Rome: A day in the life #2

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Follow the tour!

I was in a tour group in the Vatican when I took this photo. Everything looks surreal. The people look almost like figurines in a set. We are in the Vatican after all ūüôā

Im curious, what is your favourite type of photography, and who is your favourite photographer? Comment below!

Photo taken in Rome, Italy

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Graffiti Friday

Florence is a beautiful place, mired in history and known for tradition. Who would have known that in the depths of the tunnels in La Cure, would exist a thriving alternative scene?

The underpass is made up of tunnels of amazing, artistic pieces. You can really feel a pulse here, and the pieces are a pleasure to behold.

 

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Find it here

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Weekend Trips in Italy: The Amalfi Coast (Roundup)

 

The Amalfi coast is another jewel in the crown of Italy. Its perched atop high cliffs and overlooks magnificent seas.

I would really recommend it although its quite difficult to get there (many buses and many hours from florence, we finally reached Atrani, the small town in Amalfi.)

Its like a place time forgot. Older people walking their dogs and the buildings the same as you imagine they have always been.

Along the way we saw Positano, and Sorrento, which are breathtaking jewels.

I arrived on Friday, got a chance to explore on Saturday, and left on Sunday. An experience that will forever be imprinted on my soul. ūüôā

I hope you get a chance to visit.img_2435img_2477img_2454img_2437img_2434img_2432img_2422

What to pack when moving to Florence, Italy

Hello!

I thought it would be helpful to give some tips on what to pack when moving abroad, in my case, to Florence, Italy. Before I moved, I scoured the internet for lists of things to pack because I felt packing my “life” away for 3 months was very overwhelming. Anyway i’m here to ease some anxieties!

The list below presents the bare minimum, but if you have more, and more space, then feel free to pack more.

Keep in mind I came to Florence for a study program, and the house I am staying in is fully fitted with plates, cutlery, washing machine, tv, etc. You may have to adjust this list to your own needs!

Money: 100-200 Euros cash. This will help you settle in, and help with possible cab fares, buying food, and other necessities.

Food: I would take some snacks to get you through your first night, before you get accostomed to grocery shopping here. Take:

  • Apples (4)
  • A bag of nuts (almonds, etc)
  • Instant noodles just in case!
  • Biscuits.
  • Some tinned goods.

Clothes: I came in the summer, so it was still very hot. For summer weather I would advise:

  • 2 light jackets (Plus one puffy jacket if you will stay until winter)
  • 4 pairs of shoes (comfortable sandals, comfortable flats, 2 pairs trainers/sneakers or heavy duty shoes. This way it’s very versatile, you will not be hot in the summer, you will have something that can be dressed up, and you have something for longer walks. P.s heels are NOT for beginners in these streets, but if you are bold, go for it!)
  • 2 bags (One cross body for evenings, one bigger for everyday)
  • 3 pairs of jeans/ trousers (I wear jeans a lot. So does everyone else here. You can also bring some leggings or comfortable smart trousers in a dark colour if you prefer.)
  • 1 pair of shorts (It gets very very hot in the summer, so for the extra hot days these would come in handy)
  • 1 skirt (See above. But a skirt is less “touristy” I would say)
  • 4¬†summer tops (Sleeveless or with slight sleeves. In plain colours. One that is suitable for dinners/bars)
  • 4 Long sleeve shirts (I’m biased as I wear a lot of oversized shirts. It gives that casual, cool but put together vibe, one white, one black, others as you wish)
  • 3¬†dresses (2 casual one smarter)
  • One nice outfit (consisting of smart top and smart trousers, perhaps a blazer. You never know when you will need it.)
  • One everyday scarf
  • Jewellery
  • Pyjamas (3 pairs, plus 2 long sleeved comfortable jumpers/sweaters for the occasional cold night )
  • 2 weeks worth of socks and underwear!

For winter weather:

I would modify the list by taking some:

  • Black ankle boots – these are common here and comfortable and warm with jeans and socks.
  • 2/3 sweaters (the weather will change on you and it will get very cold!)
  • 1 thick scarf
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of gloves

For spring weather:

Can be similar to summer weather I would suppose, with more shirts, some light jackets, and an everyday scarf.

Products:

I would advise everyone to TAKE ONLY TRAVEL SIZE PRODUCTS!

  • Toiletries (take travel size toothpaste, mouthwash, body wash, shampoo and conditioner. The stuff here in Italy is such good quality, the soaps etc smell and feel amazing and are great for the skin. Having said that, if you have favourites¬†or necessities¬†please do take them. Take the travel sizes then you can buy larger size when you get here, saving lots of space)
  • Makeup – take your foundation colour! Incase you cannot find it here, I would say everything else can be found here including eye-liner, mascara etc. There is a big Sephora!
  • 1 nail file
  • 1 pair of nail clippers

Extras: Perhaps most importantly, take an unlocked phone!!!!! Without this you will be lost without internet so please take one and go straight to a phone store!

Thats all for now! If you want me to do a clothes guide for men let me know and I will do that. Or if you have any questions, do let me know.

When will you be moving to Florence??

10 Things I wish I had been told before moving to Florence, Italy

I have lived here for a good two months now, so I thought I would write a little bit about what I wished I knew before i moved here. Enjoy!

1. The mosquitoes are vicious.

The mosquitoes here are quite vicious indeed. This is something I never expected as every night the mosquitoes feasted on every inch of my skin. You will be a delicacy, a pure delight to these mosquitoes who sneak into your room every night and prepare to do some damage.

The results are itchy skin, giant swollen bites where the mosquitoes have been, and in some cases, drawn blood.

So in addition to your Vape which you will purchase, buy some mosquito repellent and some soothing cream for those bites!

2. It gets very very hot.

Italian weather does not play around. The weather in the summer and early autumn can get extremely hot, drying, and somewhat unbearable. Don’t think that just because you are a student and you will live here¬†that you don’t need a straw hat. Do yourself a favour and get one, together with high factor sunscreen and some sleeved shirts!

3. Don’t wear patterns. You will stand out, a lot.

Italian fashion is very understated. Its what I would call laid back, casual chic. Like what a professional would wear at the weekend. It consists of many blacks, cool crisp whites, and solid pale colours. I arrived in brightly coloured, patterned tops and definitely stood out. Later on I got a white T-shirt, some shirts, and some darker coloured scarves and began to blend in better and felt happier! So think, plain, relaxed casual. Its not as boring as it appears promise!

4. Try to learn the language before hand.

I confess I was given this tip. I read on another blog (survivinginitaly.com) to LEARN THE LANGUAGE as soon as you know you will be coming. I did not listen. I wanted the fresh, raw experience. I wanted to learn from scratch, see how much I could assimilate, pick things up, ya know?

But no. You just end up lost, not knowing how to say “where are the blueberries” or, “which bus goes to my home address”. I would advise to listen to some italian language podcasts. And try to practice practice practice!

5. Transport system is confusing in Florence.

As alluded to above, the transport system is a little confusing. The buses are so small (to fit those cute italian streets), the paying system is strange (buy a paper ticket and validate), there is basically no sitting room in the buses (they are made for tightly packing lots of people in the morning rush hour.

Further, its not a simple cross the street to go in the opposite direction. The same bus will run in completely different routes, and you must pray to find the right bus to go somewhere! Finally, buses stop running at around 10pm. Too early for this big city girl!

6. You will walk everywhere. Including the 2/3/4 flights to your apartment door.

You will walk everywhere, and those cobble stones will destroy your shoes. If you do not get a bus pass, you will likely walk 45 minutes to the train station. 20 minutes to your school. 15 minutes to the supermarket. And you will walk up a lot of stairs. And you will walk up hills.

Prepare to walk.

7. There will possibly be no microwave

Food culture is very different here. It is purer, it is cleaner, it is much healthier. Prepare for no radiation from microwaves (which I quite like actually), as my apartment did not come with one.

This will mean your food will be freshly cooked, but it will also mean you cannot reheat something ‘real quick’. You have to start from scratch or use the oven.

8. Food shopping will be an interesting experience

Going food shopping will be disorientating. You will have to figure out the names of your favourite foods. You will have to find oats (quite rare). You will have to find onions. You will thank God for your sight because it will help you in figuring out what is what.

9. The sunshine is amazing

Not all negative of course! We must come to a close on a positive note. The views in florence are amazing. The beautiful yellow sunlight is shocking to the eyes. Certainly a shock to mine which are used to the bleak, bluey grey London smog. The light will stream into your eyes and clear out the cobwebs. Its truly breathtaking seeing how it dances and reflects off the buildings.

10. The Italian language is more beautiful than you ever thought.

The Italian language is beautiful and romantic. Its like a melody every day. I love words such as ‘Ragazzi’- or its shortened form ‘Raga’, ‘liberta’, ‘Va bene’.

Its a beautiful language and you will enjoy the process as you start to pick up some words and understand.

Good luck! If you have lived here, any tips to give??

Bye for now!

First Impressions

I arrived at 9pm Sunday night ready to begin my creative course in Photography, Creative Writing and Italian first thing Monday morning.

I didn’t speak the language… well, I remember listening to italian language tapes when I was around 14, when Italy first captured me. So I knew numbers (cinque, undici, dodici, tredici)…. and things like Dove √© Piazza san Marco?

I had also learned Spanish for many years so I figured I would be able to understand, and things would be fine.

I landed in Peretola airport, which is a very small airport, and was greeted by the warm night air.

The first thing that shocked me were the taxis. Usually, in other countries you would almost be hounded by taxi drivers waiting to take you places. But here, around 60 travellers lined up while few taxi drivers slowly picked up passengers.

Surely a great business opportunity, I thought to myself. Why don’t people know this?

But this was one of the first things I noticed about Florence – cabs are very different here. you cannot just hail down a taxi.

 

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Hello

Hello! First blog post here.

A little bit about me, I am a Londoner that has moved to Florence, Italy for a 3 month adventure. I am excited to write about my experience and what I notice about living in a different culture and adjusting to new ways.

I never would have believed I would have this experience, as I have wanted to taste Italy for as long as I can remember.

So stick around,

Ciao!

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