IMAGINE...Imagine a city where every road is water, and every car a boat...Imagine Venice!Being a city of water it was fitting that we arrived under the November rain. The incredible thing was that you almost didn't notice the dark winter shower for the brilliance of the buildings which filled every corner of every glance. VAPORETTO #1Apart from the forbidding yellow border at each ‘station’, gliding down the Grand Canal in vaporetto no. 1 in the early evening couldn't have been more of a contrast to rolling underground on the northern line after a day in the London office. After 40 minutes of dark waves, cold air and twinkling lights we arrived at Arsenale in the east of the city.INSIDE THE LABYRINTHThe streets were gentle and quiet and you could hear the sound of the waves lapping against the road edge. The impressive lack of smog throughout the city and the silence of the streets is an instant and very welcome sensation.Admittedly November will be quieter than the height of summer but I was aware of a lovely overall sense of calm which filtered the calle. Within a matter of seconds we were already immersed in the gorgeous narrow backstreets of this magical city. There is something quite tempting about surrendering yourself to the labyrinth and seeing where it takes you...this time however, we knew where we were heading and once over the first little bridge,
From an evening passeggiata to long Sunday dinners, Italians are known for savoring the small moments in life and millions of tourists come to Italy each year to experience the Italian lifestyle.Nearly every Italian has an opinion on the foreigners that swarm their country: they eat too early, they eat too much, they make too much noise, they look too obvious.But what happens when an Italian becomes a tourist?On a whim, I decided to join three Italian men and another American girl on a weekend trip to Ireland.Within minutes of booking our flights, my compatriot and I immediately scoured the internet for information on castles, pubs and daytrips and even emailed friends, who had previously stayed in Ireland, for advice.
For my first assignment as an intern, I was asked to take pictures around Florence of places and things which caught my interest and would appeal to people looking to travel here. My initial thought was to find the first restaurant my friend Bianca and I went to upon arriving in the city.
When I first arrived in Italy, I was overwhelmed with the number of friendly people (men in particular) I encountered while acquainting myself with the beautiful city of Florence. Their usual comments including “ciao bella” (hello beautiful girl) and “bellissima” (very beautiful girl) were definite self-esteem boosters for an average American girl with limited Italian experience.
Beginning at a young age, my parents have always stressed the importance of traveling in safe, well-made vehicles. Therefore, riding on a motorcyle/scooter would be absolutly out of the question. When I first arrived in Florence, I was shocked at the number of people that drived scooters. Unfortunately, I have regretfully noticed how wrecklessly most of them choose to drive
I was shopping in the Supermarket yesterday when something strange happened to me.Perhaps I should preface the story by saying that I come from California- a land of freedom where grocery store ethics are almost nil. That said, I was browsing the fruit section on a Thursday night shopping trip.I was shopping for myself and thus - trying to pick the best and smallest grape bunch from an assortment of monstrous bunches that I knew would go bad before I got the chance to eat them all. Now speaking as a single person from the land of supermarket freedom - I would say that I was within my bounds and those of common decency. And perhaps I was.
The sounds of church bells are what awakens me on Sunday morning. Not at all a bad way to wake up and thankfully the first ones don’t strike until 8:45am, so I am not forced out of bed too early.If I stay in bed for another 15 minutes, the second reminder of Sunday sounds as the bells attempt to call me to church.I’m living in the Santo Spirito area of Firenze, so happy to have moved away from my first apartment by the Ponte Vecchio.My new place is only 25 Euros more a week and it’s more than worth it for its tranquility (one of the few places in Firenze where I’ve not heard the constant noise of Vespas, talking and metal rolling doors being lowered and raised).
In order to enjoy Portofino to its fullest, plan on spending at least two days there. Once you decide on the best time to go, you can purchase a train ticket at Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. A ticket costs approximately €30 round-trip. Unfortunately, you must switch trains at least once along the way because there are no trains which go directly to Portofino. Luckily, it is not necessary to repurchase a ticket each time you board a new train. All together, the train ride can last between three to four hours depending on how many times you switch trains. While on the train, be sure to glance out the window and admire the beautiful Italian countryside
If you are one of those students lucky enough to not only study abroad in Florence but also have your parents visit you, then naturally you will want to make it worth their money and effort.What do you do when I genitori arrive? Of course priorities will vary depending on the nature of your family. Here you are some useful tips!!