Hi Tommaso, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I was born here! Strange for a guy with an Italian name, but my story is like this. Bruxellois dans le coeur et dans l’âme, but a real Italian in my way of being! My life is a melting pot of Italy, Brussels and Southern Europe with the Brazilian joy of life and craziness that I had the chance to get during my Erasmus in Sao Paulo!
Now I’m working for Full Circle, a new ideas club, where we invite inspiring speakers from all around the world to share their ideas with the Brussels community!
Which part of Brussels is your favorite, and why?
My favorite spots in Brussels are the parks. In fact, Brussels is very green and we should all go and relax in one of the city’s parks. Parc Josaphat, Parc de la Woluwé and Bois de la Cambres are a must for a relaxing afternoon walk. Tervuren park is great, because if the day starts with the sun and then suddenly it starts raining, you can go inside the Museum of Central Africa which it’s located inside the park and spend the rest of the day there!
Where do you like to hangout?
The perfect day starts at Parc Josaphat which is just in front of my house in Schaerbeek, taking couques et croissant at the bakery Vandender. After the brunch, a coffee with a fresh raspberry juice at Belga is my next stop, especially if I went out the night before at LOVE or FUSE. Then I walk around Matongé, Maison Renardy is a must, for a lovely coffee stop in an “ambiance retro”.
If I want to travel around the world in one day I’ll start doing some purchases at the Bio Market des Tanneurs dans les Marolles, eat a Bagel at L’Atelier en Ville – their bagels are a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Next stop Ethiopia, at Aksum, the best Italian style espresso in town and my journey will finish in South America having a beer at MappaMundo, listening to their Jam Session on Sunday late afternoon!
What do you show a tourist?
I’m the biggest tourist in Brussels! Every weekend I go around the city. First stop Sablon, explaining them what real chocolate is by passing by Pierre Marcolini, to say hi to my ex colleagues and trying some pralines (le câlin is my favorite, crunchy and with caramel!!!). Then we have a look at the vitrine of Patrick Roger (amazing artiste-chocolatier-sculpteur) and all the nice houses of the old Brussels. Then I go to Mont des Arts to show the view, down to Grand Place explaining them the crazy story of the hotel de ville and the legend of his architect! Last stop is a MUST: a selfie with The Manneken Pis!
Culinary stop at RestoBières – every dish is cooked with a different beer – or at La Fin de Siècle. If you feel having some typical fries, go to Flagey Frit Kot during the weekend, Maison Antoine during the week and Tabora at any time at night every single day! Tabora offers more than 60 different sauces, be curious and ask advices – mine is curry ketchup or sauce toscane!
If you have a lot of time and want to see a big part of Brussels, take tram 7 and go to Atomium, you will be amazed by the beauty of this tram journey.
Name someone from Brussels who you think deserves more attention?
My friend Manu aka 13 Pulsions – great illustrator of today’s faces!
Gioia Seghers – Fashion Designer!
(written in 2015 – for The Hive Brussels, which unfortunately closed down)