Greece

So two weeks ago was my spring break and I went to Mykonos! I went with five of my friends and we all fell completely in love with Greece. It was my first time there and it was one of the places I absolutely had to go to during my time in Europe. The trip exceeded all of my expectations and I could have not asked for a better spring break. Planning it was pretty hard but it was all worth it at the end. We stayed at a family owned bed and breakfast called Mina Studios, which is around 10 minutes from the city center and right next to the beach.

We went right before the tourist season so we were able to experience Mykonos when its not overflowing with people. The city center looked like a movie set. The streets were very narrow and you could only walk on foot through them. Everything was white with blue shutters and there were little balconies with chairs and tables sprinkled everywhere. It’s a maze of adorable little restaurants and shops. There is also a water front with restaurants there, probably on one of my favorite places in the city.

We were lucky to be blessed with good weather and we managed to go to the beach a couple of days. The water was crystal clear and the sand super light. It looked like something out of a dream or the typical beach picture you see in pamphlets.

On our way back to Italy we stayed in Athens for one night. We ended up seeing a famous Greek singer called Giorgios Mazonakis. It was the perfect Greek experience! I have honestly never met such nicer and open-hearted people such as the Greeks. Where ever we went we were welcomed with a smile and everyone was willing to help us with whatever we needed. I recommend for everyone to visit Greece at least once in their life. My friends and I could not get enough of Greece so we are going to Crete next weekend, I cant wait!

 

Paris, Je t’aime

Last weekend I went to the gorgeous Paris and all I want to do is just go back. I visited Paris ten years ago, so I don’t remember much. I was able to experience everything all over again and it was wonderful. The first day we walked around to get a feel from the city and we did a night boat tour. We also went to the Eiffel Tower to see the lights sparkle at the top of the hour.

The second day we were very lucky and were graced with perfect weather. We started off with a tour bus and then walked up Champs- Elyseese, a famous shopping street in Paris. After we stopped for lunch and then grabbed some delicious macaroons from Laduree. I couldn’t help myself and I also got a raspberry ice-cream sandwich like pastry; it did not disappoint.  We then took our tasty treats to Montmartre where we ate them while sitting on the grass looking over the city. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.


On the third day we only had the morning because we had to catch our plane. We went to Notre Dame and then we had lunch at the Latin Quarter. We got a delicious three-course meal for only 15 euro! I desperately want to go back; 2 and a half days is not nearly enough to see everything in Paris.

Santa Croce

Last Thursday I visited the beautiful Santa Croce Church; one of the main churches in Florence. It is the burial place for men such as Galileo, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli, and holds incredible works of art. The ceilings are impossibly high and the walls of the church are lined with large, intricate paintings and eccentric tombs.

The church connects to a small inner garden that leads to a small museum with more paintings and statues. There are several hallways that lead to nook and crannies all over the property. One of these hallways leads to yet another smaller garden square, this one much more peaceful and quiet. Overall there was so much to see and the artwork was breathtaking. It definitely helped that it was gorgeous outside!

Galileo’s Tomb:

Dante’s Tomb:


Churches and Sandwiches

Second week of classes is over and so far so good! In my Lost Symbolisms and Secret Codes of Art class we went to San Miniato Church and it was absolutely amazing, The church is located on top of a hill so you get a beautiful view of Florence. It was really breathtaking and I highly recommend it for anyone visiting Florence. When the weather is warmer I want to go up there and have a picnic.

A couple of days ago my roommate and I stumbled on a delicious sandwich shop. Nerbone is located in the Mercato Centrale and it can easily be missed, but by the looks of the line when we arrived, it’s a hidden gem in Florence. The Mercato Centrale is a big warehouse space with hundreds of vendors that sell fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and cheese. I got a simple turkey sandwich (turkey is actually rare in Italy!) on white bread with a delicious sauce. It was simply but mouth-watering! The sandwich only cost 4 euros so I will definitely become a frequent customer. It was also a lot of fun walking around the market and seeing all the wares people were selling. Everything was so fresh and colorful, though  I don’t recommend going there on an empty stomach.

Firenze for Ever

So it is my first couple of days here in Florence and I absolutely love it! It has been a blur of unpacking, exploring, orientation, and getting lost.  I love where my apartment is located; only five minutes from the Duomo! It is also in a less touristy part of the city so it is nice to be surrounded by Italians. One of the windows in my room overlooks a plaza and I love to look out of it and people watch. Italians are definitely very unique, everything from their clothes to their mannerisms seem so effortless.  I have my first day of classes tomorrow which I am very excited for. My classes tomorrow include Lost Symbolism and Secret Codes in Art, Italian Crime Fiction, and of course, Italian.

 

Ponte Santa Trinita, view from kitchen, Ponte Vecchio, Sunset

 

View from apartment, Duomo