Becoming an Italian Homebody

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I think I’m becoming an Italian “homebody”.  By Italian standards, that doesn’t mean that I stay home all the time, but rather I don’t leave the confines of my city.  I live in Modena, and lately I prefer to spend Saturday and Sunday around the city centre and close to home.  Maybe this is because as a family we’re all on a strict gluten free diet, so all of a sudden “finding somewhere” to eat just became harder (not impossible though, but HARD!)

 

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I define the Italian homebody as the person who never leaves their neighbourhood in a big city like Milan or Rome, or even the person who DREADS taking the car for more than 20 minutes to the next town over.

 

I kid you not, this exists!  I know people in Modena, who have been to Bologna like 3 times in their ENTIRE LIVES….and Bologna is only 20 minutes away!

 

We are planning quite a few day trips for the following months, but generally speaking 3 out of every 4 weekends  each month you’ll find me on the Via Emilia (Modena’s main street), popping into shops and hitting up my favourite spots, without ever straying too far from home.  This way, when my little guy is hungry, we can quickly rush home and make a plate of gluten free pasta!

 

Plus, GF food is EXPENSIVE.  No one prepared me for how expensive it is!!  Alas, I think my summer vacations will be very close to home!

 

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The Reason I Dressed

 

If you follow me on Instagram, than perhaps you saw this photo:

 

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It was taken about two weeks ago during one of our usual Saturday strolls in the centre.    I love Modena.  I know, maybe I’m silly for not longing to return to Toronto or Milan or Bologna, all big, beautiful cities….but I’m just loving life in a medium city.

 

Life in a small city can get visually tiring, you see the same buildings, streets and people many times.  But there is so much beauty here that I rarely get tired of soaking it all in.

 

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Il Duomo di Modena

On this particular day, we did nothing special, just a walk “passeggiata”, coffee in some bar (“Bar” is actually what Italians call Cafe’s!) and a bit of window shopping.  We did make it into the Duomo of Modena, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.  A mass was going on and the atmosphere in there is always very awe inspiring and special.

 

I’m still sad that when my whole family and dear friends Adrienne and Paul came all the way from Canada to Modena for our wedding that the Duomo was mostly closed. This part of Italy had many earthquakes in 2012, the year my son was born and the year of our wedding.  Only now has the Duomo finally been completely open to the public again, after undergoing restoration and reinforcement.

 

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What I Wore

 

I wore my knit “U” Silhouette coat.  I wrote all about what the “U” silhouette means to me and how I think it is the new flattering coat shape here!  If there was ever a “momiform” (mom + uniform), this is mine.  My military booties (wrote about the trend here and why Italians love them), boyfriend jeans, slouchy “U” coat and this big, black  tote have been in constant rotation this season.

 

 

The one thing I get asked about the most is my bag!  This was bought on sale during the June summer sales and is sadly no longer available.  However, I wanted to shed light on the trend and offer a pretty good deal to get the look.

 

 

The Fold-Over Leather Tote Trend

 

If you follow big fashion brands than you’ve probably heard of 3.1. Phillip Lim, a designer brand that can be found in-store and online.  This season the brand presented a great “31 hour” bag, available online here. This bag is large enough to hold enough stuff to help you survive 31 hours…..if you are single with no kids, living the high life.  Otherwise known as 3 hours away from home with a kid!

 

If you want the look but can’t afford designer, here’s a great alternative:

 

the real deal fold over leather tote

 

 

 

The $98 bag is a great design and just as large as the Phillip Lim one, and is available online here.  Something to note is that it’s not real leather, but guess what?  …Neither is mine!

 

 

And you know what?…NO ONE CAN TELL!!  I usually never buy accessories that aren’t real leather, but I decided to break my own rule for this bag because I loved the design and size (and price!).   It fits EVERYTHING;  a fold up potty (not kidding), change of clothes for my son, animals, snacks, a water bottle, all of my personal belongings and even library books!  Plus there is a strap, so I don’t have to hold it on my arm all the time, it can also be hung on the stroller.   How’s that for a non-baby bag, baby bag!

 

 

Have a great Wednesday …. and just because this post didn’t contain enough pictures (feel the sarcasm), I’d like to leave you with a few more from our walk that day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Your little city is full of beauty, I don’t blame you for staying close to home!

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    • It’s not big, but I fell like it has everything I need. Besides when I need an adventure I can just get in the car and find it! Thank you for stopping by Kaelene!!

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  • From my experience, Spaniards, in the villages, don’t eat out much either. They go out for tapas and wine or beer or coffee or a vermouth on Sunday, but then eat at home. But then they do go out later, so I guess it’s a little different. You always look fabulous!

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    • Thank you Kelly! Yes, I think many of the Spanish customs are similar to those of Italians. I often find that the general thought is “why eat out, when I can make it at home!”.

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  • Ashley

    Adore your outfit! Especially the coat & bag.

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    • Thank you Ashley!! I should have mentioned that this coat was a gift from my mommy! Poor thing, she came to Modena to visit and I basically took her shopping….as in for me! Oh well, I guess that’s what moms are for!

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      • Ashley

        She sounds lovely your mum! Well, now her jacket is featuring on your blog and we’re all swooning over it!

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        • My mom will soon be on the blog. She visits me once a year and I get the feeling that she now packs for the trip in anticipation of her “close up” !!

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  • Katie @ Loverly She

    ahhh – Modena looks like such a beautiful place. Can I come visit? lol. No wonder people don’t feel the need to go far! Also, you look so great. The coat is perfection and I love that bag – hahaha I had to laugh at the fold-up potty! That’ll be me before too long!

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    • Yes you can visit. And you can stay with me…I invite everyone and the offer is sincerely open! Ahhh potty training, let’s not go there. I just hope he stops pooing himself before he’s in his teens! Oh well, after cloth diapering for all these years I used to it! I should do a post about this portable potty I bought…..actually I modified it a bit and it is seriously convenient!

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  • Tracy Miller

    Nothing wrong with being a homebody! I stay within a 20 mile radius of my town most days. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to travel with your diet restrictions! Modena looks so beautiful.

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  • Zaz

    Ciao Bella! I feel like I’ve been absent from here for too long! This was such a lovely post with gentle love for your new city so apparent. I think that we also rarely leave our little pocket of London on the rare weekends we are in town (instead of in the Kent countryside). I can completely see the appeal of your “medium city”, you always post such lovely pictures of Modena I want to visit! Thanks so much for linking to #AllAboutYou Tuesday link party xx

    Ps – love your bag and coat, gorgeous!

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  • I want two things. 1. that bag and 2. my kid to have your son’s kick ass gair-do! I love his locks. What a stylish fellow.

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  • Lovely photos! Your bag is gorgeous. I love that fold-over look. #fashionfriday

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  • Such lovely shots & great outfit! It must be hard to be gluten free in Italy. Huge props to you!

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  • You always look so effortlessly chic, gorgeous place to live lady! Thanks for linking up to #fashionfriday

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