“Focus on your true strength and find a niche. Don’t do it for the fame or your ego but for the matter. Convey value, ideally timeless value. Know what you’re writing about and don’t ever be seduced to become superficial or careless because the internet is quick and trashy. Be tyrannical when it comes to detail. And then: keep posting.”
Splendido Magazine, why did you start?!
Mercedes is mainly a writer, Juri is mainly a photographer. But for Splendido we switch roles all the time – sometimes Mercedes is behind the camera and Juri writes, and the next day it is the other way around. We are used to working together for years now and thats because we got to know each other while working together as freelancers for newspapers and magazines. But Juri started the blog that later became Splendido on his own at first, that was in 2015. He has always been a great cook and just started writing down what he was cooking. Since Mercedes loves cooking too and we both enjoyed cooking and eating together from the moment we first met, she got envious of his blog pretty quickly and was allowed to join. Eventually we decided to focus our magazine on Italian cuisine. Not only because it is the one cooking style we prefer and always come back to. Also it is a food culture with an almost infinite amount of local traditions, recipes and specialties to explore. Plus we have an apartment in Lombardy, Northern Italy, where we live up to about six months a year and travel a lot throughout Italy to learn more about Italian food and to find great spots to eat and shop local specialties. Pretty quickly we saw the interest for the blog grow bigger and decided to professionalize it.
How did you start and what kind of work/preparation behind Splendido?
After we decided to professionalize Splendido in 2017, we hired an agency to help us with the visual concept and the programming of a website that resembles no longer a blog but a profound magazine with a look and feel that fitted our needs and intentions. The new website went online in the end of 2018 and immediately it was well worth the hard work and money that went into it. The website is growing steadily since and by now it really became a job rather than being a nice hobby. We put a lot of work into the content of our website and work constantly on growing our audience. But it is still worth every minute of it, because a) we get to cook, eat and travel a lot and b) there is no better feeling in the world than being a creator and work on the behalf of your own business.
What’s so special in it?
A lot of people tell us they love not only our photos and recipes, but especially our writing. We try to write from a very personal perspective and we don’t just give instructions on how to cook something but always tell a little back story about a recipe too. Be it some witty or funny thought about life and cooking or some interesting fact about Italian food. Also we rarely give exact quantities in a recipe but rather encourage the reader to trust his own gut and develop his own sense and intuition for tasting and quantities.
We love the Italian principle of „quanto basta“, which means: no one can tell you how much of an ingredient you really need because you have to feel and taste for yourself whether its enough salt / flour / egg for your taste and also for the circumstances you’re working in.
How do you get inspired?
We travel a lot, read a lot, talk to people. Especially while on the road and when eating out in restaurants or visiting farmers. One of our favorite things to do is also to go for huge walks in a city like for example Milan and look at every single restaurant menu in the streets. Thats when we always come up with new recipe ideas or simply ideas for new combinations of ingredients. But inspiration can really hit you anywhere. We just launched our fashion collection (shop.splendido-magazin.de, we also ship to Italy), and therefore we collected photographs of Italian typography in the streets which we now worked with to design T-Shirts and Caps.
Where does your passion come from?
Good question. I guess we have both always loved food, loved Italy, loved traveling and look at the world and learn about traditions, cultures, design and daily human life in general, but also loved being artists and follow our talents in the fields of writing and photography. We have always been searching for some platform to combine all of these things in a fruitful and focused way so that it could also become an independent business and source of income for us.
Difficulties you had to face and goals.
The goal is definitely to grow and to be able to keep exploring Italy as well as our own capacities. We have a lot of plans for the future, our fashion collection was only the beginning.
Suggestions/advices to someone who wants to start a blog?
Focus on your true strength and find a niche. Don’t do it for the fame or your ego but for the matter. Convey value, ideally timeless value. Know what you’re writing about and don’t ever be seduced to become superficial or careless because the internet is quick and trashy. Be tyrannical when it comes to detail. And then: keep posting.
Projects for the future?