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Exactly one year ago, I was writing a post like this to announce our participation in the World Tourism Forum 2016, and talking about something that I did not know yet but could not wait to meet: Istanbul.

After one year I find myself, with great happiness, to announce that the great international event World Tourism Forum has called us for the second time to be part of it. I do it with pride form a professional point of view, but this time also with love.

Love. Because Istanbul, during those hectic and very intense days, conquered our hearts.

We could talk for pages and pages (and we will do it for sure) about what to see and to do in this wonderful metropolis, how to get around (perhaps madly like us renting a scooter), where to eat and what to taste etc etc. but here we’d like to talk about feelings.

“Our Istanbul” is made of a myriad of frames: thousand small stories jealously preserved in our memories, with such a strenght that we can smell it if we close our eyes.

Changing continent by ferry to go to the Asian side of Istanbul, the gulls flying low over us, the salt that stung our nostrils.

The old man at the crossroads not far from our hotel, that was selling tea, hot and perhaps the most delicious ever drunk, with eyes that had the same intensity of the scent of his drink.

The view from Sishane park of the city that seems endless, with the colors of the sunset and with the amazing and mesmerizing song of the muezzin in the background.

The sublime aroma and the endless line in front of a coffee shop not far from the Spice Bazaar.

Eyes that smiled joyfully through the niqab, of the girls we met in the Fener neighborhood, where the scent of bread was everywhere.

The intense pomegranate juice, red as blood, drank at the market around the Fatih Mosque.

We could go on for hours to remember fragments, sure that each image would attract an even more intense one, but the best advice we can give you is to be there, and have the chance to live “your own Istanbul”.
by PATRIZIA BELSITO and GABRIO TOMELLERI

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