Some say your friends are like family you get to choose. And they know what they are saying: it’s really that way for me. Since I live far away from my family, friends have an essential role in my life, and this summer was one more demonstration of that! This year, I spent my summer around the world with friends and family, old and new. I spent some time in Sicily, where I come from, and my days were filled with time on the beach and wonderful seafood meals. From there, I decided to make my way to the isle of Panarea, in the Eolie archipelago. I am not sure whether you are familiar with this small group of 7 islands off the northern coast of Sicily: if you never heard of it, I recommend reading up on it and adding it to your to-do list for your next trip to Italy. Each of the islands has its own character: one is wilder, one is more urban, another one is a more rugged sort of beauty, and one is for partygoers: and that’s Panarea. Despite this, since it is the smallest of the seven islands and there are no cars, it still manages to retain a peaceful atmosphere, and offers moments of incredible relaxation. Its main characteristics is the intense blue of the sea creating a contrast with the blinding white of the houses, with the bright fuchsia of bougainvillea sprinkled here and there. Days pass in a pleasant routine on this paradise island: breakfast at the port, a day on the boat, apéritif at the Raya, where you can enjoy a beautiful view on the volcanic island of Stromboli, followed by dinner into the wee hours at Bridge.

A few days later, I left Sicily to spend a long, long time on a plane and found myself in L.A., to go visit Chiara. She decided to take me to Hawaii — one of her favorite spots in the world — with some her friends. We stayed at the brand new Four Seasons Hotel, not far from Honolulu on Oahu island: the most urban of the islands, maybe, but also the one that offers the biggest variety of things to do. The place totally lived up to my expectations: we spent wonderful days there, with a helicopter ride on the Jurassic Park shooting location, and a boat ride along the coast to go swim with dolphins. So, what’s not to be missed? First of all, the walk to go up to the Diamond Head crater, from which you get a full view of Honolulu, and world-famous Waikiki beach. And don’t forget to go to the north coast of the islands, a very popular surfer spot, and stop by at Banan’s on the way, to enjoy an acai bowl!

After Hawaii, we went back to L.A.: I love the city, because despite knowing it quite well, I always manage to do something new, too: this time, I went to the Hollywood Bowl to watch Carlos Santana live, and I visited the new Harry Potter attraction at the Universal Studios! A last quick, unplanned stop on my trip was New York City, where I went to see my dear friend Pardis. I only stayed two days and spent them all on the move, just like one would in NYC, I got no sleep, and made my way back to Milan feeling more tired than when I left 🙂

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