“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” 

–Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

   My first day in Florence, I went up to the Michaelangelo and saw Florence and all of its entirety. Breathtaking.

Gusta Pizza: The BEST pizza in Florence. Yes, I ate the whole thing!

My 21st Birthday (which, as you Americans know is a BIG DEAL in the States) was September 5th. I celebrated Italian style since I was in Florence: starting at Kitsch for an aperitivo. The mojito Im holding was my first drink. I feel lucky that my first legal drink was in Italy 😀

The Jardin of Eze, France (left). This was during my trip to the French Riviera where we went to stayed in Nice, and went to Antibes, Eze and Monaco. We also went to the first perfumery made in France, where stars such as Princess Grace Kelly made their very own perfume. To the right, our group is all standing in front of the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. Monaco was all glitz and glam. All of the rich and famous go here, and from one gorgeous view we found, we were able to see 3 countries in one glance: Italy, France and Monaco.


The beautiful canals of Venice. Venice is unlike any other city in Italy in that its built on water. It was a relaxing change to be transported around by ferry,and all of the winding streets were mysterious-we never knew where we were being led to! On the right, you can see the Palazzo Ducale. Inside, the famous Golden Staircase is beautifully sculpted and was fascinating to look at.

In Ibiza, Spain I’m posing on a rock near where we laid out in the sun and swam in the beautiful teal waters. We found a small cave-like beach made of rocks, one of my favorite little beaches I’ve ever been to! On the right, me and some friends are outside the famous club of Ibiza called Amnesia! As you probably know, Ibiza is the house music and club capital in the world, so it was a very lively adventure. The night we were at Amensia, Calvin Harris was a special guest DJ!!

My first weekend here, we went to the beautiful coastal towns of Cinque Terre and walked along the Via Dell’Amore (the street of love). According to history, it was named this because so many couples walk along this street because of the romantically beautiful view. The locks along the fenced street are from couples who essentially “lock their love” there. On the picture on the right, me and my friend climbed down the rocks to dip into the refreshing water. I’m glad I was able to go when I did because the flood tragedy ruined a lot of the towns now. My prayers are with everyone who was hurt.

The picture on the left is at the beautiful Parc Guell in Barcelona, Spain. We are sitting on top of a stone tower with a cross (that you cannot see from this angle!) on top. A gorgeous view of the city can be seen by walking around this park and especially from the top of this tower! Don’t mind the goofy guy, he was being a little wise-cracker jumping into our pic- we don’t even know him! I think it makes it more exciting though! The other picture is of the famous La Sagrada Famiglia church. The church is so different than any other church I have visited while in Europe. It almost resembles a sort of real life sand castle, because of the color and sculptures intricately designed into the walls.

Left: We are all dressed with Fiorentina spirit at the soccer game vs. Lanzio…unfortunately we lost, but the real fun was watching the crowd get crazy angry and dramatic in the stands. I loved the cheer they sang too..you could really feel their love and passion for the game and Florence. Check out this youtube video I found of the fans cheering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jun3y6F0X3E

Right: We are all in Perugia (Where Amanda Knox had been released only a week before!!) for the Eurochocolate Festival!! Tons of delicious chocolates in various forms were offered as samples or to buy. We also discovered an underground area where wine and cheese tasting was-it was perfect timing because we needed some salty after so much sweet!

In Verona, where the famous lovers Romeo and Juliet lived. Here we are touching the statue of Juliet’s golden breast because it is believed to be goodluck and bring you a lover! (even thought half of us already had one!) We saw her house and Romeo’s house as well as a beautiful church. I also found it interesting learning that in Verona eating horse or “verni” is very popular…I didn’t quite have the courage to try it though!

Article by: Kerri Dress



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