"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." {Louisa May Alcott}

Friday, June 3, 2011

A.F. (After Florence)

I am writing from a hostel in Sorrento right now. I have just come from swimming in the beautiful Mediterranean and thought to update you on my doings. After school ended, Alexa and I packed up and cleaned our whole apartment and left for Rome. We ate some delicious fried baccala in Roma and then I had to say goodbye to my roommate, which was actually quite tearful. And now, I am flying solo! I went and spent the whole day in the Roman Forum, met up with Niccolo for a quick hello, then departed for Naples (Napoli - where all the trash strikes are). I arrived pretty late and was just a little fearful because Napoli can be a quite intimidating at first, with the traffic, "friendly" people always asking "where are you from?", and trash piled up everywhere. But the next day, I explored and I could actually see its charm. I learned that Naples hates the rest of Italy, and the rest of Italy hates Naples. It has always been an oppressed city I guess because it has always been under the rule of someone else (before Italy's unification in 1861). So I guess you can kind of understand why they are constantly in sciopero (on strike), and so riotous. I tried the so-called best pizza ever, at da Michele, and I will agree with everyone else in the world that, yes, it IS the BEST. (and yes, it is the one in Eat Pray Love)

After gorging myself on pizza, and then gelato of course, I took the ferry to Sorrento. That first view of Sorrento was absolutely magical. It is perched on the cliffs above the Mediterranean, and you can see these amazing tunnels and stairs in the rocks that bring you down to the beach. It kind of feels like Pirates of the Caribbean. And tomorrow I am going on a tour of Capri, and going to experience the Grotto Azzurro. I wish I could take pictures of everything, but my camera pooped out yesterday. So I will try my best to paint it with words...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giardini di Perfezione

While I was in touring Ireland this past month, I was able to experience some the greenest landscapes I have ever seen in my life. It was amazing. Even within all of this wild lushness, two manicured gardens captured my interest. The first I saw while I was in the tiny little mountain town of Glendalough. It was a garden of the senses. Sight, touch, and smell were represented there. There were fragrant spearmint and peppermint plants, soft chamomile, and beautiful flowers. It was magical because every person could be able to enjoy it.

The second garden that I fell in love with was the Poison Garden at Blarney Castle. I know it sounds morbid, but it was absolutely fascinating! Every single plant in this garden was poisonous is someway, and was heavily marked as such. But there were also explanations about each plant with its history and the features of its poison. I vow to have a similar garden when I have a place of my own... maybe along with another one that is a little bit more functional, like a herb and veggie garden as well. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gotta get that money, honey

Money, money, money. This stupid idea that makes the world go round, that everyone strives for but always ends up resenting, yet wanting/needing more. I effing hate it! I swear over here in Italy, it is spent even quicker. And the freaking exchange rate from dollar --> euro does not help in the slightest. The exchange rate right now is 1.45 I think, making everything here 18746392 times more expensive.

This weekend I went to Bologna, Modena, and Verona. While these places were fun and worthwhile to see, they definitely were NOT economical in the slightest. I managed to somehow blow almost 300 dollars in one weekend. So for the rest of the month, I will be subsisting on frozen veggies for every meal. I just hope that I will be able to make it through without having to borrow money, AGAIN, from my parents considering that I just did only 3 weeks ago and it is almost gone. I am not looking forward to having to pay them back over the following months. I think that it will be quite a bit... -_-

I really need to learn to control my spending. I thought that I was good at it, but I didn't realize how hard it can be when you are surrounded by people who don't need to. They always pressure you to buy, that you need 'this' or 'that', when in reality, you really don't. HELP!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"An Instant Era"

I was surfing the web the other day, and came across this article about fashion, by Sara. Now to be one hundred percent honest, I am no fashionista in any way, shape, or form. Sure I like to look good, but generally its the old jeans and tee, nothing eclectic or out of the box. But I digress...

This article doesn't really address the conventional idea of fashion, which is what made me look into it. It talks about the effect that fashion has on society, and that it essentially shapes so many different aspects of it. It affects our world in so many more ways than we consciously think. It definitely made me think of the role of fashion in my life, and how it subconsciously affects me everyday.

Here's a preview of the article "An Instant Era - An Era Under Anesthesia"

"The collective unconsciousness of the world of fashion has been followed by a cultural thoughtlessness.

Fashion has become more than a simple word, it is a word that has the power to generate movement, a movement that has the power to lead the mass.

Fashion has become a lifestyle, a way of thinking.

This is why we must rethink, not the meaning of the word fashion, but what is being communicated under such premise..."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The End of 3 Whole Months in Italy

MIA for the past 6 or so months = ME.

So here is the quick and dirty run down of my stay in Florence. -yes, I said FLORENCE. I got here in the end of January and quickly settled into my routine of going to school for the first half of each day, then doing various things (a lot of nothing...) afterward. Thus far, I have stayed in Italy for my weekend trips: Venice, Rome, Viareggio, Lucca, Pisa, Chianti... And we will suffice it to say that I am officially in love. With Italy of course.

Venice: Amazing. We went during Carnevale and it was a complete madhouse, the minuscule avenues and carless streets were filled to the brim with people, who were for the most part, tourists. Nevertheless, somehow I managed to charm a cashier enough in a glass store on Ponte Rialto who took my friends and I to a private Venetian party. (!) Then we had to fight tooth and nail for a taxi to get to our train on time, at 3 AM. We were in Venice for a total of 12 hours. Don't worry, I will go back.

Rome: I am head over heels for this magical, fast paced, ancient city. I don't think that there are adequate words to describe my feelings for Rome. I was lucky enough to experience a moto tour of the city by a Roman friend, a legitimate, traditional roman meal, and Trastevere... all in the first day. We followed this up with the Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi, the Pantheon, Colosseo, Foro Romano, Sistine Chapel, and mass outside the Vatican. My favorites of the trip: the "Hole of Rome" which is a little hole the size of a quarter cut into a door of a baptistery where you can see directly to San Pietro. The fountains of Rome where you could drink water directly from the spout. And La Boca della Verita, a statue of a man with a legend from Ancient Rome - if a man believed his wife was cheating on him, she was forced to place her hand in the statue's mouth and if she was guilty of adultery, her hand would be chopped off...

Fiesole: A little village right outside of Florence, which was founded by the Etruscans. I would say this is the most beautiful place that I have been to in Italy thus far. When you picture the Tuscan countryside, it does not get any more majestic or breathtaking than the hills and the views of Fiesole.

Sorry for the photo overload and the writing and info shortage. I think I have become a little too lazy... ;)
More later! (No promises though...)