San Pellegrino Flower Festival

San Pellegrino Flower Festival

Today was such a great spring day in Viterbo. The weather got up to 80 degrees outside! I woke up, had breakfast and headed to my last Travel Writing class to hand in my portfolio and take my final exam. After class I met Henal and we went to the San Pellegrino Flower Festival, which … Read more

Today was such a great spring day in Viterbo. The weather got up to 80 degrees outside! I woke up, had breakfast and headed to my last Travel Writing class to hand in my portfolio and take my final exam. After class I met Henal and we went to the San Pellegrino Flower Festival, which is to celebrate the start of the season! It was absolutely beautiful and made me so happy! Every piazza and street we entered was filled with hundreds of different, colorful flowers. Whenever the wind blew you could smell the fresh flowers. Lauren’s favorite, hydrangeas, were everywhere! She would have loved it. I wish she could have came to the festival!

flowerfestival

After the festival I went to the new gelataria that I have been wanting to go to. It opened a few weeks back and I always kept telling myself “Oh, I’ll have to go soon!” However, I realized that “soon” I will be going home!!! I don’t know where the time went. It flew by so quickly. I can’t believe I only have three full days left in Viterbo. There are so many little spots left to explore and cute little restaurants to try and gelato flavors left to taste! While I have been missing my family so much at home, I all of a sudden wish I could stay for a few more months! Today I don’t want to leave at all.

flowerfestival2

At the gelateria, called Crema and Cioccolata, I ordered a crepe with cookie and mint flavored gelato. I was expecting a nutella crepe with a scoop of gelato on top, but instead they made the crepe and put the scoops of gelato inside and folded it up. While the gelato melted everywhere and was a big puddle, it was still delicious and refreshing after walking around in the hot sun!

crepes

After my yummy crepe I walked back to the apartment to pack for my trip to London and Amsterdam tomorrow! Then I grabbed my final projects that I have been working on and headed to art class to hand them in and show my teacher my portfolio.

I wish time would slow down and that the next 10 days would go by slowly, but at the same time I am anxious to be with my family and friends at home. This experience has been so amazing and I can’t wait to make even more memories and experience the world further within the next few days. I better go since I have an early wake-up call tomorrow to catch a train to the airport. London’s calling! Maybe we will see the Queen!

Palaces & Bike Rides: Caserta

Palaces & Bike Rides: Caserta

Day 5: Caserta I love bike rides. And waterfalls. And gardens. And sunshine. And I loved the perfect afternoon I had in Caserta. Today was our final day of the field study. After an early breakfast, we loaded the bus with our luggage and set off for Caserta. Our trip took longer than expected because … Read more

Day 5: Caserta

I love bike rides. And waterfalls. And gardens. And sunshine. And I loved the perfect afternoon I had in Caserta.

Today was our final day of the field study. After an early breakfast, we loaded the bus with our luggage and set off for Caserta. Our trip took longer than expected because there was a strike at the local train station, causing more people to drive and a lot of traffic on the roads.

royalpalace

When we arrived, we met our guide to tour the Royal Palace. We learned that King Charles of Bourbon wanted to move the capital from Naples to a safer location, so he chose Caserta, a city easier to defend. From the center of the Palace you can see the four main squares, as well as the garden to one side and a road leading straight to Naples on the other side. All of the rooms in the Palace were pretty, but my favorites were the rooms dedicated to the seasons. The spring room was so colorful and flowers were everywhere.

palace

We were free the rest of the afternoon so I found a sunny spot in the garden to eat lunch, write in my journal and finish my field study homework assignment.

bikeride

Afterwards, Tyler and I rented bikes and set off to explore the rest of the garden. I have missed bike rides so much!!! We got to see all of the pretty fountains and waterfalls during our bike ride. All of them symbolize mythological creatures.

The last statue at the top of the hill of the garden is of Diana, the goddess of hunting, who was supposedly beautiful and admired by many. She caught a hunter, Actaeon, spying on her while she was bathing one day and got very upset, so she turned him into a deer. He was then killed by his own hunting dogs!

fountain

This afternoon was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful. The scenic bike ride, sunshine and waterfalls made for the perfect ending to this fun week of traveling throughout southern Italy.

Check out some highlights of my fun traveling throughout Southern Italy here!

La Vita Bella: Amalfi & Capri

La Vita Bella: Amalfi & Capri

Day 3: Capri Capri is absolutely beautiful! This morning we took a ferry ride to the island while the sun was shining and the weather was warm. Once we got to the island we bought tickets to take a boat to the Blue Grotto! Once outside the grotto, we took smaller boats (each boat held … Read more

Day 3: Capri

Capri is absolutely beautiful! This morning we took a ferry ride to the island while the sun was shining and the weather was warm.

bluegrotto

Once we got to the island we bought tickets to take a boat to the Blue Grotto! Once outside the grotto, we took smaller boats (each boat held four people) to get inside the cave. We had to all duck down really low to enter the cave. Inside was amazing! The water was an unreal blue color and the sun made the water sparkle. Although it was a bit expensive, I would have definitely regretted it if I missed out. It was the highlight of my day and a once in a lifetime experience!

The rest of the afternoon we took the railway up to the city center and walked around to all of the shops. They were all very ritzy and the city reminded me of a resort area. Capri is the most “high end” location I have been to in Italy. We even saw pictures, near a hotel, of celebrities that have vacationed there, such as Anne Hathaway!

While walking around, we followed our noses and treated ourselves to some gelato after smelling fresh waffle cones from half a mile away. The lady at the gelateria was making waffle cones right on the spot and I got to try bignolata (cookies and cream) gelato for the first time! Yum!

Capri is now my favorite place I have been to in Italy (alongside Florence). It is so beautiful and I am so happy I got to spend the day there.

Day 4: Amalfi Coast

amalfi

I am IN LOVE with Amalfi. It is BEAUTIFUL! Besides the rough winds, the weather was perfect! The sun was shining the entire day.

amalfi2

We had a tour of the city and the cathedral when we first arrived. Then we had a not so fun tour of a paper mill museum before we were free for lunch. Some of us grabbed calzones at a little pizzeria and then walked around the city a bit.

I then ordered a scoop of strawberry (fragola) and banana gelato before hopping on a boat for a ride on the Mediterranean!

The boat ride took us down the coast so we could see Amalfi from a different perspective. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was fun to see celebrity houses, such as Italian actress Sophia Loren, and extravagant hotels along the coast. We also saw the watch towers used in the past to spot invaders or approaching enemies. We learned that the walls of Amalfi are all painted white because of how hot it gets during the summer months. The white walls are meant to reflect the sun, that is reflected off of the sea, away from the city.

coast

The Amalfi Coast was much more than I expected and I am so thankful for the sunshine and beautiful weather.

Thankful November

Thankful November

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You may have noticed on your Facebook or Twitter news feed that many are taking part in “Thankful November.” It’s pretty self-explanatory … you just make a status/tweet about what you’re thankful for on each day in November. I think it’s really important in such a busy world to remember to stop and think about all the things that make you fortunate. Some of my friends have posted about their parents, friends, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, hardships, happiness, education and sorority … so many things!

I’m taking part in this challenge and sometimes it’s a little difficult to sit down and actually think about your life. I mean, there are so many things to be thankful for each day, little things and big things too, but it’s almost harder to narrow it down to just one. I’m going to leave you with a few examples of what myself and/or my friends have been thankful for in the past two weeks or so.

  • Today I’m thankful for my education. So many people in this country don’t finish high school, much less finish college or plan to go to graduate school. I’m thankful that my family is fortunate enough to be able to send me to Mount Union. I’m also thankful for the professors here that have pushed me to do my best in all my classes.
  • I’m thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me ♥ … I have the ability to travel and live in some of the most beautiful places, attend a variety of schools and experience a lifestyle not many will ever get the chance to. ♥
  • I’m thankful for all the troops fighting for our country’s safety.
  • Today, I’m thankful for the beautiful sunshine. It’s not often that we’re able to drive with the windows down well into November in Ohio, so I’m appreciating it today.
  • Today I’m thankful for sorority. Never have I met another more wonderful group of women who genuinely care for each other as these women do. Every time I walk into that house, I feel a warmth wash over me and I know that I’m home. I love knowing that around every turn on campus, I’ll have a friendly face to say hi to. These women accept everyone for who they are with no questions asked, no judgments made.
  • I’m thankful for my parents and all they have done/given up for me. I know everyday that I am number one in their lives and that means the world to me. I love you, mom and dad!