And now for another massive update since I actually have time…
Here’s what I’ve been up to in March:
Two weeks ago Cassie, Kendra and I flew to Palermo on Ryan Air. Now Ryan Air (one of the cheapest airlines around) makes my blood pressure rise because of all their rules (and they can do that because they are so cheap). I was very hesitant about flying with them — especially after checking in and learning our flight might be cancelled because of fog (if Ryan Air cancels a flight you are pretty much S.O.L.). Luckily everything went off without a hitch and we landed in Palermo later on that afternoon.
Sicily is absolutely gorgeous and reminded me of Hawaii mixed with California. It was definitely still a little chilly during our weekend jaunt, but the beach and the sun were a welcome relief to the monotony of Florentine urbanity. Palermo has a certain gaudy charm — I felt like I was in the movie Romeo + Juliet…
Creepy Jesus statues were everywhere!
The area next to our Bed & Breakfast
The trip was pretty low key and relaxing but it was definitely needed. I was also excited to find out that Sicily was a stopping point on the original grand tour!
If When I go back to Sicily I think I would go to a different area just because Palermo is more of a port city and I think I would opt for a more authentic experience of the island. Regardless, we still had an amazing time on the beach :)
(Photo from Liz)
The weekend after Sicily, Cassie, Lisa, and I journeyed to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre (which means “Five Lands” in Italian) is a collection of five small towns located on the Northwestern coast of Italy. In October, Cinque Terre experienced flash floods and land slides, so it’s really lucky that we were even able to visit at all. Though the fourth town in still under major construction, the other four seem to be functioning well. There was definitely something morbidly beautiful about being able to see the towns after and/or in the process of being rebuilt.
(Vernazza, the fourth town)
My favorite part of this trip, however, was walking down Via dell’ Amore. Via dell’ Amore connects the first town (Riomaggiore) to the second (Manarola) and is decorated with locks and graffiti. It was so lovely to walk on the coast and see all of the reminders of different types of love in the world.
The last town, Monterosso, was also quite beautiful. We were able to go on the beach as well as hike up a small hill which allowed us to look back and see the other towns scattered down the coast. I would definitely love to come back and see more of Cinque Terre.
Cassie and Lisa
So glad that I was able to see more of Italy this month :)
On Saturday my friend Jayne and I are headed to Paris! We are staying in the Monmartre district of Paris (e.g. Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and artsy stuff) and have plans to visit the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Versailles, as well as hang out with Lisa and her sister, cousin, and friend.
Next we are headed to London, which is near and dear to my heart! We’re going to meet up with Cassie, Emily, and Kendra as well as my friend Kate (who is also coming back to Florence with me) who I went to high school with! We have plans to take a Harry Potter walking tour as well as visit a number of museums. I absolutely love London and feel incredibly lucky that I get to go back so soon!
We leave for these grand adventures on Saturday so I probably won’t be posting on the blog since I’m not bringing my computer — BUT I will have lots of lovely updates when I get back!
Hope you are all doing well!
“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
“NEEDS MORE WORK!”