The Albanian Diva: Elhaida Dani an Insane Inspiration for All of Us


The so called “Devastating Hurricane” by the jury of the Voice of Italy is causing a real turmoil of emotions inside and outside Albania. The young Albanian singer Elhaida Dani, Top fest winner 2012, is now heading to her big night, the final of the Voice of Italy as one of the four contestants.

With fair modesty I can state that she is not only an amazing young singer, gorgeous looking, a reminiscence of Whitney Huston’s vocal, a vivid show of strength and great technique, but also an incredible sweet girl that has rocked the hearts of the wide Albanian and Italian public.

Tonight is the great night. It will be officially decided ” The Voice of Italy”. I really hope it will be a rewarding night for Elhaida. Neither because she is an Albanian going that far at the Voice of Italy, nor of something seen as symbol or national pride, but simply because she is the best and deserves it. Elhaida is The Voice and I hope the Italian public will see it and not get lost in some “nationalistic quotations” trap as the ones I notice in few social media threads. It is about “The Voice” and she is the one, you know it.

Here are some of her fine moments at the Voice contest:

I believe I can fly, it makes R. Kelly look small 😉

The thunderstorm Mama knows best which astonished the jury, nicknamed her “the devastating hurricane”, “the force of nature”, “The VOICE”.

Go Elhaida, take that crown, you deserve it, it’s yours 🙂

PS: After-hour midnight update…And the winner is : ELHAIDA DANI, a diva who made two countries proud of her talent, simplicity and modesty. A girl who made her great coach Cocciante say in tears “I learned from her modesty”.

Now I shut up and let the VOICE talk The Winner of Voice of Italy

Walking along Estoril -the hotbed of Espionage and James Bond Birthplace


Once in Lisbon, so many options are available in the nearby area. Taking a train for 40 minutes, about 30 km west to Lisbon, the obvious stop is the small and charming village Cascais, (pronounced ‘Kesh-kaysh’), by the way there’s a lot of ‘shshshshsh’ in Portuguese. Exploring the picturesque village, its elegant shops, bars, and colorful cobblestone walkways lasted almost the whole day. I could literally walk for kilometers by the beach in the direction of Estoril and look at the breathtaking beaches which were completely empty in early spring. Local fishermen, kayakers, surfer dudes, happy joggers along sophisticated Mansions on the rocky Estoril coast, seagulls skimming the waves across the Atlantic sandy beaches, set the perfect stage for a long promenade.

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Just there on the seashore was an impressive medieval-like castle, further followed by an English style mansion. Not to mention here the famous Estoril Casino centered in Estoril. It was very interesting to learn its story. The author of James Bond novels, Ian Flemming spend part of the second world war in Estoril, which at that time was the place where spies met, as during world wars Portugal was a safe neutral heaven. Actually “Casino Royale” is a product of the real Casino Estoril as it was created by what Flemming experienced there.
Being a place of a thousand sensations, next time in the area I must make it at the most western cliff of Cabo da Roca. There’s always something left to come back.

Lessons from Lisbon


My 35th birthday celebration turned out to be quite special in Lisbon-the roller coaster city of seven hills, headdress by the Moorish castle, and refreshed by artistic air throughout. The compelling historic background of this mega-city has a lot to offer in museums, sightseeing, people diversity and landscape. But not only. What I found really striking is this powerful and roughness element floating around in air, in people’s fashion, street graffiti, rumbling trams, melancholic fado songs and live jazzy nights. Here’s a music pre-taste, Portuguese strings & Fado magic.

Being a woman in Portugal, the Desingual like color show of dresses exposed in every shop entrance is almost irresistible. So is the sweet taste of Port wine which is traditional of Portugal also served as dessert, the aromatic Ginja liqueur, the delicious maritime cuisine served in charming restaurants of the old town. All the fascinating artistic blender and taste of Lisbon comes with a modest price tag even, compared to other cities of seven hills like Rome for instance. So here there are some highlights of Lisbon. There is more to come in the next blog entries, gorgeous beaches crowned by royal palaces nearby. Stay tuned.

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