A More Quiet Place

nap as if you'll live forever, snack as if you'll die today

Uh oh. Speaking two languages is driving me nuts

November 12, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

My high school English teacher used to tell us stuff like, “Learning a foreign language changes you forever.”

Despite being an obvious attempt to make us passionate about her subject, her words made sense to me — the kid who quoted obscure Buffy the Vampire Slayer lines and treated Alanis Morissette’s lyrics like the word of God. After all, without a basic understanding of the English language I couldn’t have done any of that, and all those beautiful imaginary friendships would have never blossomed.

Then I made it to adulthood (I think) and experienced first-hand the perks of speaking a foreign language: hitting on exotic men (whilst still using Buffy references as pick up lines #ForeverAlone) and weaseling my way into more office gossip than ever before.

Learning English strongly affected my habits, but was I really profoundly changed by it? Not until I moved to Germany. In Berlin, I started speaking and writing ten times more…Read the rest of this post on Babbel.com

How to Work at a Startup | Chapter 3: Cover Letter and Social Media

November 7, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I wrote this originally for Uberlin

how to write cover letter

Ever wondered why cover letters are called cover letters?

That’s because they’re a cover-up, a fraud, a final attempt to reinforce all the lies you’ve shamelessly written on your resume and spice them up with some hardcore lip service. A good cover letter is something you can’t have your wife and children read without them thinking you’re willing to trade your family for a part-time customer service job at an internet startup.

Now, in order to write a convincing cover letter you have to be able to write a regular one. I know that nobody writes proper letters anymore, but in our childhood we’ve all done it in (at least) two specific circumstances.

 #1 Love Letters

I remember middle school as the place where my first literary attempts took place. All the guys were writing down their hormonal intensity to girls who either wouldn’t let them touch their breasts or didn’t have breasts at all. One of my letters was so successful that a 12 year old girl in my class pulled me aside and kissed me, making death poems suddenly look like a better idea.

#2 Letters to Santa

Growing up in a catholic family, I could either write my Christmas wishes to Santa or to baby Jesus. I always picked the former – very conveniently – assuming that the old man wouldn’t be up to date with my sins. In hindsight I feel like I was never really filled in on the magic of Christmas and as a result all my letters to Santa sounded like financial scam against seniors, as if I had to convince him to spend all his pension for my presents. Also, I probably looked down on Jesus, thinking that a baby born in a cave wouldn’t be able to discern between the real Little Mermaid merchandise and a cheap rip-off.

Anyway, the perfect cover letter takes something from both examples; it has the severe longing of the teenage love letter and the manipulative hidden agenda of the Santa letter; It makes big promises but also claims big rewards; it tells a company that you’ll be their dream, you’ll be their wish, you’ll be their fantasy. You’ll be their hope, you’ll be their love, be everything that they need. You’ll love them more with every breath (truly,  madly, deeply do) you will be strong, you will be faithful ’cause you’re counting on a new beginning, a reason for living, a deeper meaning, yeah.


Dear NAME_OF_RECRUITER, Continue Reading →

I dressed up as my favourite websites for Halloween

November 4, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

On the Halloween of two years ago I decided to dress up as my boyfriend and impersonated him in a video that managed to fool his dad and gained me a nomination to the Academy Awards (of my heart).

This year I resolved to step up my game and dress up as another of my true, real loves: THE WHOLE INTERNET.


This rootless supervillain made it his life’s mission to find and pierce everyone who claims that Joanna Newsom’s voice is “kinda weird” or that “Tori Amos  is just a Kate Bush wannabe”.

pitchfork halloween costume

pitchfork halloween costume

pitchfork halloween costume

Continue Reading →

The Most Amazing Office Picture Ever Taken

October 11, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

Yes, it happened again.

After my cameo in the most amazing roller coaster picture ever taken, my beautiful persona is once again under the spotlight and earned himself a guest star appearance in what must be a new milestone in the history of photography.

Chapter 1, in which I “act natural”

Weeks ago I noticed a stranger with a camera wandering through the rooms of my workplace. It turned out she was writing an article about our office for a cool French website based in Berlin and needed some pictures of the space. Given that I was the only person in my room, she asked if she could take a couple of shots of me working.

– “Sure…”


– “Just act natural”

I don’t know about you, but when I’m told to act natural the pressure is simply too high and my instinctual reaction is one of the following: Continue Reading →

The Most Amazing Roller Coaster Photo Ever Taken

September 1, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I think I found the picture I want on my tombstone.


But maybe we should start from the beginning.


As you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, my boyfriend and I recently took a holiday in Switzerland/South of Germany/Black Forest.

We opted for the south of Germany in particular because, apart from its beautiful nature and the fact that drinking beer for breakfast is socially acceptable, there’s a big amusement park there.

For years I’ve been lamenting the fact that Berlin has no proper amusement park, telling everybody how much I loooove roller coasters and adventurous rides (in hindsight, I must have been drunk).

So, Europa Park happened. We got there in the late morning without much preliminary research and found ourselves in front of a big, badass amusement park. The number of attractions exceeded our expectations (you need at least two days if you wanna do everything) and the theme seemed pretty well developed (each area of the park is a European country and its individual attractions are based on something connected to the country).

We decided to start with Iceland because, as  you know if you’ve followed our trip, everything is calm and peaceful there.

Bad idea. Continue Reading →

How to Work at a Startup | Chapter 2: How to Write your Resume

August 1, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I wrote this originally for Uberlin

If you’ve read the previous chapter of this guide, you should have identified the startup job of your dreams and be ready to apply.

If you haven’t found it, it probably means you’re being too picky and are doomed to become a homeless person while waiting to encounter the perfect job title (“Hairstylist at a horse beauty  contest”)

But let’s assume you are ready to go.

Applying at an internet startup is a delicate process that you can’t afford to fuck up. Your whole career depends on this preliminary phase and in this second chapter of my guide I’ll focus on how to put together a spotless Curriculum Vitae.


Once upon a time the reign of CVs was ruled by an evil king called European Model. The European Model states that all the information inside a CV shall be divided into two columns and be presented in the most readable (a.k.a. boring) way possible, as if to proudly scream to the world that we all have OCD.

Then the game changed. Recruiters were getting tired of their job life after hours of going through the same, excruciatingly boring and anonymous documents and at the same time internet startups started understanding the value of differentiation and personality. Continue Reading →

Dick-Shaped Cutlery | my 7th day in Iceland

July 18, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

Flying felt like cheating.

We had conceived the holiday as a road trip and I really wanted to move only by car, but in the end the time wasn’t enough. We got up early in our hostel in Akureyri (a pretty town in the north of Iceland), packed our bags and walked to the  airport. After going whale watching, riding zodiacs and almost running over sheep on the road, WALKING TO THE AIRPORT from the city center still sounds like the most monumental accomplishment. We then hopped on what was probably the smallest airplane I’ve ever stepped in and 40 minutes later we were in Reykjavík.

We picked our hostel because its name (Kex) reminded us of the German word for cookie (Keks) and clearly the universe was sending me a sign there. It turned out that not only the hostel was amazing (and hipster!), but that the whole building used to be a freakin’ cookie factory.

Like, how cool is that?

Our room was interesting, too. One side of it resembled  an Armenian prison while the other actually had a warm, homey feeling to it. Continue Reading →

How to work at a Startup | Chapter 1: Job Postings

July 11, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I originally wrote this for the awesome Uberlin


My mother used to put stuff in boxes. Professionally. She did it for 30 years at the same small-sized suburban Italian company and while the boxes were sent everywhere in the world, my mom and her career weren’t exactly going places.

My dad, the only male among four siblings, had to drop out of middle school to help his father in the fields. Like many of his peers, he learned to think of work as something that is tightly related to suffering, sacrifice and blind obedience.

Whenever I tell my parents about company breakfasts, team building events and gamification, they share a very specific look that I’ve come to interpret as “Our son is lying to us. He doesn’t have a job in Berlin. He’s squatting an abandoned building and carries stolen drugs across countries in order to pay for his groceries”; only when I mention that I occasionally have fun at work the look differs and they seem relieved thinking that I’m actually rich from running an illegal prostitution ring.

But I get that look. I do. Growing up with a blue-collar mindset made me both conscious of my current luck and weirdly aware of the seemingly absurd sides of the startup life.

This series of posts  is the natural consequence of that.



This is going to sound obvious, but in order to work at a startup you need to either found one or be hired by one. I’m going to focus on the latter ’cause I’m a slacker and I’ve made it my life goal to achieve less and less every day.

If you’re smart you’ve probably created alerts that result in receiving an email every time a desirable position is available, either through Google Alerts or through more specific job oriented platforms like Indeed.de or BerlinStartupJobs.com. What you might not know, though, is that when it comes to job titles startups can be as quirky as the side charatcer of an indie tv series.


The chances your alert will be triggered by the keyword “customer relationship manager” are thinner, for example, than the ones for the keyword “Customer Happiness Ninja”. You know what I mean? Continue Reading →

Shall I Plan your Wedding Proposal?

June 22, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

When in 2007 a man proposed to his girlfriend through a crossword puzzle featured on the Boston Globe, I decided I’d start doing all the Italian crossword puzzles I could find in order to spot hidden messages.

In 2009 a guy popped the question through a public, static Tumblr post that anyone could see and had me screaming at the screen “YES! YES! YEEEES!”

I was at work when someone linked to me Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal and it turned out to be the world’s most serious case of “I’m not crying, I have something in my eyes”.


I would like to channel my restless creativity into something that makes people happy and designing wedding proposals seems like the perfect thing for me to do.

It doesn’t have to be tacky, loud, public or embarrassing, but we all secretly want it to be special, right?

Hit me up on Fiverr if you’re interested. I am cheap.

wedding proposal planning - my fiverr gig

I’m on FluxFM – a drinking game

May 17, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I don’t know how this happened, but on Tuesday 19. May at 10 PM I’ll be on FluxFM (like, the best Internet radio evah) to speak about my 100 Days of German Words project.

The program is called Off the record and is hosted by the lovely and talented Elizabeth Rushe and Charlie Layton.

I’d like to pretend this is not embarrassing news for a second, but life is too short to lie to ourselves.

Deep down I know that if being on the radio is anything like speaking on the phone, we may -Houston – have a problem, ’cause everybody including my mom agrees on the fact that I am a terrible phone partner.

If you decide to listen to the program (it’s a free country, who am I to stop you?) I strongly advise you buy a bottle of something to go with it and take part in the following drinking game.


DRINK ONE SHOT every time I generate an awkwardly long silence

DRINK ONE SHOT every time my English is bad

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I sound lost and confused

DRINK ENTIRE BOTTLE if I start crying

At least you won’t be able to see my hair.