• Out of Lisbon!


    Go West! Stop… Wait! Before we leave the town we have to see the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos… Next stop in Cascais and then onwards to the westernmost point of mainland Europe (Cabo da Roca).

  • Lisbon story

    Eléctrico 28

    Lisbon Story. It’s the name of a movie by Wim Wenders from 1994. It shows a beautiful, decadent Lisbon where a sound engineer and a director try to catch an echo from the past.

  • Pizza ai funghi

    The best pizza is made with a forno a legna, a wood burning oven. Unfortunately, I don’t own a wood burning oven in my flat :-) I don’t even think it is legal in the Netherlands. Else, you would have wood burning ovens in Italian pizzerie, right? Anyway, the best pizza you can possibly get outside of Italy is the one you prepare yourself.

  • Winter start in Campania

    Charterhouse seen from Padula

    Last year, at the winter solstice, I went with my family for a quite uncommon holiday. We visited some of the province of Salerno, in Campania. It is uncommon for the period: who in good mental shape would go volountarily south of Naples in winter for tourism? But it is also uncommon for the choice of places: our main destination was Padula and its Certosa, a charterhouse or Carthusian monastery. The Certosa di S. Lorenzo in Padula is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world. It has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, but nevertheless very few of you have ever heard of it, right?

  • Welcome to!

    Welcome to the new bitterballen blog! Having this blog running on my computer was becoming a hassle on the long run, since it had to stay on all the time, and it was noisy and expensive. Instead, I opted for a colocated server, shared with a friend, and hosted at a data centre in Amsterdam. This meant building a server from scratch, configuring it with Gentoo Linux for running a blog. For those of you that have never configured a server, let me tell you this was a nasty task.

  • Summer holidays report

    This weekend, I managed to find some time to upload my holiday photos to the blog. I first thought of making a blog entry for each place I have visited, but finally I decided to have a single entry for clarity. Let’s resume quickly:

    • Netherlands from 8th to 15th (with a 1 day trip to Bochum, Germany)
    • Bretagne from 15th to 19th
    • Netherlands from 19th to 21st
    • Lavinio/Rome from 21st to 31st
  • Traditional Vietnamese Kung Fu


    As a member of a Vietnamese Kung Fu sports club, I participated to a demonstration on the 21st of June. Since I’m not really an expert, I spent most of my time shooting photos instead of demonstrating. Here is the result of my Kung Fu (in the sense of hard work and skill in photography, not in martial arts…).

  • Double birthday party


    Last month, Dariusz and I organised a beautiful double birthday party. This lucky guy lives in a big house in the countryside, and this fact allowed us to invite a lot of people, and to have them out in the backyard, with a constant barbecue running, good music, nice friends, lovely atmosphere. The german organisation had to merge with the italian improvisation style, but after all it was quite a nice balance.

  • Crete

    Last week, I was in Crete for a conference. As you may (or may not) know, I am working as a propulsion engineer in the aerospace field, and my colleagues always have good ideas about where to organise important events. Therefore, we discussed about utterly serious things in a stimulating environment… I think we should move our whole department there, instead of just making conferences. Anyway, if you want to know more about it, just have a look at this link.

  • Bruxelles


    Last week, I was in Bruxelles for a very interesting lecture over turbofans, at the Von Karman Institute. Every day, after the course, while walking around in the center of Bruxelles, I took some pictures. Just wanted to share them with you… Have a look at the new Gallery!

  • Photoblog!

    As promised, I am proud to present you the new Photoblog! Have a look, and enjoy my beginner photographs! I already inserted three albums; you will be able to discover the beauties of Leiden by night, nice evenings with friends, or a crazy theme party. I won’t add any more, since it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words…

  • Good news for the blog!

    My Nikon D40

    I have to apologise for such a long silence, work has been hard in the last period. But Ladies and Gentlemen, wait is nearly over… and it was probably worth it: after long research I have eventually decided to go for a real camera. That is, a DSLR, the Nikon D40. Therefore, the photograph you see here showing it along with some basic accessories is going to be the last one shot with a lousy cell phone camera…

  • Cheecoting Lavinio GP

    “…Sorry, what is Cheecoting?” Ok, let me explain! First of all, this post is waiting here to be written for two months now. People involved in this GP were quite nervous and kept asking about it until they lost their hopes. Finally… here it is, folks, the 1st Official Lavinio Cheecoting Grand Prix! Cheecoting is a quite amusing marble game, where plastic marbles are kicked with fingers in a circuit built in the sand. This game was very popular in the eighties in Italy, and involved kids from 5 to 75 years :-)

  • Apulia on the road

    Our motorbikes

    After a long silence, I would like to report about my first motorcycle tour. You probably know that motorbike riding is one of my countless passions. Unfortunately, I don’t own a motorcycle, a choice I’ve made that is not likely to change, as long as I’m living in Netherlands or in similar regions that are so ungenerous… in terms of sun! Nevertheless, it is still possible to rent a motorbike. Yes, even in those remote whereabouts of southern Italy!

  • Holiday start in Lavinio

    Some time ago, a friend asked me which is my hometown. It is a difficult question for me, since I understand the word hometown as the place in the world where I feel most at home. I never stayed long in the same house, nor in the same city. And there is something I like in every place I lived, but I haven’t found the perfect town, and maybe I never will. Therefore, until today, I couldn’t give my friend a definitive answer.

  • My computer has a carpet

    For the few people who have not realised it yet, I am crazy. Totally. Therefore, you should not be surprised to hear that Bestia has a new black carpet.

  • Crazy week-end

    Hello there,

    I’m still recovering from a crazy week-end… A friend was leaving Holland, therefore we organised a couple of things for her farewell party. First of all, we went for a kayak run through Leiden (the boat trip of last week was apparently too calm, we needed something more sportive).

    Kayak water battle

  • Yes, they are living in there!

    I made a beautiful boat trip with my friends last thursday. The weather was exceptionally good, we were really lucky… I was able to discover the hidden “Singel” of Leiden, those cute small channels that bring you everywhere in the old center, and show you the city from a new point of view, without hurry. Then we went on, through bigger channels, in a newer part of the city. That’s where we started spotting houseboats. I find it really interesting that many people live in there, like in the houseboat depicted here:

  • The leaning tower of... Delft!

    The leaning tower of Delft

    It’s weird. You can visit a city as many times as you want. But only when their inhabitants lead you through the tiny alleys you discover its secrets. Today I’ve been to Delft to visit two dutch friends (a beautiful evening, by the way, where I also learned to prepare guacamole at home :-D ). Well, as they guided me through the old city center, I was seeing it with different eyes. There were nice hidden gardens, attracting pubs, shops that seem to be trapped in another century, and there was this leaning tower. Yes, it’s no optical illusion, it’s really leaning, trust me!

  • North Sea Jazz festival

    Katie Melua

    I would like to tell you about the incredible night I spent at the North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam last night. A huge 3 day festival, actually the biggest jazz festival in Europe, with 15 stages featuring artists from the whole world. I was there only yesterday (not enough time nor… psychological preparation for the three days ;-) ), and saw Steps Ahead, Katie Melua, E.S.T. and many others… I guess you will say “Katie Melua? Is she singing jazz???”. Well, what is jazz?

  • What's this all about???

    That’s my life in Holland… And bitterballen are the symbol of it. What are them? Well, bitterballen are these ugly fat meatballs without any meat in them, and Dutch people eat them before dinner with floods of beer. What could I do, other than adapting myself?

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