My first Italian restaurant of the trip was All’ Acqua Al’ 2 (Due). This restaurant is famous for its steak cooked in blueberry sauce, and strawberry risotto. My mom got the blueberry steak, I tried a sliver and it was very good! This was a family run restaurant, very unique and truly Italian. You could order a sampler of appetizers, salads, pastas, meats, desserts, or cheeses, or choose through the whole menu! To start of the meal we got the house red wine, some water, and then they brought out a bag of fresh bread, and wheat bread with hummus! I have never had hummus in an Italian restaurant but it was delish!
First I got Assagio d’Insalate. A sample of their salads of the day. A house salad, a Parmesan and Fennel salad, and a Greek salad.
Then I got a Petto di Pollo ai Funghi Porcini. A sauteed chicken breast topped with Porcini Mushrooms and garlic, in a white whine sauce. This was soooo amazing!
Lastly we got a Assagio di Dolce for the table. This was a sampler of four house made desserts. There was a chocolate ganche, panna cotta, a fruit cobbler, and of course tiramisu. This was so delicious I wasn’t able to get a picture of all of them before we ate them!
Finally the door to Acqua al 2. This family has also spread their restaurant to America! There is one in San Fransisco and Washington D.C. where they retain the same menu!
Omggg. At Duty Free. Nutella for the week. They were even labeled Monday, Tuesday, etc. I couldn’t bring myself to buy it though. However I did have a tiny pack of Nutella for breakfast yesterday :) So delish
just booked my flight!
I will be flying from Orlando to Detroit, then Detroit to Rome, and then my mom will pick me up in Rome and we will drive to Florence. I cant wait!
oooooh another thing i am looking forward to in italy. Hot, fresh, authentic, creamy cappucinos. Just not the calories associated with them…oh well. Just will have to wake up at the crack of dawn to go running, and we will be walking all over the city anyways.
Ohhh you know…just daydreaming about how I will be in Florence in ONE WEEK! (These are all pictures from my time studying abroad in Florence last Summer) My family have been going to Florence every summer since I was very young. It has basically become my second home and I can’t wait to goooo!!!
Yes…most of these photos are food related…thats probably one of the things I miss most! And I want to climb the duomo again (to burn off some of the mass amounts of pasta, pizza, bruschetta, and gelato I am sure to be eating. I am also thinking about going running early early in the morning. I have been on a strict diet and exercise regimen lately and I don’t want to loose all the progress I have made…but I still want to enjoy myself! Good thing Italy also has some great meats!
On Saturday Joannah and I decided to sleep in and be lazy as it was the FIRST day in almost three weeks that we had nothing planned to do. It turned out that today was the perfect day for this because it rained almost all morning. Around two a clock it stopped so we went to Za-Za’s for lunch because we both hadn’t been able to eat all day with no food in our apartments! I got the Za-Za salad. It was good, however they but a bit too much Gorgonzola dressing making it a bit overwhelming.
After this we strolled down one of the isle of the San Lorenzo market. As I mentioned in the “My Purchases” blog I had been thinking about buying a leather jacket. As we strolled by one vendor he told us he had a rack of 70 euro jackets we could look at. Extremely cheap! Most jackets are 120-300 euro. We looked at these but they weren’t in style I liked, so the women who worked with him brought us to their store. Inside she had the perfect jacket!
It was a beautiful tan color exactly my size and the style i liked. Of course this was the more expensive jacket with a higher quality of leather which would set me back about 200 euro. So next she showed me a jacket in the exact same style but more in my price range. She said it was 120 euro but she could set it for 100. Then I told her I would pay cash so she said ok 80 euro. This jacket was also perfect in style, color, and size. This woman was an amazing sales person. She showed me all the different ways I could wear the jacket. All about the care of the jacket in rain, spills, making it softer, making it smaller, making it bigger. She was extremely helpful. The whole time I kept saying to Joannah “I can’t believe I’m doing this!”. I have never been a huge fan of leather jackets, they have always reminded me of “Grease” and bikers. But after I watched Joannah buy one last week I decided that maybe I could like it. After I tried it on I knew I actually liked it. The tricky part was that I only had 20 euro so the saleswoman and Joannah and I walked to the next ATM and I had Joannah guard me and then I gave the woman her money and she gave me my jacket! I am very happy with my purchase and the more I think about it the more I like it!
I believe I will be wearing it today!
Love to all! Ciao!
On Friday morning I woke up early to go say goodbye to the Parker’s before I left for Cinque Terra and they left for Paris. Then I headed off to the train station to meet Joannah at 10:30 for our 10:57 train.
Once I got there we bought the the tickets and it said it was a strait shot to Riomaggiore, the first town of Cinque Terra. We looked on the board and found our train, however it did not say Riomaggiore as a stop. We asked people that worked at the train station and they told us we would have to change at Pisa and then get a train to Riomaggiore.
Train #1: Once we were on the train the ticket check person didn’t tell us anything about switching. A couple on the train said that the train was going straight to Pisa, so we decided we would stay on the train.
As we passed Pisa we decided to ask the ticket check again just to be safe and he said “NO! NO! NO!” right as we were moving past Pisa…
So we got off at the next stop San Stefano Magro…which wasn’t exactly a train station but more like a restaurant. We tied to buy a ticket to go to La Spezia, where the conductor told us to go, however the ticket machine was ripped from the wall. I believe I forgot to mention that the train station was deserted…well besides us and the couple that was lost with us..
Train #2: We waited for 30 minutes in this deserted makeshift train station until finally the train came and we went to La Speiza. Suprsiginly this was the nicest train we had been on all day! By now it was 1:30, when we were supposed to be arriving in Riomaggiore.
Once we arrived at La Spezia we checked the schedule and the next train to Riomaggiore was cancelled.
Train #3: Finally we caught another one after 40 minutes, it was now 2:30
Once we got to Riommaggiore at 3 pm we had to buy a 1 euro ticket to get to Monte Rosso, the last town with beautiful beaches. Of course, the next train to Monte Rosso was cancelled and the train we had just been to was going to Monte Rosso…so we just could have stayed on the train.
Train #4: So we waited for 30 min and finally caught the train at 3:30. We made it to the next town and suddenly the train seemed to be packed as if at least 200 people more people got on.
Finally we arrived in Monte Rosso at 4 pm, we made sure to check the train schedule to see when the next train going straight to Florence was and said we would be back at 6:30 to catch it since it was the next as well as last train directly to Florence.
We went to the nearest restaurant and I had a great dinner of pesto lasagna, this region is famous for its pesto! It was amazing! i want to make it when i get home.
We still had some time to kill and while it was cold out we sat on the beach just to say we did after our 5 hour long journey to the beach.
We were ready to leave so we walked up to the train station and checked the schedule again, and just as you guessed, the train to Florence was cancelled. We asked the ticket person and they again told us to change in Pisa. This time we new we would have no choice but to listen to him so we waited until 7 for the train to Pisa.
We had time to kill again so we we got some Cappucinos while waiting.
Train #5: Finnally we caught the train to Pisa and after arriving went inside to ask when the next train to Florence was. We were happy to hear that it was in 10 minutes at 8:15.
Train #6: So we finally caught our 6th train of the day to Florence. We arrived home at 10 pm after having been gone for 11 hours for a journey that is supposed to take an hour an a half both ways. Even more ironically we made the trip two weeks before and it went extremely smoothly! On the last train Joannah and I joked that maybe we would find one hundred euro on a walk home to regain our luck. Well we didn’t find 100 but we did find 2 euro!
The Highlights of my day were:
buying eye drops for my allergies
the pesto lasagna
finding 2 euros at the end of the day, we used it to buy a delicious cantaloupe.
Finishing Brunellschi’s Dome during our 5 hour journey.
I hope you enjoyed our dramatic stressfull day!
Love to all! Ciao!
This is a very short description of my past week!
During class we went to the Ospedale degli Innocenti a hospital for orphans designed by Brunellschi. Next we visited the Museo Duomo filled with the tools the Brunellschi used to build the Duomo, the different competition pieces, and the original works of art on the Duomo. Very interesting! In the gift shop they happened to have little cookbooks for 3 euro that were a perfect size and price! We all bought at least two!
At night we watched Italia play in the World Cup vs. Paraguay. Unfortunately they tied but I was wearing a blue shirt with an Italia pin I bought in the 99 cent store! I left my Italian jersey in Orlando :(.
Climbing the Duomo (see previous blog) definitely my favorite experience!
Free Bombeloni :) yummmm
For class we went to the Uffizi where we saw Fillipo Lippi and Collier told us the story about how Fillipo, a monk, “Found him a nun” after he and a nun conceived a child the future Fillipino Lippi. Next we saw Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and many others!
I went to Il Gato e Volpe, my favortie restaurant in Italy (besides Za-Zas of course) to have the Pomodoro e Mozzarela which is basically exactly like Tomato Caprese they just give you a lot more! It was magnificat! I will be going back soon!
For class we took a walk to the south side of town across the Ponte Vecchio to the Broncochi Chapel to view Masaccio’s frescoes. These were some of the most influential fresco’s in florence.
In the afternoon I stopped in the Disney store. Of course right as I walked in a pack of girls swarmed in and went absolutely crazy of some Miley Cyrus stuff. It was like nothing I had ever seen before! As I tried to stay away from them I was tempted to buy a coloring book and then a towel since I knew I was going to Cinque Terra on Friday, however i didn’t give in. As I was leaving I saw this crazy taxi decorated with all these cartoon characters parked right outside disney and a woman dressed like she was from Harry Potter or something! It was bizarre…
Later that evening I caught a bus to Fiesole to meet everyone for dinner after their watercolor class!
We had class at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella which houses the Holy Trinity by Massacio.
Next we went to the Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella, famous for the products made by nuns and its wonderful smelling almond soap featured in the Hannible movie. While we were there it started hailing! So bizarre for June!
For lunch Jennifer, Hannah, and Jaclyn and I went back to Il Gato e Volpe where I again ordered my favorite, the Pomodoro e Mozzarella.
In the afternoon Bobbie and Isabella and I went to the Salvatore Feragamo museum. Feragamo was the shoemaker to the stars, having molds of almost every famous actor and actress! This was so interesting! Currently the museum had a Greta Garbo exhibit where her family had loaned ALL of her clothes, and shoes of course, to be on display. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was also fun to learn abut the wonderful actress. For instance when Greta came to the Florence store she bough 70 pairs of custom shoes!
After the museum I went to the Parker’s apartment to hang out with my familia one last night before they left for paris! I will miss them!
Cinque Terra? This story will come later. It may be one of the funniest/most dramatic stories I will tell.
Love to all! Ciao!
On Wednesday morning Jennifer, Hannah, Jaclyn and I all woke up very early to be one of the first people in line to climb the Duomo of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.
Jennifer and I had read the book Brunellschi’s Dome by Ross King which explained the creation and raising of the Dome for or Western Civ. class. Climbing the Duomo after reading the book was a great experience because I knew that I knew a lot more about the builidng than the average person climbing it.
There are a total of 463 steps to reach the top of the Cupola. Both of my parents had climbed the dome before and my dad told me that when the building starts to lean it is very scary. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
As we began the climb we were climbing steep steps that finally had us reach the platform where some of the tools and cranes are now on display.
Then we walked around a circular platform that went around the inside of the dome allowing us to look at the Last Judgement by Giorgio Vasari. Ross Kings’s book says that this is where the workers would stop and have lunch.
Then we continued up sets up very narrow spiral staircases to another platform where the stairs were very steep and curved around the top of the dome.
Finally we poked our heads up from the dome unto the top where the view seemed to go on for miles! After reaching this point I was actually surprised at how short the climb was! I guess the 100 stairs to the top of our apartment kept us in some kind of shape to climb!
We looked around the view for about 15 minutes where we spotted all the landmarks we knew. We could even almost see our house!
Then we began the stepp climb back down the dome. In Ross King’s book he explains how Brunellschi set up a system for the workers to have two sets of staircases to club up and two to climb down. They were designed so that while climbing up they would rotate counter clockwise and so that while walking down they would be clockwise which is apparently easier to maneuver while walking down.
The thing’s Brunellschi thought of were astounding. The entire church took almost 170 years to build and remains the largest brick dome in the world, even after almost 400 years of completion. Climbing the Duomo is by far one of my favorite things that I have done on this trip!
After climbing we stopped at Il Cucciolo our favorite breakfast place because of their amazing bombelonis, kind of like an italian doughnut. We each ordered one and some coffee and sat down and after about 15 minutes one of the boys that worked there brought us out a plate of tiny bombeloni samples. So nice! We felt like regulars!
Love to all! Ciao!
As the trip comes to a close I wanted to post pictures of where I have been living for the past 3 weeks for everyone to see!
Welcome to my humble abode…
My Room:its kinda messy right now of course, packing and all that.
My Room’s View: Not the best view, the girls in the apartment connected to us have a beautiful view of the Duomo, but oh well, its still Italy!
My Bathroom: verrrry small.
The Dining Room: great for lots of family dinners!
The Kitchen: yes that really is the whole thing.
The climb up to our apartment: This is the view from the bottom floor looking up. We are on the very top floor, which means the best view, but the most stairs…there happen to be exactly 100.
Love to all! Ciao!
As my trip comes to a close I decided to post a blog of what all I have bought and what I am still intending to buy.
I finally bought my white dress for Convention. It was from Zara and is so cute!
It was absolutely freezing one day here so I ran into the straw market to hid from the rain and had to stop myself from buying a Burberry blanket because I was so cold, so I settled for the scarf. A timeless classic.
I have been looking for a Burberry styled headband for a while. The actually Burberry headbands are a bittt out of my price range, both online and on ebay. So I was excited to find this one close to my apartment.
I decided to buy a leather belt because the nicest belt i have is not leather and its from H&M. This one was 25 euro and the man sized it for me. I love the pattern on it!
So because my sorority’s animal is an owl I have been taking countless photos of Owls all over Italia. These are the ones I’ve decided to purchase. I am still on the hunt for some more… Looks like my little will be verry lucky/she probs will no exactly who i am the second I give them to her. Haha. Ohh well…
I have never noticed these trays in Florence before but now they are all over! In stores, in markets, everywhere. They vary in sizes, shapes, and colors. My bathroom/bedroom is going to be aqua so I decided to get this tray to put perfumes or jewelry on.
I collect ornament from cities around the world in hopes that one day my Christmas tree will just a be a wonderful diverse collection of beautiful ornaments!
I purchased the Foccacio and Pasta cookbooks at the Museo Della Opera di Duomo. These books were so inexpensive at 3.50 per book and just the perfect size. i had to stop my self from buying every cookbook the store offered! I cant wait to get home to cook these delicious looking recipes!
I absolutely adore this traditional Florentine style and so I bought a cute small notepad to keep in my purse and envelopes and letters to send little happy snail mail messages!
What I am still looking to purchase:
I have never been one to like leather jackets, but after Joannah bought one for a great price I have been thinking about it more and more. I also really like a pink trench coat at Zara. It would have to be one or the other as the trench coat is 70 euro and the leather jacket would probably be about 80-100 euro.
I have my eye on this new style of Florentine Jewlerey. It’s a style I’ve never seen before in Florence. I don’t have a picture otherwise I would post it!
A print of the Florentine Horizon.
I have decided that I would like a Florentine print for my new apartment in Orlando to remind me of my favorite city in the world!
Clothes from Zara/H&M:
I will probably look through Zara and H&M one more time while I’m here to see if anything catches my eye! But I think I will just wait and save my money until I get back to Orlando where I can shop in the same stores in dollars.
I am on the hunt for a pair of white heals to go with my white dress for Convention. I haven’t had too much luck yet though.
If you haven’t heard of lush before you either need to find one in your area or look them up online! They are a british cosmetic company that specializes in fresh soaps, lotions, shampoos, and much much more. Everything is extremely fresh and without preservatives. I have been to the store many times before but this time the woman completely sold me and I may buy stuff here in Florence or wait until I can go to the lush in Orlando.
Love to all! Ciao!
This past week has been a great week for shopping and class!
On Monday Collier took us to the Baptistery of St. John in Piazza del Duomo to see the bapistry doors. These doors were made by Lorenzo Ghiberti after a competition was set for artists in the city to create them. Ghiberti’s main opponent was Fillipo Bruneschi. It is hard to tell who actually won or why they won. Bruneschi says they tied but he didn’t want to work together on the doors and others say Ghiberti won because is panels weighed much less. Collier showed us where Ghiberti created a self portrait of himself on the doors.
After looking at the doors we went to the Bargello to look at the original competition panels.
After class I met Jaclyn and Hannah to go to our favorite restaurant in Florence, Za-Zas! I had a delicious pesto pasta.
The rest of the girls had art class after this and so I went walking around and ended up at the Ponte Vecchio to look at all of the gold! I truly think that the most beautiful jewelry in the world is located on this bridge. My dream engagement ring would definitely come from the Ponte Vecchio…or Tiffany’s of course.
After the girls finished class we went home to eat a quick dinner before going to the beautiful Odeon theater to see Sex and the City Two in this beautiful old english playing movie theater.
Today in class our main subject was sculpture and it’s advances during the Renaissance. We learned something that I had never really thought about before; sculpture looked more realistic in the Renaissance because there were examples of Greek and Roman sculpture to learn from. This was not the case for painting and thats why it took longer ot develop.
We visited Orsan Michele to look at all the sculptures surrounding the building by artists such as Donatello and Ghiberti. Next we went to the Bargello to look at the progression between the years of Renaissance sculpture.
After class Jennifer, Joannah, and I went to a delicious little pizzeria and then Jennifer and I went shopping.
At two o’clock all the students met at the Pitti Palace to go to the Caravvagio exhibit their. Some very famous paintings were in this exhibit which was very interesting. I always love going to the Pitti Palace because it was the home of the Medici’s, the royal family of Florence. The view from the Palace is amazing! You can tour their apartments and even go into a costume gallery to see their clothing! After class all the student’s in the art classes went to the beautiful Boboli Gardens to paint and I watched.
Today for class we went to the Basilica of Santa Croce the frescoes in Cappella Peruzzi and Cappella Bard by Giotto. We didn’t know that we were going to a church when we woke up so some of us dressed inappropriately for Santa Croce and when we walked up Jennifer, Cortney, and I were all given kimonos to wear around the church. Extremely embarrassing! Pictures will come…
After Santa Croce I went to go do some shopping for thing’s I have had my eye on. I purchased a beautiful leather belt, a white dress, a surprise gift for my mom, and a beautiful hand painted ornament of Florence. I am going to do a blog post soon of all of my purchases!
At night I was very adventurous and made Bruschetta for the first time. The bread wasn’t as toasted as it should have been but everyone said it was delicious. I will continue to perfect it. Joanna made a delicious pasta with Alfredo sauce.
This may have been one of my favorite days for class. We went to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (what everyone calls the Duomo) and stood between the main doors where Collier told us about Brunesleschi’s experiment with linear perspective. THe short version is that Brunelschi painted a small image of the Baptistery.He would stand his friends in the same place he painted it and move the picture in their view and take it down and the image was so life like that they couldn’t even tell when the image was taken down and they were looking at the real thing! It really is much more in depth that that but in general it taught artists that to make truly great paintings they needed to experiment with perspective and get their proportions precise.
After this Joannah, Jennifer and I went to the Bombelini place for a quick bite to eat and then Jennifer and I went shopping again. We went to Peruzzi’s an extremely old leather store to buy a wallet for her dad. Peruzzi’s has been around since 1948 and is now a huge leather store. While the prices are kind of high, they have an unbelievable selection and the coolest thing about the store is that they will stamp your initatils onto any item for free! It looks beautiful and is so simple!
In the evening Jennifer, Hannah, Joannah, and I all set off to a cooking class in the Santo Spirito area. This may have been one of my favorite meals in Florence and definitely one of the most fun nights I’ve had! We made Spinich and Ricotto nudie. This is basically the stuff that goes inside ravioli or tortellini but by itself. It was very simple and best of all we didn’t need a pasta maker. Next we made Eggplant Ravioli. This was much trickier because we had to make the pasta from scratch and then put in through the pasta maker lots of times to get it nice and thin. Finally for dessert we made Panna Cotta with a strawberry topping. This is very similar to Flan. The dinner was absolutely delicious and besides the ravioli it was very quick and easy to amke. I can’t wait to go home and make it for everyone!
Thats all for this week! The next blog post will be about my trip to Rome!
Love to all! Ciao!
On Friday we didn’t have class so all the student’s decided to sleep in and then go to book our Florence for Fun Trips. Jennifer, Hannah, and Jaclyn and I booked a trip to Cinque Terra for sunday! The trip is more of a walking tour between the 5 towns. Jaclyn, Hannah, Jennifer, Joannah, Cortney and I also booked a cooking class for Thursday night where we will learn to make Gnocchi and Panna Cotta! This should be a lot of fun! Finally Cortney and I booked a New Moon tour to visit the location where they filmed the end of the movie and learn about the town and go on a wine tasting.
After booking all of the trips we were all hungry so we went to a little snack shop called Il Girosole, which means sunflower. My parents house in Introdaqcua is called the Girosole Casa because we have decorated it with all sunflowers.
After lunch I needed to go home to work out stuff with my apartment in Florida for next semester. Finally it looks like everything is worked out and Lauren, Marissa and I will be living together in a 3/3 in Tivoli! I can’t wait!
I also did some laundry and hung it out the window to dry like a true Italian!
Around 6:30 we all caught the bus to Fiesole to have dinner and watch the sunset over the beautiful Florence horizon!
Jaclyn, Hannah, Jennifer, Joannah, and I walked all the way up the mountain of Fiesole to watch the sunset and then we came back down to eat at Trattoria Perseus.
This was an amazing meal for many reasons. Firstly, the meal was absolutely delicious. Jaclyn, Jennifer and I got Gnochetti Gorgonzola and Hannah and Joannah got Lasagna.
For a appetizer we got Bruschetta, now here was the trick. The price of Bruschetta was 7 euro for one portion so we asked if we could have a plate for the table thinking it would be 7 euro…turns out it was 35 euro!!!! Good thing it was absolutely delicious and totally worth it!
After dinner we walked up to a Gelateria where the owner said he had the best gelato in Italy. We though he was just kidding but it was honestly some of the best I had ever had! I had nutella and peach and it was delicious! Another thing that was funny was that the place was designed like a club, with disco lights and great music but it was a gelateria!
After this it was pretty late so we took the bus back to Florence.
Love to all <3 Ciao!