Sunday, June 25, 2017

Capri, Positano & Pompeii

Hey everyone! Its been awhile since I last posted- Ive had the craziest two weeks of my life! I will explain further in posts to come, however I would like to talk about my weekend in Capri, Positano, and Pompeii (the Amalfi coast). I traveled with a company called Bus2Alps, and if you study abroad in Florence or Rome you will most definitely become familiar with them. They run trips for college students literally everywhere in Europe, organizing activities, transportation, hostels, and nightlife. We all met Thursday evening at Termini train station, then took a bus 4 hours to Sorrento. I stayed in hostel Seven, it was very nice and clean and best of all had AIR CONDITIONING!!! I was sold from night one. I stayed in the room Sunflower with my 3 of my roommates from Rome, and then 5 other girls on our trip. We fell right asleep on Thursday night after our bus ride through the cliffs. On Friday morning we were up by 7 am to explore Capri. We walked from our hostel, down a cliffside and took a ferry over. The ferry rides of this weekend were the most beautiful thing I have every experienced. The mountains and cliff sides were so high that some even had their own little hazy clouds in them with birds flying around like Jurassic Park. Once we got to Capri, we hopped off the ferry and onto another boat for an island tour. We passed through the Faraglioni rocks, got to go on canoes into the Blue Grotto, and again got to look up the entire time at the cliffs. Once our tour was over, we climbed a half hour literally up the cliff. The signs for the path did not point left or right, they pointed straight up! It was exhausting in the 90 degree heat but well worth the view and drinks once we reached our meeting point. We took some pictures, had a few drinks then took a bus to Anacapri, which is just the very top of the mountain that Capri sits on. The bus ride was breathtaking-  it literally had us all holding our breath as we winded through the cliff sides trying not to hit another car or slide off the edge of the road. I calmed myself by thinking this driver does this every day. Once we got to the top, my roommates and I had lunch. We had to climb a little further up the cliff for this, but all along the way were authentic shops and restaurants. After lunch was my favorite part of the entire day. We walked down the road to the ski lift area and took chair lifts to the very top of the mountain, overlooking the entire island. The lift was about a 20 minute ride each way, and it was a single chair so you were alone. I think being alone made the trip that much better- I was able to take in everything around me and fully appreciate where I was. At the top you saw beaches, houses, the three rocks, boats, cliffs, birds, and everything beautiful. There aren't enough words to describe the beauty at the top. This ended our day, however, and after taking the lift back down we took a taxi back to the waterfront and spent the rest of our day on the beach. Fun fact- to be a taxi driver in Capri your father had to have been a taxi driver. Everyone knows everyone- so if there is an accident there is no hiding it! We hopped on the ferry back to Sorrento, went into town for dinner and drinks, then went back to sleep for another early wakeup call.

Saturday- Positano
Positano is a dream. There is no preparing yourself for seeing the houses on the cliffside in person- and pictures can never do this justice. We walked back to the port from the hostel and took a ferry for an hour. Once we got to Positano, we ran to the nearest boat stand to book a boat excursion before it all filled up. We got one luckily- a lot of people did not, then went to a famous little sand which shop called Panino&Vino. Our trip leaders didn't lie- I don't like sandwiches but would most definitely recommend this place. I got pesto, turkey, fresh mozzarella and a bottle of prosecco for lunch! I brought it down to the beach and just enjoyed my view. Then, my group and I went to the port for our boat excursion. We were with 8 people total, and had a super cool captain who owned the entire business. Our first stop was the side of a cliff to cliff jump. I was so excited and not scared at all- something that doesn't always happen! We swam from the boat to shore and climbed the rocks (I wish I got it on my gopro) and then jumped from various heights. I had so much fun that I jumped at least 6 or 7 times before our captain told me it was time to go. Next we took the boat to another location to go swimming through a cave wall. This part was a little scary.. we jumped off the boat and into the water. I thought it was going to be a relaxing swim.. well the waved were a lot stronger in the cave than they were outside. Still it was a life changing experience. Where there was no light in the cave there were blue illuminations and crystal clear water. The cave wall was high but not high enough for the boat to pass through. Once we swam completely through we had a little bit of a problem. The waves were getting really strong and there were a ton of rocks in our way. There was a clear path to swim through, however the waves made it tough and we were already exhausted. We ended up climbing the rocks/ side of the cave wall, however later found out we could have gotten seriously hurt by sea urchins. I had to laugh it off- I was already exhausted from the swim. After the cave swimming we toured the island a little and made our way back to Positano and spent the rest of our time at the beach and walking through the town shops and hidden places. We took the ferry back and sat on the top for the most breathtaking views! Once back at our hostel, we took a 20 minute nap, showered, and went into town.

Sunday- Pompeii
By the time we had made it to Pompeii, after checking out of our hostel- we were exhausted. It had been such a long weekend! We had our own private tour of the City of Ruins, and our guide was great. We spent about an hour and a half on our tour- then went to a famous pizza place to eat lunch and walk around. It was amazing to see Mount Vesuvius- the most active volcano in Italy or Europe Im not even sure. Our bus ride back to Rome was about 4 and a half hours with traffic- we got back at  around 8 pm. It was overall the most picturesque weekend I have ever experienced. Few things will ever be able to amaze me more than the Amalfi Coast did!

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Hey everyone!
So this weekend was spent in the beautiful country of Croatia! It was the best weekend I have had abroad yet, but definitely exhausting. So my roommate Marissa and I caught the 6 am train from Trastevere, Rome which is our neighborhood to the Fiumicino Airport. The flight only lasted about an hour and we made it to Croatia by 10 am. I will never forget the first time we walked through the palace walls- I thought it was an actual dream! We spent most of our weekend in Split, but had two excursions that brought us to different islands and parts of Croatia. One of the most confusing parts was their money system- the Kuna. It made it seem like everything was extremely expensive when in reality it was normal or cheaper than the prices we were used to. Most mornings I headed over to Bobi's for an authentic donut (I forgot what it was called) or a chicken wrap because apparently chicken is breakfast food. The first day we did the Mediterranean fish spa where you stick your feet into two huge tanks with fish that eat the dead skin off your feet (ew!). It felt like a million tiny phones vibrating on your feet but was one of the coolest things I have gotten to do in Europe. Next we had a nice dinner on the water and just explored life inside and outside of the palace walls. The second day we did a boat excursion that took us to the Blue Cave and 5 different islands. It was one of my favorite days abroad (next to the Krka waterfalls that comes later in this post). The boat was small and only held 8 people, Marissa and I sat in the front. It was the bumpiest and scariest ride Ive ever experienced. It was so rough that the next morning I woke up with a stiff back and couldnt do much all day! However, the excursion itself was breathtaking. We got to go on little boats into the blue cave, swim in two other caves, visit Hvar and hike to the top of the island, have lunch and swim in Palmizana, and snorkel in a little clear section of the ocean. It was an 11 hour excursion that felt like 15 minutes because I was having so much fun. The next day we went to the Krka Waterfalls. It is by far the most beautiful place I have ever been to in my life. It looked like something straight out of Jurassic Park or just a made up place in general. We swam and sat on rocks and just watched the water flow for hours. When we got back to Split, we had our last dinner on the water and headed to a local bar. At the bar we watched locals in their dancing shoes show off their moves- I hope one day I can dance half as well as these couples did! It looked like they had been rehearsing for years. This morning we woke up and did a little bit of shopping before heading back to the airport. It was an exhausting but the best weekend I have had abroad. I hope one day to be able to go back to Croatia for an even longer period of time- and I hope many more people get to experience this beautiful country. I am attaching some pictures from the trip but its time to start my homework- I keep forgetting that I am here for school too! Its an even more challenging balancing act then back at home.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Hello All! 
I would like to share with you my time in Paris this summer. Before coming to study in Rome, I took a week to see the beautiful city of Paris and visit my friend, Camelia. I arrived on May 11th, and stayed for six full days. The first day I arrived, along with my time in the airport, I was not nervous at all. Once I arrived, along with my roommate Marissa, I called for an Uber to take us to our AirBNB. We were amazed at the differences in living spaces between suburban America and urban Paris. We decided it would be a good idea to assimilate to the time difference by going to eat dinner, which is when our first wave of culture shock hit. We realized we didn't know any of the language, and ended up walking around for over an hour before we got the courage to just sit down and give ordering a shot. We started to feel a little homesick and decided it would be a good idea to look up an American bar nearby to try and feel more at home. Most of the people at the bar were Americans traveling, and we started to feel a lot better after speaking to them. It was an amazing place, called the Yellow Mad Monkey, and they would set the bar on fire every half hour! I ordered a Nutella crepe on the way back to the apartment and felt a lot better than I had upon arriving. 
Paris is absolutely beautiful. I have never loved a city so much, I actually didn't think I was going to like it at all. I am more into nature and beach areas. The Seine river is what sold me on Paris, the inhabitants of the city sit on the walkway and ledges along the river all day and night talking, eating, drinking and relaxing. It is absolutely beautiful, and I enjoyed watching all of the boats pass along. A few of the activities my roommate and I spent the next few days doing included Notre Dame (multiple times), the Louvre (taking selfies with Mona Lisa), the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower (at night and during the day), a boat tour on the Seine, the Presidential Inauguration (we just happened to be there at the exact moment), and of course, SHOPPING. Paris is a city of fashion, and I cant remember seeing one person that was not dressed perfectly. My favorite activity was seeing the Eiffel tower at night. My roommate Marissa and I brought dinner from one of the local food stores and a big blanket and just sat underneath the tower all night. The best part is when it sparkles on the hour starting at 9 pm. From then on I felt a lot more comfortable about my trip and the places I would be traveling to. I got to spend the last two days in Paris with one of my favorite people in the world- Camelia. I met her after I nannied the cutest, most perfect little boy last summer. She came from France to take over my spot as I left for Ohio and school, and I got to spend two weeks with her training. I would drive back home from school just to see her, go to the city, and hangout. She is the most genuine friend and my whole family loves her to death. She spent our last two full days with us, going to the top of the Eiffel tower, the river cruise, seeing the boy we nannied, and shopping. I cannot wait to go and visit her again!
 I also heard from some friends back at home that the people in France would not be nice because I am American, and did not like tourists. That could not have been further from the truth, I experienced kindness everywhere we went and met wonderful people. Everyone will have a different experience, however I had a full week with no plans made in advance and it ended up being the best week of my life. I am attaching some pictures from my favorite place in the world, so if you have the chance to travel to Paris, TAKE IT (and take me with you)! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Saluti da Roma!
I have already been in Europe for three weeks now and have had some time to adjust to a new lifestyle. From Paris, France to Rome, Italy I have had the privilege of exploring many beautiful places that I am excited to share with you all. A follow-up of the entire trip thus far will be posted tomorrow afternoon.