog.
Clicca qui per leggerlo!

Photo credit Leo Reynolds