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Basel Blogger Ilenia Toma Answers 11 Questions

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Ilenia Toma

Ilenia Toma - Ilivanilli

Ilenia Toma is half Italian, half French and lives in Basel, meaning that the feel for fashion and art is in her blood. The pretty Basel resident has had a social media presence since 2012, going by the name of "Ilivanilli." And thanks to Instagram, Ilenia has not only established herself as a successful fashion blogger but has also met the love of her life, photographer Simon Nygard.

banks of the Rhine Basel
On the banks of the Rhine you have the best view of Basel (photo: Simon Nygard)

From Art Basel to the Rhine

1. What Do You Like Most about Basel?
The location is unique. You can reach Milan or Paris in just a few hours by train, and you can even walk to France or Germany in a matter of minutes. Basel also has the edge when it comes to culture, art and architecture. For example, why not visit the Vitra Design Museum in the German border town of Weil am Rhein — a true highlight for interior enthusiasts. 
2. Why Is It Worth a Visit?
Art Basel is an absolute must for art enthusiasts. In winter I recommend a detour to the world-famous Basel Christmas Market, and in the fall, adrenaline junkies and foodies will love the famous Basel Autumn Fair. The Carnival in Basel (Basler Fasnacht) gives you an excellent insight into the local culture. Basel also has a lovely, refurbished zoo that is ideal for a family day out. 
3. What Makes Basel Stand Out from Other Cities?
Basel is rather small and you immediately feel at home here. All along the Rhein, there are lots of local recreational areas and quiet spots where you can relax in the evening, drinking a Hugo cocktail. For me, Basel also embodies the perfect combination of modern and traditional. 
4. Which Basel Locations Inspire You the Most?
Recently I've been going to the Landesstelle open-air restaurant and bar in Kleinhünigen quite a lot. It's a vibrant place with a really mixed crowd, good music, and delicious food stands. There's nothing nicer than taking a comfortable seat along the Rhein at one of the many buvettes and enjoying the colorful hustle and bustle. It's also really nice around Kaserne, the art and culture center in the heart of the Kleinbasel district. Perfect for anyone who feels like relaxing, playing soccer, having a drink or a bite to eat, or going clubbing.

Kaserne Basel
The Basler gather around the Kaserne for dancing, flirting and eating (photo: Simon Nygard)

5. Where Can You Go to Treat Yourself in and around Basel?
For a culinary treat, head to Boo, an Asian restaurant on Klybeckstrasse. If you'd like to unwind in a whirlpool bath, steam bath, or sauna, I recommend Sole Uno in Rheinfelden. 
6. Where Should We Head when It Rains?
When I'm in the city and it starts to rain, I like to head for Unternehmen Mitte. There is always a very relaxed atmosphere there and visitors range from families with small children to love-struck couples. On rainy days, it's also worth visiting the Basel "Kultkino" cinema, especially if you want to discover new movies that aren't a direct product of Hollywood. 
7. Where Do You Put on Your Dancing Shoes?
The Nordstern is one of the hippest clubs, especially if you like techno. The former Hinterhof club, which recently reopened as "Das Viertel", is also worth a visit. 
 8. The Perfect Walk in Fall?
The Grün 80 park is a great place, where you can encounter life-size dinosaurs — but don't worry, they don't bite ;) Or, of course, you can head to the Tierpark Lange Erlen zoo. 
9. Do You Have Any Tips for Cafés to Visit?
As well as Unternehmen Mitte, I also like Café Frühling in the Kleinbasel district: It exudes a certain retro charm. You really do have to try the home-made cakes!
10. And Any Restaurant Tips?
If you love fresh, vegetarian food and would like to try something new, Tibits is one of my absolute favorites. If you're looking for something a bit more exclusive, Kohlmanns is the place for you. For an appetizer, I can recommend the Flammkuchen tart. And then there's also the Asian restaurant Noohn — it's not cheap, but the food is delicious. Definitely the best sushi in town.

restaurant Tibits
A paradise for vegetarians: the restaurant Tibits in the old town (photo: Simon Nygard)

11. Where Do You Go Shopping in Basel?
I have 2–3 favorite stores, including "Set&Sekt" on Rümelinsplatz. This is where you can find brands such as Maison Margiela, Acne Studios or Dries Van Noten. I also like going to "Rive Gauche," a charming shoe store right behind the market square. You can find Anine Bing, Proenza Schouler, Golden Goose and Closed at Wicky, where you can have a drink at the in-house espresso bar once you've finished shopping. 

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