Archive | March, 2011

My Favorite Thing About Italy..

30 Mar

Every night there are local singers/musicians who perform in special spots around the city. Since Florence is warming up, small crowds of people have been coming together to sit and listen to the performers. Earlier this week a few of us brought a bottle of wine and walked up to the Piazza Michelangelo to watch the sun set and listen to the guitarist. It was one of the most beautiful views I have seen since abroad and so calming just to hang out. We always pass another musician singing right down the street from were we live, performing on the steps of the Uffizi, in front of all the statues. After dinner tonight Kendal and I sat and listened to him play a mix of American and Italian songs. Just hanging out and listening to these live musicians has been one of my favorite nights since being in Florence, and an experience that makes me realize that  I really live here : ) All of the tourists, Italians and study abroad students come together to enjoy the music, the environment and the experience.









Sunset from Piazza Michelangelo











The Wine Dad Bought Us!


Strong Beer Festival!

28 Mar

This weekend I headed to Munich, Germany to check out their annual strong beer festival! While I loved seeing Berlin, I was not ready to face the cold of Germany again especially now that the weather in Florence was so beautiful! But Munich ended up being one of my favorite trips so far! We got in on Friday morning and started out with a bike tour of the city. We saw all the major sites around Munich, including the nude park (ew!) and my favorite the river surfing! It reminded me of the wedge in Newport Beach at home how all of these risky boys have a huge crowd of people watching them do tricks! We took a lunch break at the second largest beer garden in the world and got bratwurst and beer. All of the food I had in Munich was SO much better than the sausages I tried in Berlin so I’m glad I gave German food another try! That night we went to Lowenbraukeller strong beer festival. There was a beauty pageant, a strong man competition and all of the Germans were dressed in Lederhosen! It was such a fun night, one of my favorites since I have been abroad! The next morning we woke up and headed to the Old Town Hall and…Starbucks finally : ) As much as a love my Italian cappuccinos it was nice to have a little America in my life haha. That afternoon we went to the Dachau concentration camp. It was incredibly sad, but an amazing experience! We went to Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall that night with a bunch of friends and tried the traditional German Roast Chicken and met some locals! On Sunday it was rainy and we learned Germans only do two things on Sundays…Pray and Drink. The ONLY things open in the whole city were the churches and beer halls haha. So naturally we went along with the culture and did as the Germans do until we headed back to Florence that night!











At the Beer Hall!









Bike Tour









River Surfing

Familia in Firenze!

28 Mar

Last week my dad, Deb, Uncle Mark and Aunt Debbie came to visit! I stayed with them in a beautiful house on the other side of the Arno river, so nice to be with family again! We went to a bunch of amazing dinners, but my favorites were Quatro Leone and Osteria San Spirtio. With parents in town, we even got to try all of the courses! They had a chance to meet all of my friends, see my apartment and check out my school in Piazza Republica. We took a tour of the city and got to walk through the Vasari Corridor, which was the corridor created by the Medici family to privately travel from the town hall to their palace and chapel. Thursday was not only Saint Patrick’s Day, but the celebration of the 150 years of the unification of Italy! We celebrated Italy by doing what Italians love.. wine tasting : ) On our way up we checked out a little town and saw a little ceremony over cappuccinos. On Friday, my family took Kendal, Chelsea, and I to Venice for the weekend! We saw glass blowing, took water taxis and saw some cute piazzas and churches around Venice. But my favorite thing we did was the gondola ride! Kendal, Chelsea and I took a romantic boat ride around the canals of Venice haha. On Sunday we headed back on the train to Florence, until dad, deb, mark and deb headed back to the US : (











Vasari Corridor!









Me and Daddy – O at Wine Tasting!











The Debs!









Water Taxi’s In Venice











Glass Work









Gondola Ride With Chels and Ken!


14 Mar

We left for our Spring Break adventure on Thursday night with a ten hour bus ride to Prague! The ride actually wasn’t too bad because the trip wasn’t full and we all got our own seat and chatted and watched movies most of the ride. Our first stop was PRAGUE! We took a walking tour and got to see all of the city. It was soo beautiful and all of the buildings were very elaborate and old. We saw the famous castle and John Lennon wall which was created as a symbol of peace, now people can write their names, pictures or quotes to leave their own mark in the city. While all of the girls had their photo shoots at the wall a lot of the boys on the trip headed to the beer tour to hear all about the beer made in Prague. We tried the most AMAZING dessert ever in Prague called Trdelnik, round dough rolled in cinnamon and filled with nutella mmm. Our eating schedule was so messed up from the bus rides we were so hungry for dinner one night we could only find an asian restaurant. Bad bad move. Some of the options included “Chicken of Mysterious Taste” and “Chicken with 8 Treasures” ahh! Later that night at a five-story club (HUGE!) we ran into some of our friends from home Sam and Ally! After a few days exploring Prague, we set off for BERLIN, Germany. Germany was a very simple, but cool city with tons of interesting history. We took a tour there and wanted to check out a concentration camp but ran out of time, luckily we are heading to Munich in a few weeks : ( We did get to see the Topography of Terror museum, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. We tried the traditional German food sausages and their popular “currywurst” but it only made us miss our Italian : ) From Berlin, we headed to AMSTERDAM! We imagined the city to be very dirty and druggy, but it ended up being one of my favorites! The city is SO cute and people ride bikes all along the canals. All of the buildings are tall, skinny and crocked to fit more along the water. Our hostel was in the red light district were the prostitutes dance in the windows to attract men which was a little scary haha. We heard a lot of stories about the district and about an 83-year-old prostitute with a 2-week waiting list! On our second day in Amsterdam we went to the Anne Frank house and got to see where she hid and her diary, such an amazing experience and one of my favorite things we did on our trip! Later that day we went to the Heineken Experience were they show you how beer is made, let you go on a ride and have testers! Our last stop on our adventure was to PARIS! We had been earlier this semester but were still excited to go back, there was so much more we wanted to see. We started out taking the Fat Tire Bike Tour, which was really fun and we got to see a ton of the city! After the tour we went to the Louvre and joined the pack trying to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. Later that night, a group of us headed to see the Eiffel Tower shimmer at night. SO beautiful! It sparkles every hour, so if you are ever in Paris it is my favorite thing to see : ) The next day we headed to see Versailles and the gardens. The line was crazy long so we never made it inside, but the gardens were beautiful and it was so nice to just relax and walk around! Of course before we left Paris Chelsea and I had to find berets, and naturally we bought matching ones and wore them the rest of the trip. We checked out one last stop in Paris the Sacre Coeur and Montmarte, then headed back on the bus for our 15-hour journey back to Florence. We had an amazing trip and got to see so many cool places I have been dying to visit! It is so nice being back in our little apartment though, especially because Dad, Deb, Uncle Mark and Aunt Debbie are here to visit! YAAAA!


John Lennon Wall, I signed my name!



Amsterdam Canal

Amsterdam Sign

Moulin Rouge

My favorite picture of Paris, matching berets!

Sparkling Tower!