Villa Lysis soundtrack


If you have been recently to Villa Lysis in Capri after they respectfully renovated it to its old splendor, you may remember hearing a CD playing in the background.

The mix of the acoustic guitar playing and the beautiful voice of the French singer were fantastic and absolutely perfect for Villa Lysis.

The CD is the following: Les Amants Solitaires by Nicole Renaud. She’s a French soprano that recently moved to live permanently in Capri.

You can even find her CD inspired by the Sonnets by Baron Jacques Adelsward Fersen on Spotify, following the link below:

The tombstone of Baron Fersen at the Capri cemetery, overlooking the Marina Grande

Palais Ephrussi in Vienna

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Today we sneaked into the Palais Ephrussi and walked upstairs until the top floor where I came across a nice lady who looked at me and asked me: “are you here because of the book?” ☺️ She was very kind and explained to me the history of the building (now split in two, and the old Ephrussi part is actually not accessible as it is now occupied by a law firm), its renovation after the Nazi seized it and its current tenants. If you have read the ‘Hare with the Amber Eyes’ and happen to be in Vienna, I recommend you to visit it, my friends. 🇦🇹

If DuckDuckGo does not track us, how come it is not as successful as Google?

For the following reasons:

A. Both are free for the user but Google provides consistently better quality results. DuckDuckGo is the underdog in this field and it is difficult for it to become more popular than Google given that the results it provides are less efficient than Google’s. This is the same problem that Yahoo and Bing are facing: they are not able to match Google’s quality of results and for this reasons users — always in a hurry and hating wasting time on useless pages — keep using what they know works best.

B. People tend to underestimate how bad is the influence of these websites tracking everything we do online thanks to Google’s cookies system. Until our eyes are not opened, this is considered an irrelevant issue, so DuckDuckGo seems to have no advantages (its non tracking feature being irrelevant in this phase) and only disadvantages (lower quality results). Once we open our eyes, it becomes horrific what these website like Google and Facebook are able to do (and actually actively do!). But this eye-opening moment happened only very recently (with the Brexit referendum or Donald Trump’s election for example) and people have only very recently been made aware of how these companies exploit the pervasive tracking of their users.

The advantage of DuckDuckGo (its non-tracking features) has thus only recently come to surface and we will need to see if people are willing to change their deeply ingrained habits for the sake of protecting their privacy.

A big big change would be triggered if Apple would remove Google standard search feature from their iPhones and iPad (knowing that for this feature alone Google, quite understandably, pays Apple 1bn USD a year).

Do you think someone that makes USD 900k a year is rich? What kind of lifestyle can this person afford?

It depends. Being rich is one of the most subjective things that exist.

I have a friend who is a lawyer in his late 40s and makes sensibly above the 900K USD yearly threshold (let’s say approximately 80k USD a month) and he surely does not believe to be poor but he pointed out to me the following details attached to that figure:

A. Slightly less than half of that sum goes away in taxes (40k USD). There is no way around it as he works in a big law firm which does not allow any room for tax avoidance schemes or under-reporting of revenues, which are quite common for solo practitioners and smaller firms;

B. 10% more of his gross revenues go in pension contribution (8K USD, which he is mandatorily required to pay and he cannot avoid);

C. 10K a month go in alimony to his non-employed ex-wife and teenager kids;

D. 10K a month go in various unavoidable monthly fixed payments (mortgages, rents, top of the line health insurance, BMW & Porsche installments, two parking spaces fee, gym and personal trainer fee);

The final available income is approximately 15k USD a month: which is not a small sum by any means but do not allow a particularly extravagant lifestyle (far from it). He changes cars every 5–7 years. Goes to holiday in expensive hotels. Flies business class in intercontinental flights. Occasionally buys some Italian modern art paintings. Eats only at restaurants as he doesn’t cook at home.

In fact, he works approximately 2,500 billable hours a year, so he only takes 10 days of holiday at the beach in Summer to stay with the kids and 1 week at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. He once told me that skiing is his favorite sport but has not had time to go skiing in the last 20 years.

All the rest of the year (50 weeks) he is buried in his office, commanding a team of approximately 20 associates and reporting to his boss almost on a daily basis.