EVS Blog

VIA FRANCIGENA e il benessere di slow life

Dopo aver vissuto a Mosca per cinque anni e a Milano per quasi un anno, ho capito che le città grandi offrono tanti divertimenti, ma ci rubano la vita vera e l’abilità di riconoscere delle piccole gioie che spesso ci sfuggono di mano. Abbiamo sempre tante cose in testa, dobbiamo ricordarci di tutto e correre realizzando un sogno dopo l’altro per diventare più efficaci e coronati dal successo negli occhi della società.

Anche se personalmente cerco di non rimanere intrappolata dai questi trucchi della filosofia di città grande, un anno a Milano mi ha influenzato lo stesso, e per questo ogni fine settimana e quei giorni liberi che ho avuto durante il mio progetto SVE tentavo sempre di non stare ferma in un posto e così in 10 mesi ho visitato Slovenia, Croatia, Ungheria, Serbia, Svizzera, Francia, Germania, Marocco e anche molte città italiane (Cremona, Bologna, Rimini, Cinque Terre, Cagliari, Catania, Trieste, Venezia, Genova, Napolì… ). Ovviamente mi sento molto fortunata di averlo fatto (beh, chi si lamenta di viaggiare?). Ma anche se di solito il viaggio in sè cambia completamente la tua vita quotidiana e in questo modo ti permette di vivere «qui e ora» e godere di più dei piccoli piaceri della vita, quando «la festa» diventa un’abitudine, la magia dei tuoi spostamenti nello spazio esteriore sparisce e viene fuori la necessità dei movimenti interiori nello spazio della tua anima. Così ho rinunciato alla filosofia popolare «Più città, più paesi possibili in un giorno!» e mi sono interessata al turismo alternativo che mi darebbe occasione di ascoltare me stessa e imparare a vedere l’invisibile.

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(English) EVS experience as a way to See More. Part 1

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano. Per ragioni di convenienza del visitatore, il contenuto è mostrato sotto nella lingua alternativa. Puoi cliccare sul link per cambiare la lingua attiva.

Hello to everyone! My name is Yura Staryk and here is my first article on this blog where I’d like to tell you more about my EVS experience since September 2015 until June 2016. But before we go, let me tell you more about myself. Ready to go?

DSC_0256_1x1Let’s say “Introducing myself”

As I have written already, my name is Yura Staryk and I came from Ukraine. I’m a coach, marketer, programmer, traveler and autobiographical book writer. Personal productivity, travels, marketing & sales, psychology – here are activities I do, I enjoy, I like. Besides these I like extreme sports like le parkour (originally from France), fire show, climbing, cycling and slacklining. You can read more here.

Perhaps now you are thinking and interesting, why I have decided to do an EVS. And the answer is – new language, travels and completely new different experience working with Italian association. I wanna say, that European Voluntary Service (EVS) isn’t only voluntary service or located work in a new country. Also (if you’re well self-organizer) you can do really many different things and develop yourself in general.

I’m going to write briefly list of 10 things I enjoy the most during the time I’m in Italy on my project

(English) Shake the world!

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano. Per ragioni di convenienza del visitatore, il contenuto è mostrato sotto nella lingua alternativa. Puoi cliccare sul link per cambiare la lingua attiva.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

 Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes I feel myself helpless and useless if by chance I suddenly happen to listen a TV program, radio or Internet news, because the world reflected from these pieces of information seems to be so violent and it makes me feel so little in comparison to giant global problems of the world. And having EVS in Casa per la Pace means that you will get to know even more cases of hidden violence which is not spoken in media, so on one hand you will feel even more helpless in front of those world tragedies, but on another hand spending so much time with people who make a difference help you learn that you are also empowered;

 not to change the whole world though, but at least to be the change you wish to see in the world.

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(English) Hi! I am a volunteer from Russia!

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano. Per ragioni di convenienza del visitatore, il contenuto è mostrato sotto nella lingua alternativa. Puoi cliccare sul link per cambiare la lingua attiva.

Hey there!

I am Kseniia and I am the first EVS volunteer from Russia. And this is my story of how I happened to be in Italy with Casa per la Pace.

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CASA PER LA PACE, LA PERLA MILANESE

Milano è una cozza signore, brutta come una cozza, ma poi è anche buona come una cozza. Anzi, signore, Milano è un chilo di cozze che prima ne prendi una, poi un’altra,  poi un’altra ancora e non ti fermi più; solo, stai attento all’epatita, alla malattia signore, ché se esageri con Milano tutta in una volta, poi t’ammali: Milano la devi prendere a poco a poco signore, una cozza alla volta, stando accorto ai granelli di sabbia, al putridume, ché pure a Milano ci sono le zozzarie, come quassotta, ma poi ogni tanto, tra tutte le cozze che ci stanno in giro, magari te ne capita una più brutta delle altre, ma dentro  tiene una perla, signore, e là Milano  ti fa pazzo, ché la perla a Milano non te la aspetti.

                                                                                                                               “Milano è una cozza”, Luca Doninelli leggi tutto…

Couchsurfing

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano. Per ragioni di convenienza del visitatore, il contenuto è mostrato sotto nella lingua alternativa. Puoi cliccare sul link per cambiare la lingua attiva.

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Need a place to stay while travelling or on the road? This could be the answer for you!

Couchsurfing is the largest worldwide travel community and facilitates travel between individuals who are looking for a place to stay (essentially a couch to sleep on) without paying for accommodation. leggi tutto…

Life’s a hitch

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano. Per ragioni di convenienza del visitatore, il contenuto è mostrato sotto nella lingua alternativa. Puoi cliccare sul link per cambiare la lingua attiva.

For alternative ways to travel, look no further as we give you the low down on how to use different initiatives to travel cheaply throughout Europe.

A good way to travel is by using Bla Bla Car which is essentially a website set up to facilitate car sharing. You can find people going pretty much anywhere and everywhere by car throughout continental Europe who have a few empty seats. You need to set up an account online and fill out a rather extensive profile indicating your likes, dislikes and travel preferences. For example, if you smoke, like listening to music while travelling or if you’re very talkative. Once leggi tutto…

Not all those who wander are lost…

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano. Per ragioni di convenienza del visitatore, il contenuto è mostrato sotto nella lingua alternativa. Puoi cliccare sul link per cambiare la lingua attiva.

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If traveling is your kind of thing and you want to explore Italy then listen up … The next few blog posts are here to give you some useful hints and tips to help get you on your way.

Already you may be aware of the  Trenitalia website  and if like us, It has become your Bible alternatives, you might know of the train Relatively steep prices in Italy, Especially on the arrow high speed trains between cities. Therefore we have compiled a list of the DOs and DON’Ts for traveling by train in Italy and around …

DO:

– BOOK TICKETS IN ADVANCE. This is the most important piece of advice we can give you as it really pays off! Honestly! You can purchase train tickets online up to 2 ½ months in advance When the train tickets are at Their absolute lowest. For example, you can go to Milan from Liguria, Florence or Rome for as little as € 9 one way if you book on Intercity trains When the tickets first become available online.

– Secondly, there are long-distance train tickets book online. For some strange reason unknown to us, train tickets (other than for the regional trains Which are used for shorter distances) Seem to be cheaper if you buy them online than if you buy them from the station. Do not ask us how or why!

– From experience, traveling to places outside of Italy is surprisingly Often cheaper than traveling Within Italy. For example, trains to Switzerland are normally very reasonably priced.

Unfortunately other than planning each long distance trip waaaay in advance, there is not much you can do to get round the high prices.

– For shorter distances by train always make sure you travel on the regional trains Which are much much cheaper. Regional Purchased tickets can only be one week in advance, either online or from a station, and stay the same price even if you’re buying on the day you want to travel.

This Allows for a little spontaneity and blackberries you can get from Milan to Lake Como and the surrounding area for around € 5 each way.

If you buy train tickets at a regional train station then they are normally valid for up to 2 months for whatever journey you have paid for the ticket so you can use at any point in this period.

DO NOT:

– FORGET TO VALIDATE YOUR TRAIN TICKET! As regional train tickets are valid for a long time longer available it may be tempting to risk not validating your ticket in the hope of reusing it on another occasion.Unfortunately we would not recommend doing this if you’re caught as it is highly Likely you will be fined and This Is not cheap!

– Buy the 2×1 Saturday tickets to major Italian cities Which are advertised by Trenitalia. Although this may sound like a good deal, It Is not actually the cheapest option as the offer Is not valid for the cheapest tickets € 9. It still works out cheaper if you buy the cheapest tickets in advance even if there are 2 of you traveling together!

Buon appetito!

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When wanting to eat out in a new city, the usual questions of: Where to go? What to have? Do I leave a tip or not? What is the eating-out-etiquette? usually pop-up.

For all of these dilemmas and more, have a look below as we explain our essential DOs and DON’Ts for having a nice meal in downtown Milan.

So here’s what you have to know:

1. Aperitivos in Milan (quite possibly the most useful invention since electricity)

What does it mean? Everyday from 6-10pm, all the bars in Milan have a fixed aperitivo price (from €5-10 euros depending on the bar) which includes any drink from the menu and an all you can eat buffet. Taking into consideration that a normal drink may cost anywhere between €5 euros for a glass of wine or beer and €8 for cocktails, for €10 euros you can have a drink of your choice and leave full of great buffet style food. A real life saver when wanting to eat out cheaply in Milan!

This is a very common thing all over MIlan so either if you go to the Porta Genova area – Navigli – famous for its bars and great aperitivos, or to a small bar near Piazza Loreto or Corso Garibaldi, you will find the same system.

The choice and range of food changes from place to place so it’s useful to scout out the best places to find exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the better bars offer a full buffet including the likes of pasta, paella, mozarella and olives salads, couscous, rice, different types of cheese and prosciuto, fruit and so on, whereas others may just offer small light-bites.

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From our extensive Aperitivo experience in Milan, we recommend:

– Manhattan/Long Island: metro stop Porta Genova, on the Navigli. It boasts an amazing choice of food and alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks for €10. Although at the upper end of the price range it doesn’t disappoint! It’s so good they even opened another bar just a few bars away on the Navigli and both spots are guaranteed to be full every night of the week!

– Pacino Cafe: metro stop Lima. Smaller aperitivo than those offered on the Navigli but very nice, fancy bar with a good choice of food for only €6. A good aperitivo price for the Corso Buenos Aires area.

– Ristorante Sushi 189: Corso di Porta Ticinese. Although not an aperitvo bar, it is an all you can eat Japanese and Chinese restaurant with excellent food and prices with lunch costing €9 and dinner €15. If sushi is what you’re after, this is the place to go!

These are the ones that we tried and adored. Other Milanese opinions can be found in these city guides:

  http://www.milano-low-cost.it/

  http://www.eventiatmilano.it/

  http://milanofree.it/milano/eventi/

2. Eating out: Trattorias, Pizzerias, Restaurants

If you decide to go for the 4 course traditional Italian meal in a regular trattoria or pizzeria, here are some guidelines. One thing that may be useful when you check the menu prices is that besides the price for food and drink, a Coperto/Cover charge is always charged from €2-4 per person.

Besides that, tips are not usual in Italy, so they will not be added to the bill or asked for. From this point of view, Italy is a good option for EVS – no extra spending on tips!

Just be careful, Italians really do have 4 course meals with antipasti, pasta, meat and dessert, followed by coffee and a digestivo. So if you want to go out for a truly Italian meal be prepared to digest them all!

If not you can just choose a pasta or meat dish and this is normally enough for lunch or dinner.

Buon appetito!

Life on a shoestring

Living in Milan, one of Italy’s most expensive cities, can be somewhat of a struggle when you’re a volunteer without a hefty income to keep you afloat… So, as a result we have decided to dedicate some of our blogging to sharing our hard earned secrets for surviving life in a rather extravagant city without all the costs. In short, how to live on a shoestring budget without having to give up everything you love doing.

Just because you have a small budget doesn’t mean you need to lead a small life.

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