Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Beyond Chocolate - understanding Swiss culture

Wanting to better understand the Swiss and their culture? Curious about certain traditions and habits?

Immerse yourself in the cultural attitudes of Switzerland’s fascinating, multifaceted society. This study exposes different attitudes and potential misunderstandings about friendship, neighbourliness, being professional, giving and getting compliments and criticism, parenting, schooling, being polite, entertaining, decision making, etiquette, leadership, making plans and much more.

The latest edition contains two chapters about the Swiss approach towards risk and safety such as natural dangers, playing with fire, exposing children to risks like saws, drills and knives at school, the risks on playgrounds, or alpine risk assessment. Sound exciting? Read it for yourself!

Click here for details:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Harpertif at AQVA Lounge

The Evening Group ( is organising a special event, on behalf of the IWCL charity committee and they would like to invite you and your friends to join them.

You will be listening to the enchanting harp sound thanks to Eleonora Ligab from Mixolydia Music Lab ( in a stunning and brand new location, the AQVA Lounge in Sorengo (

Chelodesign Photography ( will be there to take your pictures so remember to smile for the camera! An event you don't want to miss.

Venue: Harpertif at AQVA Lounge
Where: Vicolo Cisterna 8, 6924 Sorengo
Date: September 1st, 2017
Time: 19:00 to 21:00
Price: CHF 40.-/ p.p. includes 2 drinks and 4 finger foods
All donations will go to Progetto Avventuno (

The venue can be easily reached by the FLP train (stop Sorengo) the entrance is just 2 min walk from the station, there are limited parking places (ex- Credit Suisse Center) so carpooling or the FLP train is strongly advised. Schedule of the FLP trains:
Parking: input Vicolo Cisterna 1 in your GPS to reach the parking directly

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sportissima 2017

On Sunday, September 10th, the thirteenth edition of Sportissima, a free event open to all, will take place in seven locations in Ticino.

Sportissima is a festival of all sports clubs in town. Thanks to the 219 workshops involving about 2000 volunteers from nearly 190 companies and sports federations, you will be spoiled for choice.

You'll be able to experience more than 110 disciplines: from aerobic classes to capoeira, from kanga-training to American football, from orientation runs to maxi-tramp, from climbing to various dance and fitness activities, everyone can have fun practicing healthy movements.

Participating is simple: no need to sign up, just head to the chosen location after 9:30, talk to a staff member, and choose the activities you'd like to try. Easy-Peasy!

Check out the offer of Sportissima's the thirteenth edition in Bellinzona, Biasca, Capriasca, Chiasso, Lugano, Mendrisio and Tenero-Contra.

Venue: Sportissima 2017
Where: Stadio Cornaredo, Gerra, Resega, Campi Pregassona, Lido, Figino-Casoro e Gandria
Date: September 10th, 2017
Time: 9.30 to 17.00
List of activities in Lugano:
Following is the link for Lugano's Sportissima programme:

Sunday, August 27, 2017

La scuola in Ticino

Tomorrow Ticino's public school summer holidays 2017 officially come to an end. Good luck to all of you who are embarking on the new academic year!

Below is a chart from 2015 about Ticino's schools which caught my attention today.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Italian beach culture at its best

After having spent the last ten days observing Italians at the beach I am forever in awe of the their beach culture. They really have it "down to a t". Suntanning is a profession and beach going is a serious affair which needs to be planned carefully.

The beach umbrella needs to be bored deep into the sandy spot that you strategically have chosen in reference to other bathers whom arrived before you and therefore for stole a better spot. The umbrelloni get pinned down in order to resist the gushes of wind. They provide just enough shade to keep the cooler protected from the sun.

Beach chairs are set up and towels spread out. Fathers inflate the air mattresses while the kids unload their multi-coloured plastic beach toys.

Everything has it's place and once the suntan lotion has been handed around everyone feels so hot and bothered it is time to hit the water.

This is where the Italians make me smile... no one bothers much with the swimming part, the majority of their activity boils down to communication and interpersonal relations. You chat to your new-found neighbour, you talk on the phone, you bump into aquaintances, you laugh with your friends, you play a ball game with the kids... all this with your feet in the water while working on your suntan... WITHOUT EVER taking your sunglasses off!

Hands moving, arms waving, heads thrown up or over... it is all part of the Italians' world-renowned communication style which when practiced in a swimsuit with the sea as their background turns into movie material.

After hours of conversation and a quick phone call to mamma (that is if she is not with you at the beach) the most important part of the day commences: il pranzo!

It's lunch time: i panini (sandwiches), la caprese (tomatoes & mozzarella) l'insalata di riso (rice salad), la frittata (pasta omelette), le melanzane fritte (fried eggplant), le palatine (chips) and la frutta (fruit) start making their entrance. THIS is why the umbrellone is essential... to guarantee the food in the cooler is held at the exact right temperature.

Each family member finds their place around the camp and lunch is devoured admits more discussion and talk about... food, of course!

Inevitably a siesta calls upon your body and how could you refuse?!?

A few hours on and one last quick swim before it is time to pack it all up again and head home to prepare the aperitivo before dinner.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Stunning Costa Smeralda

Sardegna is our summer destination this year, an Italian holiday mecca Expat boy has wanted to visit for a long time. A paradise for beach lovers and sun goddesses like myself. I did spend many a summer holiday in the southern part of this island when I was a little girl. When you could still pick starfish from the sea by just reaching down to your feet and Decathlon had not yet invented the pop-up tent that seems to be spreading like colourful mushrooms along the beaches fighting the winds.

Following the advice of my wonderful Italian girlfriend we rented a car and much to my teenage kids' delight took off for a tour around the island. A promise was made we would not visit museums nor churches in return they would not complain!

We started off with the charming artisans' market in San Pantaleo an enchanting village in the heart of the Costa Smeralda where the town square turns into a local treasure chest of craftsmanship and becomes a true mecca for tourists searching for products crafted by local ceramists, wrought iron craftsmen and skilled inlayers.

We carried on towards swanky Porto Cervo, known as the jewel of Costa Smeralda often referred to as a favourite playground for the rich and famous who flock to this yacht dotted marina for some fun in the sunshine. So, we pretended to mingle while enjoying a true Italian ice cream before moving on swiftly...

A stop at the infamous Cala Di Volpe, overlooking one of the most beautiful turquoise coves of Costa Smeralda, Hotel Cala di Volpe was built to resemble an ancient fishing village, with porches, arches and stained glass but it just oozes discreet luxury and elegance.
Pretending to be clients we confidently strode into the lobby and straight across to the terrasse to take in the magnificent view onto their private little harbour and the stunning pool area.

Not being able to resist we ventured further into the hotel and encountered the most magnificent exposition of Dolce & Gabbana's Haute Joaillerie. Who knew D&G made exquisite and unique pieces of precious stones? The curator was friendly, patient and very happy to go into detail of each piece exposed until my two rather edgy teenagers decided it was time to move on!

We made a pit stop at a lovely little hotel named after the flowers Le Ginestre for old memories sake. We had stayed here twice when we were still living in Milano. Eighteen years later and it hadn't changed a bit... which made my hubby and I feel like it had been yesterday since Expat boy was paddling in the hotel baby pool.

Porto Rotondo - named after the circular nature of the bay on which is was built - was next on our route and we were not dissapointed. More chic shops lining an exclusive yet enchanting little harbour. Having found a strategic table "al bar" of Piazzetta San Marco a cocktail sounded tempting but we settled for a delicious "espresso" to keep our energy up and running.

On our way back to the hotel the kids fell asleep in the car which goes to prove that Mummy definitely has more stamina when it comes to sightseeing or is it just all linked to ones level of motivation?!?

Monday, August 14, 2017

On holiday

Guess where we're on holidays?
More to follow soon...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

From Paris with love

Some of my readers might have visited my Paris blog where I share my adventures in the city of love which I have called home for the past six years!

Last year, Expats with Kids in Paris was awarded with the top 20 Best of Paris blog recognition. Once again my blog has been nominated for Best Expat blog in Paris 2017 by Expatriates Magazine.

BEST OF PARIS is their annual campaign to find the companies, services and achievements expatriates in Paris feel deserve recognition.

If you have enjoyed my Paris stories and photography and believe that Expat with Kids in Paris has earned a little recognition in the Parisian blogosphere please cast a vote by simply selecting the category Best Expat blog in Paris 2017 from the dropdown menu and choose who you vote for.

Make my weekend and click here:
Mille mercis mes amis!

Thursday, August 3, 2017


I can't help but to feel extremely chuffed with myself today. Enjoying my morning online news fix while still lingering in bed, imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I spot my Instagram picture from the day before featured in a Swissinfo article! is the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation distributing information about Switzerland, directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad. Yep, that target would be me and my blogs Expat with Kids and Expat with Kids in Paris.

Feeling inspired on August 1st, the Swiss National Day and - I admit - rather homesick I decided to post a typically Swiss picture on my Instagram account with the hashtag #1augustabroad. Tired of posting the same old red and white Swiss flag I came up with a different sort of cross.

Well, my stylised version of a Swiss flag capturing the emotions of Swiss-ness, home-cooking and home-sickness all in one sure didn't go unnoticed. Swiss in their article about How Swiss National Day was celebrated around the world put my photo right up top.

Ahh, what a little hashtag can do for you?
And, what a great feeling when you wake up and read the news to discover you're in it!
But now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get to work and make some Rösti...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Happy 1. August

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