The logbook to discover the most authentic Netherlands with Minube continues (if you missed the first part, you can find it HERE) with Eindhoven and Utrecht.

Two cities with a totally different mood, respectively the future and tradition.

Eindhoven: where the future meets design. Places not to be missed.

We leave from Eindhoven, which we reach by train from Rotterdam with about 1 hour.

Immediately we realize that here lifestyle gives a great added value.

The whole city is designed to be a brand, that of good vibes, with 3 arrows that remain impressed and that you will find around the city center.

Here too, as has already happened in Rotterdam, our one-day tour was based on discovering the premises of the future, where design meets the architecture of the world’s most important exponents of our century, and much more.

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1) Go through the tourist office / bar, sit for a coffee, listen to local advice and rent a bike for free.

Just outside the station, take a trip to the tourist office and bar: Coffee Lab. An innovative concept of welcoming the tourist where the idea is: everyone is now able to find information thanks to smartphones. But how many know how a local really lives?

Stop to take a coffee, they will give you the most incredible goodies. You will also find bicycles to rent for free for the last or the first ride in the city for a few hours 🙂

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2) Take a walk in the city center and admire the architecture of the most famous contemporary exponents.

Next stop? The Blob of Fuksas. An architectural form not well identifiable that emerges from the road surface almost as an expression of a future released from the heart of the city.

Upstairs there is a super-instagrammable restaurant!

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3) Discover the beautiful spots and restaurants where design meets innovation and redevelopment.

We continue the walk passing from the ancient cathedral and heading towards Thomas, a brand new local (among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen) all pink, where the concept is  of an ancient theater that has been given new life and becomes a space for meeting for all lovers of all-round beauty.

A pit stop at the Secret Garden, with the largest beer wall I’ve ever seen. It looks like the Harry Potter bookstore, but with the Dutch favorite drinks starring!

After many shots and a super bike ride, lunch is really long awaited.

We stop at a food market … and our super guide Erik tells us that we will have Italian lunch.

I do not deny that I was a little hesitant, but then Davide, a young Italian man,  who has come to crown the dream of those who are looking for a more fair future, where their business can grow in meritocracy. Davide is the boss of Squisito, an all-Italian corner in the Down Town Gourmet Market of Eindhoven.

Handmade pasta with Bronte pistachio pesto and my taste buds were really partying!

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4) Rent a bicycle and discover the former industrial areas of the city: Strijp- S also known as “the Forbidden City”.

Loaded with energy and with the thoughts of those who have made this city their home away from home and never come back, we expect an innovative design space created from a former industrial building: Piet Hein Eek.

Eindhoven was the city of Philiphs, some areas of the city were completely industrial.

A perfect example of how it is possible to retrain and give a life and energy to what is left behind in the past.

Also in the old industrial area we know another Italian reality extrapolated en set here: Cucina Italiana (inside Vershal het Veem), a place where you do not miss food of my Italian home.

Even dinner is in a former industrial building. The light of the sunset that comes from the huge windows that once had the rigor of those who work and dream beyond the glass. Now the place everyone want to toast.

For design enthusiasts or those looking for pure inspiration, Eindhoven is the perfect city. From every corner of the city you can perceive energy and really positive vibrations.

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5) Go shopping in the Baekelandplein concept stores – the red light district

The red light area of ​​the city is an area where you can easily go with the bike from Strijp-S. Do not worry about the label because here you will find lots of great stuff and interesting things from an architectural point of view.

The vintage shop: Inu4vintage is truly a paradise for lovers of the genre. Believe me, I would have spent hours and hours, the biggest second hand shop I’ve ever seen.

If you have children, a stop is also a must: Soul 2 Soul, a multi-faceted space not only for clothing, but also for aggregation for children and creative workshop. The very young owner also produces non-industrial sweets here for the whimsical whims of the little ones.

We spend our last night at the Inntel hotel, we embrace our guides and representatives of the local tourism agency, as if they were friends of a lifetime. It’s only been one day, what can you do and plan in 24 hours!

From Eindohven I bring home a bag full of positivity and new charge, but it comes the destination that I expected most of our trip to the Netherlands: Utrecht, the most romantic and the only one of our tour where we have admired a Dutch reality as one imagines it .

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Utrecht: the romantic city of tradition.
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1) Rent a bike and follow the course of the canal to immerse yourself in the super romantic atmosphere of the city.

The waterway that runs through the center is also the pulsating vein of Utrecht.

The magic of a super romantic city, we hear bells to party and meet many brides and grooms.

Do you think that one of the photos I took just in Utrecht (also published on my Instagram profile HERE) was traced by a friend of the bride that I had immortalized.

She asked me to send it to her so she could print it and give it to her friend.

An example of the enormous positive power of social networks and how to share beauty puts positive energies in circulation.

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2) Go up the bell tower of the Duomo to admire the panorama of the city.

You can not miss the view from the bell tower of the cathedral of the city, a look on the nearby augiato roofs and the skyscrapers that instead frame the sky and the canal that surrounds the city in the distance.

Utrecht is a perfect example of an interwoven past and present.

Take a leap also in the hidden cloister of the cathedral: Pandhof, I discovered it by chance wondering where the spouses had ended up. It is accessed from a small door in front of the entrance to the Duomo tower.

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3) A kayak ride along the main canal.

When the weather permits, take a kayak ride along the river and stop in one of the bars along it to sip a beer and feel the future, I recommend Roost: a room made with all recycled materials (old doors, windows and container). Or in the beautiful park in the city center: Park Lepelenburg.

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4) Discover the most famous architecture of the city.

Casa Rietveld Schröder is truly one of the firm leaders of contemporary architecture. Created in 1924, it is still very current, as well as Unesco World Heritage.

Do you remember a picture of Mondrian by chance? 😉

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5) Go to the discovery of the most beautiful food places.

The Dutch cuisine is certainly not Italian, but in terms of local and design we really have to learn.

Stop for coffee or typical mint tea from TivoliVREDENBURG and drop by LE: EN for a lunch with friends.

Roost I have already recommended it above, perfect for a sunset beer along the canal.

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This journey made me even more open my eyes to how, sometimes, very little things can improve a life on a human scale.

Why not have public space at heart like your own home? After all, it’s where we spend a lot of time every day.

Thanks Netherlands for teaching me to take care of our future, as well as the present.

A special thanks also to the partners of this trip to make this incredibile experience come true: Minube, Transavia, The Hague Airport and the Tourism Authority of Rotterdam.