Friday, May 30, 2014

Italy: Rome

After Venice, we visited Rome!

Rome is a lot more urban than Venice, which Travis described as "a city preserved from another time." I gotta say, I'm not much of a city girl, and the public transportation especially took it's toll on me. But it was a really amazing city full of old architecture and art!

We arrived in Rome late at night after a 4 hour train ride and sort of begged the kitchen at our hostel for any food at all. We were all really worn out from carrying our heavy bags all over Venice, and as Trav and I got to our tent, the key actually broke in the door! Thank god we were traveling with Axton and Lesley because the reception was closed, and they let us stay in their tent that night. I spent a lot of the next day sleeping, but towards the afternoon we went to see the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain!

Trajan's Column.

I had the best gelato outside the Pantheon! This was frutti di bosco and limone!

The next day we woke up and went downtown to visit the Vatican Museum. To say it was amazing would be an understatement.

The saddest thing in Rome is the plight of the immigrant population. Basically there are a ton of beggars, mostly Romanis, and they sell goods of questionable origin along the streets, as well as outright begging for money. They can get really pushy, and I understand why there is negative sentiment towards them from the natives. But it's really heartbreaking knowing that they're forced into doing things like that because its the only way they can make money.

The line outside the Vatican was really long, and these people kept offering to help us "skip the line" for 25 euros. They said the line was too long and we wouldn't make it to the museum before it closed. Well, the line only took about an hour to move through, and turns out these guys were just bringing groups of people to the front of the line and funneling them back in! There are few things I hate in this world more than line-cutters, guys, and I was pretty annoyed. Luckily the Vatican was well worth the wait and the annoyance!

(I also spent too much on a dress at this adorable boutique, so.)

I loved this sassy lady.

I did get to see the Sistine Ceiling, which was really cool! I didn't take a picture though, because I'm not a disrespectful dweeb. 

Finally we went to visit the Coliseum and ruins. We didn't go inside, but the view from the outside was pretty spectacular, too!

Lesley, Axton, and Travis accidentally dressed like the Italian flag!

As usual, keep up with me on Instagram , and watch for my next post from Florence!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pink Lady

Its outfits like these that really make me miss my pink hair!

This is the dress I got in Rome. I definitely wouldn't have spent as much as I did on it, but when in Rome... you impulse buy. Also it's a London based brand lol. It also needs altering, but I'm not going to feel guilty about it, and I completely intend to spend the rest of my Italy budget on clothes (I'm going to Milan next week, omg)!

Travis has been teaching me how to better use my camera over this trip, and the beautiful scenery at his family's house lead to me getting carried away with outfit shots today, you'll have to forgive me!

I went thrifting today at what they call "mercantinos" here in Italy, and this jacket was the only thing I bought (other than a cappucino or two)! Travis normally hates going to Goodwill with me, but today he got a classical guitar, a pipe, a calligraphy set, and a fancy notebook all for 40 euros, so color me jealous (I mean pink lolol). They're less like Goodwill and more like an antique shop mixed with a more curated thrift store here, so he has more to look at than just clothes.

I am a little homesick, but man I never want to leave here!

Dress: Shikha London
Jacket, Hat: Thrifted
Shoes: Gift from Travis' Mom, Thrifted

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Italy: Venice

I just got back from a one-week trip through Venice, Rome, and Florence! I'm going to share the photos from each city in the order we visited them. First was Venice!

Venice was probably my favorite city of the three, because it was so beautiful! Every direction you turned looked like a postcard. We met up with our friends Axton and Lesley who've been living in England this past year, and spent two days there.

The highlight of the city was San Marco Piazza. The basilica was beautiful and difficult to capture in photos, partly due to the ton of tourists in the square! The whole city is basically a ton of alleyways, which makes it really difficult to find your way around, so it took us a while to find it the first time. Also it mostly didn't smell bad, so idk about that rumor!

The second day we took a boat tour around to some of the smaller islands. We saw the glass blowing at Murano, which was really amazing. Then we visited Torcello, which was small and quiet and had this beautiful church full of Byzantine mosaics, like floor to ceiling gold leaf. We weren't allowed to take photos, though! We saw Burano, which is famous for it's candy colored houses, lace work, and cookies. It was also my total favorite place, and I got a few photos there!

We spent the rest of the time walking around exploring, looking at shops, drinking coffee (cappucinos for me), and eating lots of gelato and pizza! I will never get sick of gelato and pizza, tbh. Follow my Instagram for more pics of Italy, and keep an eye out for my post on Rome!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Since I'm not planning on taking my laptop when I leave the house to travel to the major cities, I'm going to get some outfits scheduled so you guys can see my carefully planned out Italian wardrobe! I took these at the Monte Berico overlook with the city of Vicenza below me, not that you can see it here.

Travis took these for me with his fancy zoom lens, and he really is a fast learner, he's already better than I am at photography! Has some trouble keeping me in focus, though, haha! It's also a bit chillier than I planned for here, I might buy some pants somewhere along the way. Boy am I glad to be wearing red again, though!

Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Shirt: American Apparel
Bag: Thrifted
Pin: Handmade by Me

Be on the lookout for more Italian scenery soon!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Italy: Vicenza Part 2

 Travis' family lives in Vicenza, which is a town outside of Venice. We've been exploring the downtown area the past couple of days, and it's all I've ever wanted! I'm really glad I got to experience the less-touristy side of Italy and really observe the culture. Downtown is a lot more vibrant than it is in similarly sized US cities, and people, tons of people, walk around at night on the weekends. It's what my hometown looks like when a festival is going on, and I loved it. Little clothing tents set up on the streets and tons of historic buildings and statues, museums, and shops. 

Authentic Italian cappuccinos and pizza, as delicious as you're imagining right now! I found it pretty intimidating not speaking the native language, and wanted to be able to communicate with the waiters. I'm going to study up before we head to Venice next week.

Some things I've learned:
-In Italy water isn't free at restaurants, and they give you bubbly water by default. You have to ask for litre naturale.
-You are paying essentially for the table space at a cafe, and there is no obligation to get the check quickly and free up seating.
-You don't need to tip waiters, and they don't attend to you as closely as in America.
-There are a lot of roundabouts and Italians drive really fast. I am really glad Travis' Mom has been driving us!

We also went to Monte Berico, which has an amazing lookout view over Vencinza Centro. Its so beautiful here, just like I pictured!