Monday, June 27, 2011

Adventures In...Italy: Part 5 - Arrivederci, Italia

Bre, Aryn, Myself, Haley, and Ashley in front of Prada.

I am currently sitting in the basement of my home in the USA right now.

I miss Italy so much.

It was so amazing. I miss the whole package - not just the places, the food, the fashion, the atmosphere - but the people. The people I met and got to know at GIF are amazing. Except for the few that don't go to Gonzaga, I'll at least get to see you all back in the fall at school. :)

I know I didn't write a whole lot about Florence itself, mostly because I had limited time and wanted to talk about all the weekend trips. But Florence was awesome! It was where we lived, where we got to know each other, where we experienced kind-of-actually-living in Italy.
View of Florence from Piazzale Michaelangelo.

The Duomo in the center of Florence is huge. I've said it over and over and everyone knows it. You can even see how huge it is by the photo above. But, no matter how many photos you see, you will still get that "woah" reaction when you are standing next to it and looking up and seeing this massive thing.

Between going to see all the art, the David, going to Villa Corsini to taste the wine (everyday after-school activities), we had a regular life. Kind of. We woke up, had breakfast at the pensione (cereal, small white bread with jam, coffee, and the occassional egg or yogurt), went to two classes (marketing and philosophy for me), had amazing three-course lunches at the pensionie, then napped from our three-course food coma, did homework, did laundry, walked around the city, or went shopping We'd usually go out to dinner (Mostodolce - right next to my pensione - or Dante's or La Spada or just grab a quick panini, kebap, or gelato).

We had a few dinners with the school too. They involved free (or pre-paid), unlimited wine. There was a lot of wine. Italy is allll about the wine.

Normally, in the US, I wouldn't be too excited about going to art galleries or looking at art. But the art in Rome and Florence was so breathtaking. There's so much history behind it, and it is so beautiful. Every church, no matter how popular it is, has extravagant art.

Some of the best memories were nights out in Florence.

Can't wait to reuinite with you all in the fall :)

Can't wait to go back to Florence one day. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Adventures In...Italy: Part 4 - Amalfi Coast

I think the Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Last weekend I went to Sorrento, Positano, Capri Island, and Pompei. It was a six hour bus ride from Florence to Sorrento, but definitely worth the wait. Driving along the tall and windy cliffs was gorgeous (even though buses often got stuck on the tiny roads and had to do this awkward back-up and re-try thing). The buildings are so pretty with their pastel colors against the bright blue Mediterannean water. There were purple flowers (my favorite!) everywhere. Since they have so many lemons in this part of Italy, and this is where Limoncello is made, there were so many lemon things everywhere. Lemon dish towels, lemon-shaped soap, etc. A lot of the gelato was also homemade.

We stayed at Seven Hostel in Sorrento. It is such a nice hostel. Definitely the best one I've stayed in. Other than not having shampoo and towels provided, it was basically a hotel. I shared my room with four other girls where we had this little private room overlooking the balcony, conveniently located right next to the rooftop bar. :)
The beach was definitely one of my favorite parts of being in Positano. I loved my weekends in Ireland and London, but I was ready to be somewhere tropical and warm and be on the beach. It was so nice to go swimming and get a little tan. Yep, the water was actually this blue:
Speaking of swimming, I also got to go swimming in the Blue Grotto. It was AMAZING. Such a cool thing. Apparently it's one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I loved it, and swimming in it made it even better.
And again, the water inside the cave was actually this gorgeous color blue! No editing whatsoever. Amazing.

We also did this chair lift ride that gave a really pretty view of the island in Capri. It went so high up, that we were in the clouds.
Our last morning was spent in Pompei, and we got to see the ruins. Back in ancient times, there was a huge volcanic eruption that killed many people and covered the city in ash. But when the city was uncovered much later, they found that the ash actually preserved the area pretty well. It was crazy to see mummified people with the bones sticking out and the emotion on their faces when they died in the eruption.

Ah, I love Italy. I don't want to leave. Unfortunately, I'm leaving tomorrow :(
This has been a great experience, I don't want it to end just yet!



**So, this was supposed to go up a while ago, but the internet hasn't really been working. Anyways...!

Currently I am in Sorrento, Italy on the Amalfi Coast, but now I'm going to write about my trip to London last weekend!

London was definitely one of my favorite trips so far. We got there the day their 2 1/2 month rain drought ended...of course. But it was so great that the rain didn't bother me too much! I loved the city atmosphere, the people were so nice, and there was so much to do. I didn't make it to Topshop (so sad!) but I did get to see Buckingham Palace, Greenwich, Big Ben, and all that main stuff.
We also went to go see Wicked. It was so well-done. People were saying it was better in London than on Broadway. The only show I've seen on Broadway was Jersey Boys (which was amazing), but I thought Wicked was so good. The girl who played Elfaba had a fantastic voice, as well as everyone else. And of course, I loved the dancing in the background.
The next night we went to go see the London Eye, a huge ferris wheel that looks over the entire city. It started with a 4D intro video which reminded me of Disneyland and then we went into a "bubble" and got to see the city that way.
After that, we went out to dinner and some clubs to see the city nightlife. I'm not totally sure what music everyone is listening to in the US, but in the UK all I'm hearing is Adele, Florence and the Machine, and new party favorites like Party Rock Anthem and Give Me Everything. Everywhere we go, we hear this music.

On the way to the airport, Nicole and I stopped at Abbey Road. I was so. so. excited. I walked across the same crosswalk as The Beatles, right?

Now I'm sitting in the sun next to our rooftop cabana in Sorrento, Italy. And loving it. After a day in Capri and the Mediterannean Sea, we're going to Pompei tomorrow. More on that later :)


Monday, June 13, 2011

New College Fashion Post!

My latest College Fashion post went up this weekend!

I interviewed Laura about European fashion, her favorite trends, and what inspires her style.

See the interview and more photos here, or go here to see an archive of my previous posts!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top o' the morning, to ye

Green and Guinness....definitely describe Ireland well! Well, there actually is more to Ireland than just green and Guinness, like beautiful Blarney's Castle in Cork:
...and the English Market:
...well, Guinness is actually a pretty big deal:

We did plenty of other fun things. Tried soda bread, shepherd's pie, and had a lot of salmon (never got around to an Irish breakfast or black pudding, though), got served free icewater at restaurants, and met some awesome Irish people. One of my favorite weekends in Europe yet.

It was a great weekend in Ireland and a fun few days back in Florence, Tomorrow I'm off to London!

ciao, belle


Monday, June 6, 2011

Italian Fashion Post #2

Time to talk about accessories!

Accessories can really dress up an outfit. Whether it's a necklace, a scarf, or the perfect pair of shoes, the accessories can define an outfit, make or break an outfit, and take a plain and boring outfit into something much more interesting.

Sunglasses, scarves, and belts are what I've been seeing the most in Italy lately.

The most common pair of sunglasses I've been seeing around Italy are the Ray-Ban aviators with the gold frames and black lenses. I like the mystery these shades add to an emsemble:
The summer scarf is another accessory that's been all over Italy. Even on the most scorching summer days, I'll find at least a couple women wearing the prettiest summer scarves. Lightweight and colorful, these have the power to totally transform an outfit.
This one from Topshop is similar to the scarves I've been seeing around:
Classic belts are another staple that the women wear with anything and everything that you can belt. Since Italy is known for its fine leather goods, brown leather belts are everywhere - especially Gucci and Hermes ones. Get a similar look with this belt without breaking the bank:

This is making me want to go shopping...


PS- Ireland post coming soon

The Weekly Ten

  1. Europe. Enough said.
  2. Pensione lunches four days a week - always looking forward to pasta and chicken after class.
  3. Castles - real, traditional castles with watch towers and a dungeon and a big dining room. Yes, I'm talking about the Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland!
  4. Saw an American tabloid - apparently Taylor Swift is dating the blonde kid from Glee? Cute!
  5. Still haven't found pure, Nutella gelato. I had the best Nutella gelato in Rome, and I haven't found one without coffee/yougurt/mousse/etc mixed in since then. I'm gonna go nuts! It was that good and I need to find some before I leave.
  6. Free water, wine, bread, Limoncello, and hats at the restaurant we went to for dinner tonight.
  7. So You Think You Can Dance withdrawals. I know the season started and I cannot wait to watch it when I get back! A friend at GIF is friends with this awesome dancer who made it to Vegas for the show...dancers: if you haven't watched her audition already, you need to do so now.
  8. I miss dance! Can't wait to get back into the swing of things. Finally stretched today after a run and it was so refreshing.
  9. Anyone else watch the season finale of Gossip Girl? I was able to watch it here and...the whole Chuck/Blair/prince thing...what do you think about that situation?!
  10. So excited for London this weekend...and to go to the real Topshop!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adventures In...Italy: Part 3 - Florentine Weekend

Well, I am not of fan of Pisa. Didn't see the Leaning Tower, don't care to see the Leaning Tower. Because the Pisa airport found an "ancient not exploded world war II bomb" and cancelled my flight to Barcelona at the last minute. The one place I wanted to go other than Italy was Spain...four of us got left behind when 15 of our other friends made it there from the Milan airport.

I never want to go to Pisa again.

Yes, I realize that it is not Pisa's fault, just the situation happened there, but still. I'll be the first one to admit that I'm stubborn.

However, I did get to actually experience Florence for the weekend, which was nice. We walked around near the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio and also went to the Gelato Festival. Avocado gelato? Red wine gelato? Coffee and Nutella gelato? Sushi and rice gelato? Yep, it was all there.

The next day we took a day trip to Siena. It was beautiful. We went up to the Panorama and had a gorgeous view of the whole city (see the photo at the top). I definitely recommend going to Siena.

This weekend, since Barcelona sadly didn't happen, I decided last minute to go to Ireland for the weekend! Going to Cork, Limerick, and Dublin. All I know about Ireland is greenery and Guinness. Which will make it all the more exciting to visit. We're flying out of Milan (yay), and flying back into Pisa (how ironic....)

Here's to another great week! Post to come when I get back. Maybe I'll have a picture with a leprechaun. Just kidding. Maybe. Haha.