Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Arrivederci Firenze, con amore

Tomorrow is my last day in Florence, Italy, my home away from home. I am going to miss this place with my whole heart. Studying abroad can be the most challenging adventure of someone's life but at the same time it is the most amazing experience. These past four months have be some of the best months of my life. I have been through some of the toughest challenges in my life, and I do not regret any moment of it. If anyone is contemplating studying or living abroad, do not back down. Yes, things will get hard but you would never guess the things you will learn about yourself. Being in a completely different environment with completely different people than usual, you have to rely on yourself and only yourself. You find who you truly are, what people really mean to you, and who will always be there for you no matter the distance between each other. If you put your mind to it you can do anything. This was a dream of mine since being accepted into Kent State University, nothing is impossible and do not let anyone tell you something is. Impossible is potential, it is a dare. You have to be brave in life; life is a journey worth taking. Let it take you where ever you wish it to, no boundaries. Travel the world, do not let anyone stop you. Do not make room for any excuses. These four months will be with me for the rest of my life and I couldn't have been more blessed with the memories and friends that I have made. Florence will always and forever be my second home, a place I will never forget no matter how old I get. Do not live your life in a bubble and not explore outside the box, that is not what life is supposed to be. Be adventurous, do things that you would never dream of. You only have one life to live, make the most of it. It has been one heck of a life changing adventure Italy, I will miss you every moment I am gone. We will meet again one day, I promise. Amore sempre. <3

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Recently I went to London for a week trip with my school. It was almost unreal to me that we were already going to London because this trip was our last and final school field trip while I am over here in Italy. The time here has gone by so fast and I feel like there is so much more I could do here but not with enough time! As the semester is wrapping up, with only 39 days left until I am back in the states, I have been super busy. I'll be back in the states before I know it!

On the other hand, London was fabulous! We departed from Pisa for London on October 25th in the morning. When we arrived in London and settled into our hotel it was getting late so I only went out to grab some dinner before the places closed and called it a night.

Our first day we took the Tube to the V&A Museum and we had a guided tour of the museum that took about an hour, but it was quite upsetting that the fashion exhibits were closed when we visited for restoration! After we all had finished the visit we took a double decker bus tour around London. And for the record I scored the best seat in the house, front row on the top deck! It was nice having a tour like that because in Paris, Como, or Milan we did not get the chance to do something like this. After our tour we were taken to our hotel where I got ready to go to the Broadway show Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It was quite the show! Some people may have no liked it but I thought it was a riot! The show was a drag-queen show based in Australia, it was about their journey across the country to do a show at a casino. 

Thursday we went and visited the woman who designed all of the costumes for the Phantom of the Opera movie. She showed us her techniques and different fabrics that she used and how she used them in each costume. She also talked to us about how she got to where she is today and how she built her own company. Then later in the evening we had Prudence, a large name in the couture hat business, come in and talk to us. She was so cute and such a riot, she seemed like she had it all but was the most down to earth person you'd ever meet. She told us about her road to success, how she creates her hats, the brand names and people she works for, and she showed us multiple different hats from runway shows that she did in the past. After her presentation my roommates and I went to the Eye, it is a big ferris wheel that was built at the beginning of the millennium. It was a bit pricey to ride but we did it anyway! It was about a 20 minute ride to go all of the way around and you had a gorgeous view of all of London! Once we got off we made our way to Big Ben which is right across the bridge from the Eye and then we walked around Westminster Abbey. Once we were done we took the Tube to the one food place I have missed the most since being home, Chipotle!! Let me tell you, it was delicious!

Friday morning we all took a small boat tour down the main river and got off right by Tower Bridge, we walked across the bridge and then we visited the Design Museum. After the Design Museum we had a couple free hours until our next visit so my roommates and I walked down the riverside and did a little shopping then stopped for lunch and made a visit to Starbucks! We also walked across the Millennium Bridge for all of you Harry Potter fans out there! After that we met up with our guides and went to the Tate Museum. We had a guided visit through the meseum that lasted about an hour. Afterwards we took the Tube to Hyde park where my roommates and I met Matthew Rhys from the show Brothers and Sisters! Before we went up to him we saw him chatting with Minnie Driver! My roommate Jordan was just dying from happiness, this was her first time meeting someone famous and not to mention this was her favorite show! After we met him we walked through the park to Kensington Palace! It was gorgeous! 

Saturday was our free day so my roommates and I woke up early and made our way to the one and only spot I was dying to go, Abbey Road! Once we got there we took a million pictures and snapped a few of us crossing the walkway The Beatles walk across for the album cover. After Abbey Road we took the Tube to Kings Cross train station to see platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter! We also went to Leadenhall Market that was used to create the Diagon Alley for Harry Potter. After visiting this we had some lunch and I got the infamous fish&chips and it was delicious! Later in the afternoon we took the Tube to Buckingham Palace and walked around the palace and the area surrounding it. After this we made our way back to the hotel to grab some dinner and call it a day. Overall, London was fabulous and I couldn't of been happier to be in a country for a week where they spoke the same language!

Here are a few of my many pictures I took while in London:

Friday, October 14, 2011


So this week my roommate Jordan and I decided that we wanted to go to Pisa. So on Wednesday we got out of class at noon and we cam home real quick to eat some lunch. Then we hopped onto a train and went off to Pisa just because we could! It is so awesome knowing whenever we are bored we can just go to the train station and buy a ticket to go where ever we feel like it for the afternoon. This is something I am going to miss when I come back to the states! I'll be itching to just get into my car and go somewhere!

Once we got into Pisa there is not a whole lot to see besides the Leaning Tower and the church. We walked from the train station into town, which is a fairly long walk! It took about 20 minutes to get to the tower but it was nice walking through town to see how it was! Once we got to the Leaning Tower we took a bunch of pictures and I of course did the typical tourist pose! We wandered around the entire site then headed back towards the train station and on our way back we stopped to get some gelato! I had the best banana gelato ever!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Como and Milan

This Thursday and Friday I went to Milan and Como with Kent State. I enjoyed every minute of it except the five hour buss ride there and home! On Thursday we arrived in Como a little bit before noon, my bus visited the Ratti Museum first. Antonio Ratti is the founder of the Ratti Silk Factory and is very famous for all of his works. The museum was interesting, we had a lady give us background on the company and she then showed us a bunch of vintage fabrics they keep stored in the museum. After we left there we went to the square in downtown Como for lunch. It was beautiful, I think what I enjoyed the most is that it seemed very calm compared to how downtown Florence is!

Afterwards I visited the Ratti Silk Factory. This was a very interesting visit, being about to actually see the process of all of the fabrics being produced one step at a time. This was probably my favorite thing we have done since we have been in Florence! After visiting the factory we had a chance to shop around at their private outlet store next to the factory. I caved in and bought myself a small, pink Valentino scarf to tie onto my purse. Don't freak out though it wasn't outrageously expensive! I scored a major deal on it so I couldn't pass it up!

The next day we loaded up the buses and headed to Milan. Once we got into Milan we walked to the Triennale Design Museum. Here we had a guided tour of their main gallery, in this gallery there were all sorts of things displayed. What I what the best thing about it was that anything that was displayed on the floor and not a platform you were free to sit on or lay on, and even touch! It was something I have never seen before at a museum! After the main gallery we were free to walk around the Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion exhibit. This was stunning! I wish I was able to take pictures in it!

After the museum we were taken to downtown Milan and the professors lead us to the Duomo, it was huge and so intricately designed! From there they were nice enough to decide to not make us do the other visits they had planned so we could walk around Milan on our own for the rest of the day! My roommates and I got some lunch in the square of the Duomo and afterwards we climbed to the top of the Duomo, it was gorgeous! The skies were clear enough that, from the top, we could see the snow covered Alps! The sight was worth the six euro I spent to go up top! Once we got down from the top we just wandered around Milan for the rest of our time, walking up and down the streets surrounding the Duomo. We mostly did window shopping, wishing we all had the money to afford Dior and Louis Vuitton!

I thought you'd love to see a few of my many pictures I snapped while on this trip so here they are!

This is the lake in Como, its surrounded by beautiful mountains!

This is a photo I took at the Ratti Silk Factory, it is one of the many looms they have there.

This is a weaving machine, if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see that it is weaving Louis Vuitton fabric!

This is a picture of inside the machine that washes the fabric, you can see the fabric being washed inside of the window.

This is one of the first artwork displays we saw at the museum we visited in Milan.

This is the entrance to the Louis Vuitton exhibit.

I took this while we were walking into downtown Milan.

This is the Duomo in Milan.

This is me on the roof of the Duomo!

This is the view of the Alps from the top!

And this is a picture of the Duomo while making my way back down the roof.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Sorry it has been so long since I last posted! Nothing exciting happened until I went on my school trip to Paris for almost a week! Since we have been home I have been super busy with school and on to of it all I got sick! Enough of my blabbing, I want to tell you all what I did in Paris!

We got to Paris Tuesday, September 20th during the evening, once we got all settled into our hostel my roommates and I went out to dinner. The next morning the group split up into three smaller groups that we stayed in for the rest of the week. My group went to visit three of the most famous retail stores in Paris, they are Collette, Bon Marche, and Merci. They were all fabulous but a huge tease because they had all designer brands and everything was way out of my price range! After visiting those retail stores we went to the Pierre Cardin museum, which is a famous designer. The clothes were breathtaking! I can't forget to mention during this whole week I experienced my first metro rides ever! They gave us a five day metro pass and it was very interesting to say the least!

My second day in Paris we went to Premiere Vision, which is a huge fashion trade show that brings together a bunch of new ideas for the upcoming season for fabrics, colors, trends, etc. It was an amazing experience to have while in Paris. Not many fashion students can say that they went to Premiere Vision in Paris! After we went to Premiere Vision my group went to the Fragonard museum. It was a short visit, but it was a perfume museum that is famous for its creations. We pretty much just saw how they made them and smelled a bunch of different kinds. After this visit my roommates and I took the metro to the Eiffel Tower! It was absolutely amazing! We took a million pictures of it of course! Once we got up to it we decided to climb to the top then because there was no line to get tickets what-so-ever! It was pretty nice! Let's just say that climb of 668 stairs was one heck of a workout! The sight was totally worth every moment though! After we climbed the Eiffel Tower we got dinner at a small diner by the tower then sat in the park to wait for the sunset and for it to light up and twinkle! It is a moment I will never forget!

My third day we all visited the company Trend Union which is a trend forecasting company, we watched their presentation "Bliss" about the upcoming trends for Spring/Summer 2013. Yes, I meant 2013, trend forecasting companies tend to work two years in advance! After visiting there, later that afternoon my roommates and I went to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was fabulous, we walked through the church and we walked through the little parks around the church to see all of it! Then after that we walked behind the church over a bridge and scoped out somewhere to eat, it was a nice area and it was super artsy! Too bad we had to cross back over the bridge to eat because every restaurant was so expensive!

On Saturday we had a free day! So we woke up early and my roommate Melinda really wanted to go see Jim Morrison's grave from the band The Doors so we took the subway there! After we visited that we took the subway to a vintage flea market they suggested we visited, they could of at least told us it was in a ghetto area! Lol, we still scoped it out for a little bit anyway! Then we made our way back to the Louvre! We spent almost 4 hours in there! It was amazing seeing the Mona Lisa, Aphrodite, the Code of Hammurabi, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace! At least I took a couple art history courses before coming here or I doubt I would of even knew what some of this stuff was!

Our last day we got our stuff together and got on our buses and we visited Versailles for part of the day before we left for our flight! It was gorgeous, seeing the House of Mirrors was awesome! Other than visiting there we headed back to the airport to catch our flight back to Pisa then took buses back to Florence, we didn't get home until almost 11:00 p.m. that night! I was exhausted! But here are a few pictures from my trip!

View from the Eiffel Tower!

I forgot to add this but this is me in front of the Arc de Triomphe!

I also forgot to add that we went to see the Moulin Rouge at night!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Birthday Celebrations..

Sorry it has been a while since I last posted! I have been so busy with school starting and adjusting to the school life here in Italy! These past couple weeks have been interesting to say the least but I have not gone to too many places to be able to write about them!

Last time I posted I said I was going on a school field trip and we went to Siena! It was gorgeous! We went on a tour of their Duomo and the museum attached to it then we saw their local government building that is in their main square. Both places were so beautiful on the inside and there was so much interesting history to all of it!

This is the main square as you walk up to it!

This is the main government building in the middle of the square.

This is part of the intricate artwork on the outside of the Duomo

This is the inside as soon as you enter, beautiful!

This is the ceiling in the old library located inside of the church

Also, every week in my Italian Fashion and Culture class we go on a site visit each Thursday. The first week of class I visited the Uffizi museum. I got to see a lot of great works of art there but we only got to spend an hour and a half there so I didn't get to see the whole museum. I saw the beautiful painting "The Birth of Venus" which was breathtaking. I have learned so much about that piece during my art history classes! This week during our site visit I went to the Ferragamo shoe museum. I couldn't even begin to explain how much I wanted every pair of shoe in that gallery! It was beautiful! I wish I would have been able to take pictures at these two places to share with you all but we were not allowed. 

This weekend was my 21st birthday so I celebrated it with my roommates, even though the age 21 doesn't mean anything special here! I really missed everyone at home and I would have to say that my birthday wasn't the same without all of you! I especially missed my boyfriend, it was weird celebrating my birthday without him! It was also my three year anniversary with him this weekend and it was sad not being able to be with him for it! I can't wait to come home to re-celebrate with everyone!

My roommate Amy did my hair for my birthday and she did an amazing job!

This is a picture of my roommates and I on my birthday night!

I woke up the next morning to a completely decorated kitchen! This is one of the pictures of what it looked like.

This is a picture of us out to eat on my birthday night!

And when we got home the girls surprised me with a small ice cream cake!