Monday, May 30, 2011

turkey wraps....

So we walk all the time, except when we're riding trains.
To supply our need for constant nourishment, we pack snacks and chocolate and water everywhere we go, but we also eat big meals whenever we can. We love food and we can't deny it, because usually we are hungry. This is my food post. Enjoy the pics and don't drool on the keyboard.








 Basically I eat great food all the time.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

milan, dahling, milan

In my mind, Milan is this super-hip and posh place to be where everyone dresses in the latest fashion all the time.
Guess what?
You can tell the visitors from the locals by how nicely dressed the person is. Out of town = trashy - classy. Local = classy and trendy and euro. It's like walking through the sartorialist blog when you see those classy Milan people. We only spent like 23 hours in Milan, though, so I was unable to go to/participate/be in a fashion show, unfortunately, but we kept it real Milan-style at all times.
modeling. as to be expected.
So, since we were there for such a short amount of time, we went through two museums rather quickly, including a modern art museum, which was incredibly refreshing after spending the past few weeks in ancient and baroque and renaissance. It was a nice change of pace. We also took a peek in the cathedral in the main square.


Unfortunately there was little time for me to browse through Armani and Prada and so forth, so I just took this incredibly classy picture of a little shopping area.

A classy McD's next to Louis Vuitton?
Even the Milano McDonalds are classier.

From Milan, we said our ciaos to Italy - a wonderful country, where I will go back someday.
And then we got an oh-so-welcome English hello from London.
will & kate oyster card?
i nearly peed my pants i was so excited.

Friday, May 27, 2011

casino royale and casanova

And the Italian Job, obviously, but that doesn't alliterate as well with my title.
To what do I refer?
Venice.

Whenever I think of faraway places, I picture them in my mind, usually based on a movie/vivid descriptions in books, but usually when I get to said faraway place, it's a little different than I imagined...which isn't a bad thing, usually. It's just different.
However, Venice is just what I imagined.
Because we got off the train in the morning and once we got out of the train station, I took this little video:
video

That is really what it looks like!
And there were the smells of fishy water mixed with delicious paninis, which sounds weird, but I like the ambiance. The colors! Ah, the colors of Venice just made me drool. Bright stucco against the glittery canals - gorgeous and oh-so picturesque!





Don't worry, I have an apartment picked out in a beautiful yellow building facing the grand canal and you can all come visit me and we will shop the streets of Venice all day long for beautiful Murano glass and Venetian masks.
Because this place is totally in my top ten.

florence and siena.

I am so sorry for my bad posting. I get internet like every six days, but we're going to Paris at the end of the week, and we're hoping our internet has wi-fi, but for now, I'll just give you some pics and quick updates about our three days in Florence.
We loved Florence - she made a great first impression on us. As we arrived off the train, it was evening and the sun was setting over the river, which you already saw. Florence is home to beautiful churches and views, too, such as the famous Duomo, and the beautiful views from above the city. I could happily live in Florence.


Florence is full of markets, cathedrals, cobblestones, and art.
And David as in Michelangelo's David, of whom I was not particularly fond until I saw him in real life. It was awesome, for lack of a cooler word.




We also took a trip to Siena for the afternoon, where we ate delicious carbs, as usual, and also saw some art, as usual. Siena is a quaint Medieval town and I would like to go back someday and explore all those twisty streets a little more.



Yep. Italy is good.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

pope country

Remember when I went to the smallest country in the world called The Vatican City and it's a country within the city of Rome? Yes, that is what happened to me and also where I had the coolest times ever because I saw the raddest art and churches.
I will list them and you raise your hand when you know what I'm talking about.
Lacoon.
School of Athens.
Caravaggio's Entombment.
Augustus statue.
Sistine Chapel.
Seriously awesome stuff. (You don't have to raise your hand here.)

And then we hung out in St. Peter's square (it's totally not a square, so I might be making up that that is the name of it) and ate sandwiches and candy facing St. Peter's.

St. Peter's is fantastic. And huger than I ever thought possible for a building. My eyes have a hard time focusing on giant things and it get overwhelmed and sometimes I lean so far back that I almost fall down backwards.

Absolutely beautiful inside. So ornate. And saw my favorite favorite statue.

And then trained it to Florence, which is basically the most magical place ever. Maybe I want to get proposed to in Florence. Don't judge till you see it.
That is outside the room of our hotel.
And this is the river. All the best cities have rivers running through the middle of them.

Florence is full of twisty turns, but everything leads to like four main plazas or the river. Because it's so much smaller than Rome, it's so much more manageable and all the sites are within walking distance to each other.

Florence rocks.

churches on sunday

The main activity of Sunday was church-hopping. We began with a healthy dose of going to church in Italian, which basically rocked my world. And my signature color has not changed since I've been here. Grey all the way.

And then went through the rest of Rome looking at art and architecture and Pope paraphenilia.

Okay, Bernini is a freaking rockstar and I always forget about him, but he's totally my favorite. And seeing this in real life was sort of like an out-of-body experience, but not so much as St. Teresa's.


Pope sighting affirmative. Wax Pope.

here is what i promised.

Pictures of Pompeii. Here you go.
I will tell you what surprised me most about Pompeii: it is huge. In my mind it would be a couple of streets, but in reality, it's hundreds of streets with hundreds more little houses and apartments. It's amazing how much is still intact!
Nerd alert - the next picture is a fresco, but think about it. This fresco survived a volcanic explosion that annihilated a huge city and then survived hundreds of years after that.

The streets have chariot tracks. And my hair is consistently in a bun so it doesn't stick to my neck, so don't mind that I look like a boy in a skirt.


On the same day, we saw some Pompeii-ian artifacts in Naples, including some boss rings that I would love to bedeck with my fingers with sometime. We did not, however, venture into Naples, because that place is sketch. We ate pizza just outside the train station and peaced, making it back to Rome for an evening walk.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ancient city buried under volcanic ash and lava? yes, please.

I do not have pictures yet, because I have been in Florence for a few days without access to a computer, and now I canĂ t show you my pics. Sorry. Also, Italian keyboards are a little tricky.
But, I did go to Pompeii, with which I have had a fascination since I saw an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy where they talked all about volcanos and had a Pompeii segment and I was like, °Holy. What is this place? I want to go to there.° Also, once I nearly had a fit on the Escape from Pompeii ride at Busch Gardens, so Pompeii and I have a long history and I was stoked to finally meet this place.
Alas, I will have to continue soon.
But just to give you a taste, Pompeii...Naples is sketchy...Florence is full of twisty alleys and scarves for sale and a beautiful river at sunset...and Siena is my new lover.
No biggie D.
Sorry for no pics and lame post, but I want you to know that I know you are all waiting, I am sure.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

colusseum. in ancient rome.

colusseum, plus more ancient roman artifacts and edifaces.
One of the coolest things about Rome is that famous structes sort of jump out at you from behind a corner and then you are sucked in by the awesomeness. The Colusseum is no different. We came out of the Colosseo metro stop and then got hit with this:

right?

It's jaw-droppingly huge and it's just chilling in the middle of Rome, just like it has been since it's initial construction finished in 80 AD. This thing has seen a lot. Look at it - it's bursting with stories and secrets. Like maybe that time that the lion that was supposed to attack the Christian in the arena actually went for the spectators on the front row. Or that other time when Rome was burning and it watched as the buildings around it crumbled in the destruction.

This is the inside of Colusseum, and that grassy bit down there is the maze-y place where they used to keep lions/Christians before releasing them onto the arena.

Here's a fun travelers' tip: Don't get pictures with the fake gladiators. They are mean, smell bad, and charge a lot of money. Unless, of course, you need a fake gladiators picture. I'm considering buying a cheap-o gladiator helmet and standing outside to pose for pictures, too, because they make bank.

The Colusseum is in a section of Rome where the ancient Forum was, where the ancient palace and surrounding buildings were. Now they are ruins, overgrown by wild grasses and beautiful red poppies.

We also saw Trajun's Column, which I remember looking up from my dozing in art history last semester to see on a Powerpoint. It's so much cooler than I thought! Thousands of figures carved meticulously into an enormous column. We also saw the Trevi Fountain (make a wish!) and the Pantheon before we went to the Borghese Palace to see crazy awesome art.

outside the Pantheon.

inside the Pantheon. My eyes couldn't adjust to the huge-ness.

Inside the Borghese Palace, we saw several Caravaggio paintings and also some rad Bernini sculptures. These sculptures BLEW MY MIND. They are so intricate, so carefully detailed, so lifelike...I actually think that I saw David's brow furrow a little more as I looked at his face.



Seeing these sculptures was so amazing because Bernini CARVED them. Out of MARBLE. I couln't carve wet wood into a shape if I wanted to.

What I Have Learned So Far:
- Don't take pictures with fake gladiators.
- If I had lived in the Romantic Era, I would have been one of the ones that met at night among the Forum ruins, in secret, for romantic trysts.
- Bernini is a rockstar.
- "il tuo ego e fuori controllo" means "your ego is out of control."
- I believe in Trevi Fountain wishes.

video

Friday, May 13, 2011

our first stop: rome!

Rome.
Golden shadows spilling onto the magnificent facades of the walls facing the cobbled piazza. Sunglight dripping down the walls and into the cracks between cobblestones. Light reflected in the clean and clear water of the fountain. Mopeds and taxis and oh-so-many tourist traps. Tour groups, loud Americans, business men and women, Italians and Romanos, alike, enjoying Rome, their city whether for a lifetime or for a day, they share in the magnificent history that is Rome.
Rome feels like it’s saying, "Yes, history took place right here. History is Rome and all the best bits of history are on display for anyone who cares to see."
The streets twist and turn until they swirl into a mere pebble or a narrow passageway suddenly ends by opening onto a large plaza, or piazza, which you can’t be helped but to be sucked into it – sucked in my the entrancing sights, sounds, and an inexplicable excitement that comes from actually seeing and hearing these things in real life.


photos by/of me, baby.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

benvenuti



Twenty four hours until take-off.
Welcome to this new blog where I'll document, with as much regularity as I can, my rad adventures in Europe.