Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the best part

So I know I am going to be asked this question a million times so I am going to write down my answer.

Between Rome and Florence, I definitely prefer Florence. There weren't as many sites to see, it was the way real Italians live. I loved the shopping and the relaxed environment, Florence was at a slower pace than Rome and it was just what I needed. Rome was awesome for the art I wanted to see but Florence trumped it. Plus the hotel Globus spoiled me!! I loved it so much more that the one in Rome.

My top three favorite pieces of art I saw were, the sistine Chapel, David, and The Birth of Venus! Those were three things I smiled right away when I saw them. Those pieces are one of a life time sights and I am so fortunate to have experienced all them. (still wish mom was there for them though).

Favorite food, goodness this one is hard! Ill give you the top four, I ate a lot for goodness sake. The cheese ravioli with walnut cream sauce from Za-Za's in Florence, the chocolate soufle from Pepo in Florence, the salami and cheese sandwich from the market in Florence, and the white pizza with tomatoes, black olives and basil from Rome. Damn, I ate well (diet time starts tomorrow).

My favorite nights were both in Rome. Drinking at the local bar and having MAJOR girl time was so much fun with Kara and Katie! But the Pub Crawl through Rome was the BEST! We had the perfect group of girls out and we all so much fun! I also loved the group dinners and am thrilled about all the new friends I made! I know I sound so corny but I don't know how I will go every day without Meg to make me laugh, Kara to talk to, Katie to poke fun with, and Skyler to take care of me. We will have to have many reunions when we are back in High Point!

The best thing I bought, that I am so excited about is a present for Justin, which I can't really tell you about considering its a surprise! I also love the earrings and purse I got for my self. But I am SOOO excited to give everyone their presents! (I am out of money so I shopped well).

That pretty much covers all the AMAZING memorable times I had for my trip through Italy. I learned so much about art history, and a lot of Italian which was so much fun!

The worst part was being away from J, I didn't think it was going to be this hard. It made me really homesick which I never get. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and that quote was proved to me these past ten days.

This experience was unforgettable. I am so blessed to have gotten this experience. Thank you so much mom, this never would have happened without you, you are the greatest and I love you so much.

Traveling all day tomorrow!


i want gelatooooo

We started early this morning. Went to a tiny town that was quaint and beautiful. From there we went to Sienna, a small town in Tuscany. It was so nice!! We sat outside for lunch, I had bruchetta and gnocchi again! great as usual. From there we went on a bus ride from HELL. Literally off roading through vinyards. We finally made it to the winery. We were 30 min late so we missed the tour, but of course got there just in time for the tasting.

We learned exactly how to smell, see and taste the wine. We tried 4 different wines including a dessert wine with bread, olive oil and biscotti! The wine was a little difficult going down so I poured most of it out. We arrived back to the hotel, grabbed dinner and are packing up to head back to the states.

Waking up at 4am, yet again, to hopefully smooth travels. I have never been more excited for the moment I arrive in Greensboro and see Justin!! I won't be able to sleep on the plane, THE MOST EXCITED.

pray for the volcano to keep quiet!

ciao one last time :( xox0

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

under the tuscan sun

Started at SACI, the Art school in Italy, where I would study abroad if I were to come to Italy for a semester. It was pretty empty because they are in between semesters, but it was pretty cool. Could never go to school there, High Point spoils me WAY too much.

Then we took a train ride to Lucca a small town in Tuscany. On the way there I had the most amazing sandwich from the Italian market. It was salami and cheese on bread infused with olive oil. It was so moist and so delicious, I can't even describe. I could eat it every day for a year, and still would ejony it on day 365.
The hilltops and villas were gorgeous. We had an Italian- American tour guide, Paulo (or Paul). He was great, very witty and I love that, kept us entertained. He told us that we had to be super quiet walking through the streets because the people will dump buckets of water out their windows on you, telling you to shut up. The beauty of that was the streets were peaceful. We caught the train back and are getting ready to go out for Jenna and JoJo's birthday!! Last night out with the girls in Italy! I am so excited. But I am ready to see my boy.

Went out to the Dublin Pub and Fish Pub to celebrate Jenna and Jojo's birthday! It was so much fun to have one last night out with all the girls! But the best part of my night was talking to Justin! He told me those three words every girl wants to hear and it made my day, if not week!! Love you baby can't wait to come home to you!

ciao xoxo

Monday, May 17, 2010

market to market

Slept in a little this morning, thank goodness. We saw the Duomo this morning. We went inside the church but skipped out on the long trip up the dome. I stopped for some peach, pineapple, and melon gelato. So refreshing and good!! Kara and I shopped a little bit more, of course. Then as a group we went to the market. Kind of like a huge fresh market from the states. Meats, sweets, and cheese EVERYWHERE. It was so amazing and everything looked delicious. We did a balsamic and olive oil tasting and the cheese of course, so yummy!

Kara and I grabbed lunch and are relaxing in the room. The rest of the day is free and we are running out of money so italian TV and my bed are calling my name. The shutters are open so the Florence street noise flows into our room giving me all the culture I need for the afternoon.

more day to come...

ciao for now

Had Za-Za's again for dinner, came home, showered and relaxed for the rest of the night. Also got 9 whole hours of much needed sleep!!


no fish

Sunday, a day to relax and catch up. Not so much. We started in the Uffizi Gallery. I saw the Birth of Venus which is one of my FAVORITE paintings! Along with the Primavera and 3 amazing da Vinci pieces.

After the museum we were on our own for the day. Kara and I did a little shopping around the markets and got lunch at Za-Za's again! I had a plate of cheese, amazing goat, brie, gouda and some others I cannot name but were delicious. Followed by ravioli in a walnut cream sauce. to die for.

We headed back to the room and I had the MOST ATM issues so I was super stressed out. Then had my first laundromat experience; not a fan. We got cleaned up and met with the group to walk to a garden and see the city of Florence at sunset. It was gorgeous! We grabbed dinner and headed to a pub across the street from the hotel. It's called the Dublin Pub. I obviously had to go and buy a t-shirt! It was a lot of fun we sat in a booth talking to local Italianos and I learned SO much Italian. I made Antonio translate 'how you doin' from Joey Tribbiani in Friends. The best part was he knew what I was talking about.

Got home for some much needed sleep, the relaxing Sunday didn't go over well. I am feeling a bit homesick, especially when things don't go smoothly. Still loveing Italy, just missing some of those comfortable surroundings.

Sono Italiano, ciao bella

Saturday, May 15, 2010

no ombrello

Rainy day today in Florence, not surprising, I know.

Started early in the new hotel. Had a bit more Americanized breakfast of toast, cereal and a kiwi! We went to the Galleria dell' Accademia to see Michelangelo's David. I was in AWE, this sculpture is giant! His foot alone had to be the size of my torso. The way it was sculpted was perfection. Even the veins in his hands looked so real you would think they had warm blood running through them. It was such a site to see and I am still in amazement.

We grabbed lunch (I finally got my Gnocchi) then took a short nap before the afternoon plans. We went to a Church (can't remember the name) where the painting that started perspective was painted. The church was beautiful but the rain was making the group drag a bit. We then headed to the place where they made perfume, soaps, lotions and so on. They had a menu for what was available! Everything smelt so good, it was all hard to resist.

We had the rest of the evening free so we of course, went shopping! There are tents up and down every single street selling Italian leather, knick knacks, and everything with fleurdelis (they are so beautiful I am officially obsessed). But the street venders trying to sell us umbrellas was the MOST annoying. After a long afternoon of shopping and too much money spent we went to dinner at Za- Za's. Dinner was, as usual, delicious!

I am now back in the hotel, relaxing again... up at 7 am (eww)

ciao xoxo

Friday, May 14, 2010

florence bound

Okay, so this morning was rough. We were up early struggling to make the train. We got to the station and and waited around (with all our 50 pound bags) to make the 'one hour' train to Florence. We all got on the train, made our selves comfortable and come to find out we were on the wrong train and missed the correct one and the only option was to ride the train we were on and had to ride four hours to get there, stopping everywhere in between. The ride was miserable, the only cool thing was we met a professional Chelsea soccer player. Didn't mean anything to me but whatever.

Finally got to Florence and I already loved it more that Rome. It just looked like that romantic picture of Italy I have in my head. Coming off the train the shopping looked amazing!! Cannot wait to spend money here :) We DRAGGED our luggage through the streets and up flights of stairs and got to the Globus hotel. IT IS AMAZING. It is amazing Italian design, modern, chic and so nice. I feel spoiled with free internet and a beautiful surroundings!! Even the business card is perfect, thats when you know the place is good.

We got dressed up and went to our second four course meal with the group. We went to Pepo, a local Italian restaurant where they make their own wine and olive oil. It was so good! The bruchetta was perfect and I finished with a chocolate souffle. Literally could have licked the plate. We were so tired so we came back to the room, watched a movie and relaxed, finally.

Waking up early for our first real day in Florence... hopefully a lot of shopping is involved. I have lots of presents I can't wait to give :) Missing J like crazy, this one week feels like months.

ciao xoxo

when in rome

The night continued with our plan of not doing anything completely ruined. Jessica came into our room and told us they were going on a pub crawl through Rome. Could I pass this up? Absolutely NOT! So we got dressed up and got a bite to eat. We went to the same restaurant we went to on the first night. They already knew us so we were treated like 'angels'. Kara and I shared the amazing bruchetta again and I got a mushroom and mozzarella crepe. YUM!

The seven of us hopped on the metro (the wrong direction at first, but we figured it out) and headed to the Coloseum to meet with the group hosting the event. We payed 15 euros for a t shirt, free drinks for an hour and a shot when you entered each bar. The crew was legitament, no worries of getting taken.

We rolled deep with about 90 people through Rome. We hit 4 different pubs, all italian, all amazing! There were so many people to meet and talk to! Kara met her gorgeous Italian boy who didn't speak a lick of english, you win Kara, you win!!

I had an amazing last night in Rome! What a fun way to see the city at night, plus I got a free t shirt!!

on to Florence!

ciao xoxo

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the most margarita pizza

Woke up with a bit of a hangover this morning, how dare those Italian boys buy me drinks, Thanks Kara. We headed to the Pantheon. Wow. what a sight to see. This was one of the things i feel like I have been tested over for years and I was actually standing inside. We hung around the square there for a bit and met up with the cutest American art major who is now living in Italy full time. She showed us around the heart of Rome for about an hour, taking us to the Four Rivers Fountain, Bernini sculpted and some AMAZING churches. Also seeing the famous Caravaggio painting, the one with the window and the guys hand that looks like Michelangelo's hand in the Sistine Chapel. Very very cool to see this one, one I recognize.

We all sat down on a patio again, all 21 of us for a classic Italian lunch. Seriously cant get enough of this food. We all had bruchetta and, yet again, margarita pizza. only 9 euros a person, great deal!! The dining was nice and cured my hangover like that! It was a short day so from then on out we are free to rome, (hehe). Did a little shopping, got a little lost, but finally made it home to the hotel. Kara and Katie are fast asleep and I am about to join them for a nice nap...

I will fill you in on the rest of the day when it ends, feels good to relax! Florence tomorrow, yay!!

ciao for a bit...

team italy, roman style

(i am going to pre apologize for my spelling, Im alone and cant spell a thing, especially in Italian... and im using an Italian key board so wish me luck on punctuation) Today we went to the Borghese gallery. The gardens leading up to it felt like a picture perfect scene from one of those Italian love stories I could lust over for years. Our cute little Italian tour guide did a great job leading us through the museum, but good Lord that tiny woman can talk, and she knows her stuff. Every room of this gallery was filled with amazing paintings and sculptures, and every inch of every wall was covered in something. Literally white space and Rome do not mix well. I walked it to the room and my eye had no where to land... some room that is.

We started with Bernini, Moms favorite (thought of you again mama). We saw many of his sculptures including the one about the rape (I know all you art majors want to kill me but i cant remeber the name of this one EVER), David, and Apollo and Daphne. Speechless. The texts books and the pages of notes were right, this guy can sculpt. Looking at marble was not a thought that was crossing my mind. I figured I was starring at clean, white flesh. Unbelievable. The forms of the skin and every correct detail of the human body was... there are no words. I know now why my mom cried looking at these sculptures. We followed with a little more depressing things, Carravagios paintings, but still amazing to see!

Mid afternoon we went to an Italian restaurant and sat out on the cobble stones under big white umbrellas watching vespas fly by, boys play futbol and chic Italian women walk by with hands full of designer shopping bags. I enjoyed a basil mozzerella pizza and a glass of pinot grigio. After the meal I was stuffed, but who can pass up the gelato in the window next door? I had a cone of Nutella and Hazelnut gelato. Oh. my. Gosh. OMG. Mouth is watering just thinking about it. I wish I could bring that home as a present for everyone.

Later in the day we went to see the Colossem. After dealing with some very forward men dressed as spartas and taking the most photograhs we walked around inside. Amazing. This is true Rome to me. I couldnt believe what was built way back then. And the stories of what took place inside this incredible building is unbelievable. We then headed to the Roman Forum and Im going to be honest with you I had been up since 645 and walking all day, it looked like a pile of rocks. I know that is not what I am supposed to say, but its true. I took the photos that needed to be taken and sat my tired body on one of those rocks.

Then my favorite part of the day, the Trevi Fountain. I threw in a 50 cent Euro and made that wish!! We headed back to the spanish steps to do a little shopping no one could afford. Walking into Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Armani, Prada, Dior, Dolce and Gabanna, like I said CANT AFFORD, I wish. My roommates, Kara and Katie and I headed back towards the hotel and sat outside a pub, had a great dinner, a few drinks and the best (and much needed) girl talk.

top night!!

day three down and loving it

ciao xoxo

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the creation of adam, really?

Woke up at 845 and got breakfast which consisted of Croissants with nutella, peaches, peach yogurt with granola and of course cafe con latte (how Italian am I?)

The first thing we saw was Ecstacy of Saint Theresa. It was amazing and I got to go up close and personal. Then we took the metro to Vatican City and started our long day of amazing sites. We grabbed lunch before entering the church. The girls got gelato and pizza from an authentic Italian street restaurant and we sat outside as we ate. We had an amazing british tour guide to tell us about everything. The weather was cool and cloudy but a perfect day to walk around rome.

We saw everything! The Pieta, Laocooan, The School of Athens, and obviously the amazing frescos throughout the Vatican Museum. And the best part of the day was the Sistine Chapel. I couldn't stop thinking of my mom the whole time, because I know how much she wanted to see it. We went in and snuck SO MANY pictures!! I had to show my mom some how! The ceiling was absolutely breath taking, my neck hurt just from staring at it for so long. I didn't want to stop looking, I felt like there wasn't enough time in the day to memorize every stroke. It was an amazing experience and I am so lucky to have seen what I saw.

After we showered and got ready we went out to a fancy group dinner. We went to Target (the name of the restaurant, I'm sure it sounds gorgeous in an Italian accent). We had the full 4 course meal, starting with prusciutto and mozerella, then a pasta with red sauce, followed with chicken and salad and finished with a light cheesecake tasting flan with a strawberry sauce, oh plus a bottle of wine. Literally could move after this meal... impossible to suck in!

We later visited the Spanish steps where all the locals hung out, and where all the good shopping is. We WILL be going back tomorrow don't you worry. It had been a long day so we headed out not after long. I came back and talked to Justin for an hour. Missing him like crazy.

day 2 down, have to wake up at 645am, wish me luck!

ciao xoxo