Hello, I’ve been in the Balkans for 5 weeks with sketchy Internet – and plenty of adventures in Dobra Voda, Kotor, Budva, Mostar, Sarajevo and Belgrade, but first – I’m back in Italy, settling into my new home for a while – Parma!

It’s more beautiful than I thought it could be! It is so different to Torino, and much more like Rome with colorful buildings and stone streets, and warm friendly piazzas. At the airport in Podgorica the guy next to me offered me chewing gum and we got chatting, his name is Nek and he plays for Milan football team. He happened to be going to Modena, the next town from Parma, so he assisted with my baggage which was nice.
Arrival was hilarious – my boss called when I landed and told me to go to an address to find someone to find an envelope with an address and keys. So it was a little bit “amazing race”. I found the porter who had never heard of the plan but I saw the envelope on his desk and helped myself, then hopped back into the waiting taxi and went to the apartment provided by my boss – right in the city center in an historical building! Unfortunately it’s 2 rooms, 1 bunk bed, one double and three girls. We will have to negotiate it but I have baggsed the double since I got here first 😉

The neighbour who lives upstairs was lowering his wife a phone in a basket on a rope as I left, and the taxi driver lavished me with compliments and offers for meals and his number on a piece of paper. I have definitely returned to Italy. People of all ages are riding bicycles whilst very well dressed, sometimes with an icecream cone, and everywhere I look it is just a beautiful sight. 

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