Thursday, 30 April 2015

How to welcome spring - the LILY OF THE VALLEY FESTIVAL In Petit Lancy(Geneva) on May 1- May 3rd

The Lily of the valley has always been one of my favorite flowers , it brings me sweet memories of my childhood when this flower was very rare to find in Italy so for me it has always been linked to something special and to the beauty of spring.

For this reason I wanted you to know that the  KERMESSE DU MUGUET ( Lily of the valley  festival) will take place in the district of Petit Lancy in Geneva  in the area of the St Roi Church this week end
The festival starts on Friday evening and ends on Sunday ,  however the key day is Saturday May 2nd , when the flowers market opens and kids  can enjoy  several activities organized for them.
The program of the day also includes a brunch, a a treasure hunts for kids , and a concert in the evening.
A nice way to spend few hours surrounded by these beautiful flowers!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

How to learn the art of gardening 'RENDEZ VOUS AU JARDIN" event in Prangins Castle FREE

Do you love gardening and vegetable gardening in particular? Then the Rendez vous au jardin event is for you.
In the beautiful location of the Prangins Castle, only 30 minutes driving  from Geneva, close to Nyon,  many specialized gardeners  and plant lovers  will meet on Sunday May 3rd in the magnificent gardens that surround the castle , on a day that is full of activities for adults and kids.
Not to miss! The program of the day includes  gardening courses, workshops for kids, guided tours in the castle and a market where it is possible to buy plants , garden herbs and flowers

The events starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., all activities are FREE.
An unique event in one of Switzerland most spectacular  location !!!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The 100 castles Region ! The 10 most beautiful CASTLES of AOSTA VALLEY- 2-3 hours driving from Geneva

Last Saturday  I spent the afternoon in Aosta (1.5 hrs driving from Geneva) and as always after I pass through the Mont Blanc Tunnel ,at the exit of the tunnel, I 'm impressed by the beauty of the Valle D'Aosta (Aosta Valley) castles .
The Aosta Valley is known for the beauty of natural landscapes and for its the great ski resorts, however I'm sure that only few of you know that this Region is also very famous for its castles .
There are more than 100  castles in the Aosta Valley, scattered across the entire valley, they were built in different historical periods , most of them are very well preserved and can be visited , these are the perfect destinations for 1 or 2 days trip from Geneva in couple of with your kids, they will love exploring the castles!
Below you find a a map of the Aosta Valley and of it's most beautiful and famous castles. I have made a list of the 10 ones that I think it's worth visiting , however there are so many that you can just drive through and stop as you see one , visit it and then continue driving to the next one and so on..!


Here is my personal list of the  10 most beautiful castles of the valley:
1) Castle of FĂ©nis  # 1 in the map from the XIV Century, is probably the best known among the Aosta Valley castles, is one of the finest examples of military and civil architecture of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It has an austere appearance , in contrasts with the  elegant interiors.It hosts the Museum of ancient Furniture of the Aosta Valley

2) Castle of Issogne # 3 in the map ,was built in the XV century and it's famous for its garden ,for the wrought iron fountain, symbol of the family, and for its magnificent painted rooms.


3) The Castle of Verres # 4 in the map, it's located just opposite to Issogne one ; it was built between 1361 and 1390 at the top of a rock, it is the typical fortress of that period.

4) Castle de Sarriod de la Tour  # 7 in the map was built in the XV century by the Sarriod family and it  remained their property until the XX century, as many other castles of the Aosta Valley it is beautifully decorated inside, especially  the chapel  attached to it . It has a beautiful view of the Dora Baltea , the river that crosses the region

5) Castle of Aymavilles # 11 in the map it is the first castle that you see after exiting  the Mont Blanc Tunnel, it is a manor located on a hill ;the building has a rectangular plan, instead of the angles four cylindrical towers, which makes it a typical fairytale castle.It was built in the XII century but it has been extensively changed in the XVII century.

6) Castle of Sarre # 5 in the map , it's a beautiful castle that medieval origins but wa completely rebuilt in the XVIII century. In 1869 was bought by the Italian Royal Family of Savoy and became the King 's hunting residence. in the XX century it was sold to the Aosta Valley Region .

7) The Savoy Castle # 6 in the map it's a magnificent castle located in Gressoney-Saint-Jean, and is surrounded by woods and colors of an alpine rock garden. It was built in 1899 to be the summer residence of Queen Margherita of Savoy.

8) The Ussel Castle # 9 in the map in the area of Chatillon was built in the XIV century and it's the first example in the Aosta Valley of single block castle, in the followeing centuries used to be a prison and it has a beautiful floorpath, from which the visitor can admire the surrounding landscape.
9) the Castle of Bard # 2 in the map is probably my favorite  because it's has a fascinating history and because it is so big that it's visible from a very long distance when travelling across the Aosta Valley . It's origin are back from the XI Century, however it was destroyed rebuilt several times , the last one in the XIX century after having been destroyed by Napoleone, after he tried to conquer it and the assault lasted many weeks. Definitively worth visiting also for the breathtaking view of the valley.

10) The Castle Gamba # 8 in the map  is one of the most recent castles of the Aosta Valley ,having been built at the beginning of the XX century, however it should be visited for two main reasons : 1) it hosts a very important  modern art collection a various art exhibitions  and it is organized in a way to be family and children friendly 2) it is surrounded by a beautiful park with all type of tree including giant sequoia and other rare and ancient types of trees .

Friday, 17 April 2015

How to live like in the ancient Rome - THE ANCIENT ROMAN NIGHT in Geneva old town on April 24th from 6p.m. till 11p.m. -FREE

If you are in Geneva next Friday , April 24th , and if you have kids, do not miss the NUIT ANTIQUE the ancient Roman Night that will take place in several points of the old town from 6 p.m. till 11 p.m.

During that night the area around the Parc des Bastions ,the Unibastions and the Museum of arts and History will be the theater of several activities that aim to  bring visitors back to the Roman Age.
The program of the evening/night  is full of activities such as musics, theater, songs, arts , all inspired to the ancient Rome, people dressed like ancient Romans will walk around , children activities , guided tours of the archaeological site of St Antoine,  and other exhibitions are planned .
The full list of activities can be seen in the NUIT ANTIQUE website , don't miss this full immersion in the ancient Rome, your kids will love it!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

How to discover a different Geneva - 7 SUNDAYS WALKING TOURS in Geneva from April 19th till October 18th- FREE

In this period I have started walking as much as I can , especially to go to the office (about 2 km far from where I live ) and I have become passionate about such "an activity".
For this reason I thought it would be worth sharing this initiative with you. The city of Geneva organizes 16 walking tours spread over 7 Sundays starting next Sunday, April 19th  until  mid October .
During the walking tours a guide explains the most important sightseeing. Tours are cultural, they are centered on different topics, such as art, nature, museums. Each tour lasts from 2 to 5 hours, tours always take place on Sundays and are for free, however enrollment is mandatory via the website. 

To have detailed information about the program and to enroll, go to the walking tour website 
Happy walking!

For dogs lovers -INFO & TIPS about DOGS DAY - on April 25th from 11a.m. till 5 p.m. in Geneva Plainpalais

Dogs lovers, this post is for you. On April 25th  the Dogs Tips Day will take place in Plainpalais in Geneva
During the day many dogs activities will take place and experts will be available the whole day to provide the current or the future dog owners with useful tips about how to deal with dogs and raise your dog in the best way.
Do not miss it.!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

How to discover the latest inventions INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF INVENTIONS -Palaexpo Halle 7 from April 15th till April 19th

This show is recognized as the most important market innovations in the world with over 700 exhibitors from 45 different countries. 
Inventions are presented by Business innovators , private companies, Universities and institutions.
Each year the Fair  shows more than 1000 inventions in a variety of different sectors, it attracts more than 60 thousands visitors from all over the world , definitively the place to be if you like this type of things
The International Exhibition of Inventions Fair starts on April 15th and ends on April 19th, it takes place in the Halle 7 of the Palaexpo, opening hours are from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. all days but on Sunday when it closes at 5 p.m.
Entry ticket costs 14 CHF, 8 CHF for children

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

How to enroll your kids (from 4 till 18 years old) to a great summer sport activity in Geneva -Enrollment has just started!

Each summer the City of Geneva organizes a great sport activity program for kids from 4 till 18 years old.
There are 18 sport disciplines available ; courses take place through 8 weeks from June 29th till August 23rd and several sessions are organized depending on the kids' age. Normally each course lasts  5 days for 2-3 hours a day ,costs are very affordable, each weekly session costs on average between 65 and 100 CHF per child.
Below a list of some of the available sports:

  • volleyball
  • tennis
  • water-ski
  • triathlon
  • bikecross
  • sailing
  • horse riding
  • soccer
  • athletics
  • golf
  • and many other

The full list of the  available sports can be consulted  in the Geneva City sport website . Enrollment has just opened and classes get full very soon so if you are interested enroll your child now !
In order to enroll your kid you have first to register in Geneva city website to get a user name and a password , then you have to input the age of your kid and the selected week/s when you would like to enroll him/her ; the list of available courses will be displayed based on the availability and then you will receive the  payment instruction


Saturday, 11 April 2015

How to enjoy NEW YORK CITY - My Top 6 latest TIPS !

I know that this Blog is about living in Geneva, however  New York City is just  at 7-8 hours by plane from Geneva, I thought it could be worth sharing with you some things I discovered about New York in my last trip there a few weeks ago.
The picture I took  from the Top of the Rock 

Here my list of Tips & Tricks to enjoy it at reasonable prices and/or to live unique experiences:

Tickets for the MET Museum and Natural History Museum , the first is an institution, the second is a must destination if you have  kids, it's basically like the one of Geneva in a 1:100 scale .
You might not know that the tickets price for each of these museums are at the discretion of the visitors, this basically means that anyone pays what he/she thinks it 's the right amount to pay or what he/she would like to pay, not the suggested ticket price at the entrance (that is about 27$/person) . Most Americans pay an amount of about 5 $ or so.

See the Most Famous Broadway Plays for 30$/person. Although I have been quite some times in NYC, I didn't know that almost any play offers the so called "Rush " Tickets and the "Lottery" Tickets. Rush tickets can be bought the morning of the day when you would like to see the Play , as soon as the theater ticket office opens. The "Lottery ticket" is a more fascinating concept, this consists in a lottery that takes place about 2 hours before the show starts, anybody can enroll in the lottery for free. If you win the lottery , and there are quite many winners each time,  then you have the right to buy up to two tickets at very discounted price. Winning the lottery is relatively easy during the low seasons, because there aren't so many people who participate. We won two tickets for Wicked at 30 $ each , Aladdin and all other musicals except the Lyon King were on the Lottery in Feb. To know the timetable of the Lottery and of the Rush Sales, please consult this website

Have a Top Quality Dinner at very low prices. This is doable by booking your dinner via, which is a sort of equivalent of Airbnb for Food, so basically you go and eat in people homes the food that they cook for you and you pay the price agreed at the moment of booking. You can find top professional cooks and also people who have just the passion for cooking and who do it as an hobby. There are plenty of opportunities to eat all types of food in NYC, so don't miss the chance to try it!

Offer your kids and your family/friends/loved ones an unique original gift , this is the Personalized Candies in the M&Ms store in Times Square, where you can print on the famous M&M's Candies up to 4 different phrases, logos, children names and so on, and you can choose the colors of your candies.This is a fantastic personalized gift that is available at very reasonable prices, starting form 10$ depending on the quantity.
Spend few hours with your kids in the 4 Floors Videogames and Technology Sony center FOR FREE This is the Sony Wonder Technology Lab , in the  super central Madison ,close to the Nike Town and the Apple Cube Store, the entry is free but it has to be booked in advance via mail or phone, there are all possible types of Videogames and Technology games to enjoy and explore!

Get 10% off on almost the full assortment of all Dept. Stores , this in addition to any already available special sales. You might be aware of it alraedy , anyhow I think it's worth mentioning that if you go in any Dept. Store in NYC and in US and show to the Customer Service Center your Passport or ID that confirms that you are a foreign citizen, then you automatically get a 10% discount voucher to spend in the store.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

How to enjoy Easter - EGGS PAINTING workshops for kids at MEG Museumd' Ethnographie on April 5th from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. FREE

If you have kids and plan to stay in Geneva for Easter, then you shouldn't miss the eggs paintings workshops at MEG , the Musee D'Ethnographie , these workshops are for kids older than 6 years old and take place from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m.
The afternoon include a Egg painted competition and an "eggs battle", fun is guaranteed!

How to enjoy Spring - TULIP FESTIVAL in Morges till May 20th 2015

The Tulip Festival takes place each year to greet the Spring . This Festival is hosted in the spectacular location of the Parc de l'Independence in the nice village of Morges , less than 1 hour from Geneve ,direction Lausanne, from March 28th till May 17th .
During the Festival more than 120000 tulips , of 300 species, blossom in the six weeks of the event sand decorate the beautiful Park on the lake,  many exhibitions take place during  Festival, all centered on tulips and many other types of flowers.
The program of the Festival is full of events , especially in the weekends, worth noticing the Ikebana art and the Air Balloon events on April 11th and 12th, the Concerts and Opera on May 9th and 10th an the sale of tulip bulbs on May 20th.
It's a magic atmosphere , do not miss it!