This past week Sydney and I took a trip to Amsterdam.  We had off of school on Wednesday because it is the feast of Saint Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milan.  On top of that, we had off on Thursday and Friday for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  We decided to take advantage of this long weekend by taking a trip!  It was the best decision we could have  ever made.  The city of Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and quaint cities I have ever been too.  The people of Holland are extremely nice and tourism seems to blend right into their culture rather than interrupting it.  They are so welcoming and eager to show you around their city.  We stayed at an amazing youth hostel called the Flying Pig Uptown.  Walking into the hostel felt like walking into summer camp.  There was a lounge/bar/common area downstairs where everyone would hang out.  The hostel was clean, organized, and filled completely with students like us from around the world.  Because it was about 6 degrees Celsius and rainy outside, we spent a bit of our time drinking hot chocolate and hanging out at the hostel.  It was a much needed relaxing 4 days where I was able to escape from school and stress and just enjoy myself and explore a new culture.  Get ready, there are a lot of pictures in this post...

Wandering around the beautiful streets of Amsterdam

We got stuck in the middle of a hail storm! It was so cold the entire time we were there.

One of the walls of the Flying Pig lounge area. All of the walls are decorated in art done by people who have stayed at the Flying Pig.

Standing on the street that our hostel was on. It reminded me a lot of the streets of New York

All of Amsterdam looked like a scene out of a Disney fairy tale.

Christmas Square!

Most amazing waffle EVER!  Amsterdam is famous for them.

Starbucks for the first time in 4 months!!

Night time was even more beautiful than day.  Amsterdam is filled with canals, a local told me that it sits on more water than Venice....

Outside the Van Gogh Museum, my favorite part of the trip! Unfortunately you could not take pictures inside the museum,  but click above and check out the website!  It was an incredibly inspiring museum. 

The Christmas decorations were incredible throughout the entire city. 

There is one canal in the Red Light District where tons of swans gather.  They can only be found in this one canal in Amsterdam. 

So many Bikes!!!!

They were beginning to decorate at the hostel for Christmas!

Art Nouveau Theater from the 1920's

Il Fine Settimana!

This weekend was so much fun I thought I would do a little post about it.  Friday, we took a field trip to Como for our History of Textiles class where we were able to see and learn about beautiful silks woven in Como from the 17th and 18h centuries.  It was a wonderful trip, and Lake Como is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera on the trip.  We arrived back from Como around 8 at night exhausted from the long day.  Sydney and I were tired, cold, and lethargic, until we walked up from the subway stop at Porta Genova to see that they turned on all of the hundreds of Christmas lights on over the canal!  It is the most magical thing.  Now i feel like Christmas time is really here!

The lights on our street, Via Pasquale Paoli

Christmas lights on the canal!

Roommate Christmas card potential?

Me and Jacki in Corso Como

Saturday we woke up and meet all of our friends from the program at the American style bagel shop down the road from us.  After eating a delicious bagel and cream cheese and slurping down a large hot American style coffee, we all headed to this amazing thrift store that Michael has been raving about for weeks.  It was such a blast.  This thrift store is in the basement of some random building but it is filled with hundreds of treasures.  Each of the 12 of us managed to do a bit of damage, but with prices from 5-10 euros we thought it was worth it! I will definitely be returning soon for more vintage sweaters and coats. 

Having a little fun dressing up at the thrift store.

Beautiful embroidered pillows we got for the apartment for only 3 euro a piece:)

Happy Thanksgiving from Italy!

As I'm sure you all know, Thanksgiving is strictly an American holiday and therefore Thursday November 24th was just another normal day in Italy.  But, as a group of Americans we could not imagine a year without one of the best holidays! Lisa, the head of the Fit in Milan program, thoughtfully invited us all over to her home for a BIG American style Thanksgiving with a turkey and all!  The food was amazing and the dessert even better!  It was a much needed 'escape' from Italy.  It was such a wonderful night with all of my family here in Italy.  I couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving. 

Starting to set out all of the yummy food!

Dessert table:)

Sydney and one of Lisa's beautiful cats

Sydney and I

Elena's beautiful daughter enjoying the Pie!

Dig in!

Group Shot

Everyone was full and sleepy by the end of the night...Binna taking a classic post-thanksgiving nap