When I first visited South Tyrol a few years ago I immediately fell in love with this beautiful and unique region in the North of Italy. I have been back now two more times to discover it more and each time made my affection for it even bigger.
It’s not just the picturesque look of the region with its luscious green valleys surrounded by a stunning panorama of mountains. It’s more than that. It’s the friendliness and openness of the people, the mix of modern and traditional culture, the food, the air – just everything seems like straight from a picture postcard.
To give you a bit of a better idea, what exactly fascinates me so much about it and why you need to visit there as well I put together a list of 7 reasons why South Tyrol is so awesome. Enjoy after the jump.
photos: Marlen Mueller & Thomas Adler
Who needs a little time out from everyday life to do… well, how about nothing? Having some time to breath, slow down and letting your thoughts wander? No Whatsapp, no Facebook, no deadlines, no worrying.
We all deserve a little Time-Out every now and then and now that it’s summer here in Berlin there’s no better way to do this than grabbing a blanket with your favorite person (and/or pet) and heading out into the wilderness with your tent and some home-made sandwiches. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or a pro, whether you stay a full week somewhere in the South of France or take a day hike to a park in Berlin. The important thing here is to unplug from the daily stress.
Take inspiration from Berlin-based photographers Marlen Mueller and Thomas Adler who document their camping ventures on their blog Urban Tenting. Read more about it after the jump.
I truly love Berlin! But sometimes you have to let go of what you love and venture off to somewhere far far away. When I do leave I tend to go to other big cities. This time though fate took me to what can only be described as the opposite of a city: Saint Lucia.
The tiny island in the Caribbean is by far the most remote spot I have ever visited on this planet and a great mind-clearing trip. Not only did I manage to cleanse my mind of all responsibilities at home, but I got my perspectives in order and returned with a new found passion for this gorgeous Berlin.
Head on after the jump to read all about my Saint Lucia Shenanigans…
photo: Michele Ursino
We’ve all seen them, out in the streets of Berlin, in our offices, they’re in the clubs, in all the cafes. They’ve penetrated our circle of friends, maybe we are even becoming one of them ourselves? I’m talking about one of the ugly results of the Social Media Age: Smartphone Zombies. They walk in the streets without checking the traffic, they sit silently across from each other in restaurants, whole hordes of them in the subway, and all of them constantly gazing into the screen of their smartphones as if they were staring through a magical looking glass into another dimension, one that seems to be significantly more exciting than the world that surrounds them.
How often do you use your smartphone? Is it the first thing you grad when you wake up, and the last thing you see before you fall asleep? How often do you check your new likes, your incoming Whatsapp messages or eMails? How often do you upload new photos on Facebook and Instagram? Maybe you are becoming a Smartphone Zombie yourself and you haven’t even realized it yet? Maybe no-one tells you because all your friends are already infected and this behavior has become a state of normalcy for all of you?
If you think the symptoms are recognizable than maybe it’s time you take action before it’s too late. We’ve compiled a list of 7 steps that will help you to avoid becoming a Smartphone Zombie. You can work your way through our list of steps and depending how early you begin to fail our recommendations the more serious your infection seems to be. But don’t worry, the final step has a remedy that will surely help you as it entails a chance to win a dream vacation on Ibiza in the Vila Mare by Gin Mare. But first things first, here are our 7 steps on how to avoid becoming a Smartphone Zombie…
We have to admit that we are a little late with our trend review of the best of the Milan Design Week. But better late than never right? Not only did we have a great experience at the Airbnb House Warming exhibition, but were also impressed by other places with intriguing and remarkably intelligent design installations. Check out the 5 highlights we found after the jump that includes a couple of designs from here that were shown at the Berlin Design Selection showroom that’s currently traveling around Europe to several design events.
The Spring is not only the time to redecorate your house, start a new affair, get a last-minute gym membership to prepare for summer time and to enjoy the first warm days, it’s also the time to plan your vacations and trips for the year. Of course we are not all going to be here in Berlin all the time and as we are a travel-eager bunch here we would like to give you a few recommendations of where to go in our Travel section.
Today we have an interesting urban exploring project for you that will lead you on a tour to the amazing European cities of Lyon, Antwerp, Bristol, Copenhagen, Florence, Istanbul, Budapest and Hamburg. Initiated by French footwear label Palladium the tour will follow video journalist and blogger Georgia LA from sbtv and photographer and Instagram genius Emmanuel Cole to these cities who will meet up with local insiders and discover the underground scenes and most exciting places. As you can see the tour consciously avoids the big European metropolises such as Paris, London, Rome and (well) Berlin, and instead focusses on less travelled places that are gaining more interest for contemporary travelers in recent years. We salute these choices and cannot wait to see the findings of the tour that will be published on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all hashtagged with #palladiumexplorers.
On May 11, 2015, the tour will start in Lyon where our explorers will meet the guys from local webzine and visual agency Paperboys who will show them around in their city. The smiling gentlemen in the photo above is one of them, by the way. After the jump you can see a first trailer for the tour and get a first impression of Lyon. There will a few documentary films shot and lots of amazing photos taken. Everyone who is also traveling to or living in these 8 cities is welcome to join the project and give insider tips to our explorers and win amazing prices along the way.
photos: Cristian Castelnuovo and iHeartBerlin
What makes you feel welcome in a new place, a new city or a new home? When I came to Berlin for the first time it was the free seat in the subway at Warschauer Straße waiting for me every morning to go to the university in Dahlem. I expected the subway to be a hostile and neurotic place and yet it was very relaxing for me to spend the 45 minutes just sitting there to observe the different kinds of people Berlin had to offer (and still has).
While traveling the world I discovered that there are many rituals and even traditions of welcoming strangers in a home. For the Milan Design Week that took place from April 14-19 this year we had the chance to see a very diverse and interesting interpretation of the topic. The social home sharing platform Airbnb partnered with the creative design and innovation center Fabrica to create Housewarming, an experimental exhibition celebrating simple welcoming traditions and the connection experienced by guests and hosts through sharing their home.
The exhibition took place at Palazzo Crespi, a historic and impressive private mansion that was open to the public for the first time for this year’s Milan Design Week. Embedded into the different parts of the Palazzo we discovered the installations and performances of 19 international designers who showed their versions of the welcoming traditions from their home country. Enjoy our impressions after the jump.
Photo: Giovanni De Angelis
In Berlin everybody – tourist and locals alike – are celebrating the nightlife as if it were the best thing on the planet. Actually, there is almost an absurd cult around certain clubs, parties and DJs that makes you wonder why people are so obsessed with it. Very often you hear people say: Berlin has the best nightlife all around the world. Nowhere else can you experience so much sexual and personal freedom while going out as in Berlin. With the large amount of abandoned and unused space Berlin has a fertile ground for unconventional locations where amazing nightclubs were born.
But to be honest, I think that the attitude around the Berlin nightlife has somehow began to annoy me. No one will argue that Berlin might have a great nightlife, but this doesn’t mean that every party is going to be great and that everybody you will meet at a party will be great. I sometimes feel that the “fame” the Berlin nightlife has gained over the years is taking away its most important component: The down to earth and relaxed attitude Berlin always used to have.
With this in mind I am always quite enthusiastic when I discover amazing parties in other cities. A couple of years ago I found a great one in Sao Paulo already, and now I stumbled over an amazing club in Rome that I really want to share with you.
Rome is probably not the city you go to for partying if you are a foreigner, but rather for extreme sightseeing. But since I hate sightseeing I was quite happy about my discovery: La Rampa is a cultural center in Rome with several artist studios and cultural associations. It was built as a storage for the Opera, was later repurposed as a school and is now a multidisciplinary art center. I had the chance to go to one of the amazing parties happening in the cellar of the space and was completely in love with the impressive location. You had to go deep down inside the earth to enter the club but could still see the stars above you. The thing that made the party night perfect was the amazing crowd celebrating there and the good attitude of the organizers, door men and people involved. I guess you don’t need somebody mean at the door to make your point about how good your party is. Fortunately, I met talented photographer Giovanni De Angelis at the party from L-Ektrica who agreed on sharing his photos of that night with you. Check out his impressions after the jump.
Some time ago we presented to you the places project by Italian fashion brand Antony Morato. After showing you beautiful men from Naples, London and Barcelona we are glad now to present you another interesting episode. This time flamboyant model and Berliner Paul Boche discovers rough and urban Marseille for us and elaborates the cultural difference between Marseille to the rest of France in a poetic monologue. We love how the black and white images of architecture goes hand in hand with the fashion looks. For sure this way of connecting urbanity with elegant menswear will stay in your visual memory for a while. The whole video after the jump.
As much as I love Berlin, there is one thing I love even more: travelling! When I look back I think this year was the one with the most amount of travelling in my entire life. I feel truely lucky to live in a time and place where international travel is so easy and comfortable. I grew up in the GDR so for my parents this was a completely different story. Lucky for me the wall came down when I was seven so from that time on I already made trips with my family to the Canary Islands, Scottland and the US.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram must have been wondering why I call my account iheartberlin at all, because I think I posted more photos from my travels than I do from Berlin (shame on me!). But in the end just because I cherish the opportunity to discover new places doesn’t mean I heart my own city any less. A few of my travels I already featured here on the blog such as my ski trip to Hovden, the visit to Buenos Aires Fashion Week, our art tour to Luxembourg and our amazing week in New York. But there were so many more trips I haven’t spoken about yet that I want to do it here before the year ends.
I think all of the places I chose for this round-up are beautiful and worth a visit. Some of them are great to escape the cold winter in Berlin, and some will be perfect for the pre-season in Spring to enjoy some early summer sun. Enjoy some of my photos from trips to Turkey, Brazil, Austria and Italy after the jump.