I started aiming for slow and fine living a few years ago. I have anxiety; I am definitely an overthinker; I have many fears; and I am dealing with Imposter Syndrome. I am a perfectionist with a powerful inner critic. With all of these, it is not easy. So you can see why I need to be surrounded by beauty, to dwell in serenity, to hit the pause button now and then, and to slow down.
We can also see why I admire and adore people who make a living out of the concept of slow living. This is why I asked Lina to help me create this interview, because she is an inspiration to me and, I hope, to you as well.
In the lines that follow, you will learn about her universe, which is enriched by her Swedish and Italian heritage. It is indeed an interview about the art of fine living to its fullest.
Lina Paciello: Who is she, and where is she from?
I was born in Sweden. However, my family moved to Italy (Naples) when I was only 3 months old. Then we moved back to Sweden. My father is Italian, and my mother is Swedish.
I was raised in a southern Italian manner. The slow way of life, the traditions, and the craftsmanship are deeply rooted in me. Coming from a very creative family (that is descended from an Italian noble family, but no one in the family seems to value it), consisting of painters, actors, musicians, and architects, I guess it was only natural that I also developed a love for creating.
Growing up, I spent every possible moment in the south of Italy, and when I was 20 years old, I moved to Spain and worked in Madrid and Mallorca.
Your Instagram account is described as conscious, sustainable, and slow-living in interiors, food, style, and gardening. Please explain the purpose of the account.
My Instagram is my creative outlet, a place to share what’s currently happening in my life.
It changes when I do, and if I can use it as a channel to advocate a slower lifestyle and make more conscious decisions in their daily lives, then that’s a bonus.
I also like to use it as a platform to lift and support other small and sustainable businesses. Since I have one or two myself, I know how much that means.
I want to know more about Villa La Romana.
Villa La Romana is a dream come true, with passion shining through. I never expected it to happen, but I saved a photo of a painting and had it as a screen photo on my phone. A painting of a large white house in a Mediterranean country house.
We bought a similar house a year later. The funny thing is that I wasn’t aware of the resemblance until later. The power of manifesting and visualisation is more powerful than one can imagine. Anyway, it had been abandoned for 15 years, and we purchased it for a very low price, and we are now restoring it.
I am loving every minute of it. I don’t care how much work it is; I still love it.
You are also in charge of two other Instagram accounts: ÛNE and Gröna Gredelina. Tell me a bit about each of these accounts and their purposes.
When I had children, my passion for natural and sustainable products grew, but I could not find what I wanted for my home and my children on the market, so I started my first business in 2006.
Gröna Gredelina created organic, timeless, and sustainable homegoods such as soaps, natural detergents, and so on in 2014. The products are available in pharmacies both nationally and internationally, and we currently have about 200 products. We still make the majority of them in our family business warehouse.
ÛNE Atelier was born out of the idea and the love of one-of-a-kind vintage and antique pieces. Objects with a history and a soul. ÛNE is a passion project that I collaborate on with my dear friend @karinynvesdotter. We collect and curate, and at the same time, it’s a place and an outlet for our creative ideas.
And you are writing articles for linapaciello.com. Tell me about this part of your universe.
You describe yourself as having a Mediterranean heart. What is a must-see in the Mediterranean?
I believe it’s more about what one must feel rather than what one should see or visit. It is all about the senses, the tastes, the soft light, the fragrances, and the overall pace. I would recommend going to a small village and exploring the countryside off-road.
What do you think the relationship between clothes and a good state of mind and spirit is?
It matters to me. I prefer clothes that you can forget about so you can concentrate on 'being' and 'doing' instead. If you think about how itchy your sweater is, how tight your pants are, or anything else, it takes your attention away from more important things. Like living. I prefer clothes made of natural materials that breathe and age well, but I also appreciate how they were made.
I was wondering if you could recommend any other Instagram accounts that share the same philosophy of "slow and fine living."
I have so many I love following on Instagram, but here are a few favourites:
- Luisa M. Calmonte;
- A u d r e y F i t z j o h n;
- Julia Ether;
- Bess Piergrossi;
- Květa Květáková;
What women inspire you?
My Italian aunts have always been a source of inspiration for me when it comes to food, cooking, and bringing the family together. My mother encouraged me to plant a garden, grow herbs, and learn the names of plants and animals, among other things.
What does happiness mean to you?
I am happiest when I am surrounded by my family, food, and nature. I don’t need much more than that.
photos: Lina <3
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