A little R&R

After my mom left, I all of a sudden had nothing to do, and no one to do nothing with. So I called up my lovely Mollie, and asked if I could spend a few days with her in Liverpool, and  while we didn’t so much, and it was mostly rest and relaxation, here are some pictures from when we finally ventured out.

Bebigton

Bebigton

This bookstore had a kitty it made me very happy.

Bebigton

Bebigton

Venice

I really have to say, the Italians have a beautiful appreciation for balconies. All of Italy were balconies, that just added to the beauty of the landscape. Venice was no exception, and it was mt favorite. If I had to choose one place to get back to, it would be Venice, with out a doubt, I would go to Venice again in a

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Mollie and I were finally able to find clothing that we both liked! There was a store that said 10 euro everything so we just had to go in to check it out! Mollie got herself a dress, and I got myself a pretty little skirt.

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Venice

Pictures don’t do Venice justice. It stole my heart.

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We decided to splurge a bit and go on a gondola our first night there. It was perfect. It was chiller than the rest of Italy, but it makes sense because its always chillier on the water. It does smell like dead sea food in some areas, but for the most part the canal smell wasn’t bad. There were water taxis to take you around, because cars are banned, and buses only go into the right before the city, where you take a modern bridge (but it doesn’t stand out that much), over to the islands.

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Venice is made up of something like 100 islands that are all connected by bridges.

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Our gondola driver(?), was very nice, and give us some history during our ride. Mollie was terrified of the rocky boat, and the entire time was clutching on to me.

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The next day we made it to Piazza di Sant Marco, where the Saint Mark Basilica is. It was free to enter the main part ( a nice change from everything that charges for breathing), and it was beautiful. Probably one of the most if not the most beautiful basilica I saw.

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Perhaps the most pleasent little surprise I came across in all the churches when a simple modest church, that held the remains of St. Lucy! Once again there are no pictures for respectful reasons but it was a nice surprise! However I also went to this church Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari , but Mollie stayed outside time.

Venice

Venice

Venice

Venice

After wandering some finding a place for Gelato and a pizzeria for lunch it became time to settle down for dinner. We knew a few things. We wanted calamari, and we wanted to eat by the water.  We saw a place the other night on our gondola ride, so we decided to go on a hunt and find it. We did…  but we also found another place that looked better so we decided to try it. So I sat down with my glass of wine, and Mollie with her rum and coke, and we agreed that we should splurge on the Calamari….

Venice

Well we thought that Calamari was battered… and this wasn’t. Mollie tried it I didn’t. That concluded our adventures in Italy! The next day bright and early we caught a train to the airport and jetted off to the UK! Venice my love I will be back.

Cathedral Count: 11

Castle Count: 12

 

 

When in Rome

 

Rome was the twilight zone I promise you. The last night we were there we walked around for 30 minutes to get to a place that was only 5 minutes away.  From start to finish Rome was insane. First we got off at the wrong station, and then had to take a taxi to our hostel, only to figure out that the hostel that was 5 minutes from Roma Termini (the main train station.) We dropped our stuff and began our walk, where we discovered that maybe this time instead of walking everywhere we could just buy a 24 hour metro pass. So thats what we did.

Rome

Our hostel had a nice little roof top bar where we enjoyed some drinks on our first night there. Maybe a few more than we should have..

Rome

We originally planned to do the Vatican our first night, but it started raining and the line was long, we went to a little cafe for refuge before retreating back to our hostel after getting on the wrong line, and luckily after our troubles in Florence finding food there was a nice little place right across from us where I ordered a nice big glass of red wine and spaghetti and meatballs ( I had to and it was worth it.) It ended up as our saving grace and we went there the next night and for breakfast, but don’t worry we got something different every time.

Rome

The most amazing thing about Italy to me, is that everything looks exactly like the pictures if you google it. Thats the Trevi Fountain, and it was our first stop, on a long day.

Rome

Directly across from it was this beautiful little church, and of course I went in.

Rome

Here I lit a candle for everyone at the CCM.

Now this church may not look like much from the outside but it was one of my favorite places I went in Rome. After we went to the Vatican (which gets it own post) , I got to fulfill a pilgrimage of mine while here. St. Monica is one of my favorite saints, and my confirmation saint. Splurging(it actually wasn’t that expensive) on a taxi I looked up where her remains were kept. From the inside this simple Basilica di Sant Agostino, was beautiful, not to mention what relics it held.

Rome

Rome

 

Rome

Here I lit a candle for everyone back in RCIA! I’m so proud of those that received sacraments this Easter!

And lastly would I have really gone to Rome if I didn’t go to the Colosseum? By the time we made our way to it, it was closed to visitors but we saw the outside, and that was impressive itself. I remember being so excited about the Roman ruins in Chester, and then I got to Italy and Chester felt small.

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If you ever want to feel small and insignificant go to Rome. If you ever want to see some of the best architecture of your life, go to Rome. If you go to Rome give yourself more time than I did (I think 4 days should suffice.)

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Castle Count: 12

Cathedral Count: 9

Lost in Florence

Does everyone know I’m Catholic? I feel like it’s fairly obvious, and being in a Italy I had no excuse to not go to mass on Sunday. So I did, I went to Basilica Di Sant’Ambrogio. I could follow a bit during mass, but still struggled, because I don’t know the language. However knowing the order of mass helped a ton, and it was a wholesome experience and I wouldn’t mind repeating it.

Milan

Milan

 

After mass, Mollie flew into Milan, where shortly after we ventured into Florence! When we got to the hostel the first thing we did was go out and eat, however that’s easier said than done. A lot of places were closed, it being a Sunday and Italy being a heavily Catholic country after all. We wandered in a circle until we finally found a place, and where I had to use my basic Spanish because I don’t speak Italian and the closest I could get was Spanish. Once we sat down I put our hostel into a map only to find out that what we thought was going to be a 30 minute walk was a three minute walk. That would not the first nor last time we got lost in Florence.

Florence

Florence

Florence

Florence was beautiful and the only thing we didn’t get to do there that I wish we did was see the David statue but it wasn’t opened to the public that day.  So instead we wandered the streets intensifying the blisters I had already acquired from Milan.

Florence

Florence

Florence

I was informed by Richelle and friends that Florence is the place to buy leather, so I went about popping in and out of every leather shop I found determined to find one of three things I was looking for (tan leather tote, tan leather jacket, some sort of leather shoe), they try to trick you by telling you that they have a ‘special deal for you’, however I wasn’t convinced. At one place though I found a leather tote bag, which came with a smaller bag for a total for 35 euro. What can I say I love finding deals.

Florence

Unfortunately we didn’t make it two things I wanted to see in Milan, one the Milan Cathedral the line was way too long so we got pictures outside where you can see the how impressive it was, and the scale of how large it was, nor were we able to see the David statue as it was for some reason was closed to the public that day. We did however go inside Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) which has robes that St. Francis of Assisi wore.

At the end of long day after having another Gelato (it’s worth noting that Mollie had her first Gelato in Florence), we were walking back to hostel when all of sudden we wondered why were following a group of Chinese tourists?

Florence

Florence

We ended the night looking up places to eat so we wouldn’t have the same problem as the night before, and we found somewhere on google that got good reviews. As we were walking towards it we came across this other place that had an outside seating area with pixi lights, and said that we would go there if we couldn’t find our place. After 15 minutes of walking in circles and getting frustrated we retreated to our back up plan, which ended up being the place we couldn’t find anyways.

Castle Count: 12

Cathedral count: 9

Italy

 

 

\Long time no post and I apologize! I’ve been relaxing and catching up on work since my world wind adventure to the Netherlands, Germany and then Scotland right after. Now I’m resting in a lovely airbnb with my mom as we adventure through Ireland. But before there was the great Ireland adventure there was Italy. I’ll post more on each post specifically, however I will mention that as beautiful as Italy was this was my most stressful trip. It probably didn’t make sense in the order I went in, but I started in Milan, went to Florence where we got lost, next was Rome, and then Venice probably my favorite.

 

Navigating your way through a foreign country with only your friends who don’t speak (or in the case of Richelle speak a bit of) is tiring. By the end of the trip I was done, this picture above was only in Florence but it sums out how my trip was.

Milan

I landed in Milan where I met up with Richelle who is another study abroad student from UMW, shes spending her semester in Milan, which was beautiful and she showed me around. We went to a water castle.

Florence

Mollie flew in to Milan where I met up with her and we finished out our week taking the trip to Florence, Rome, and Venice. Where we enjoyed gelato, pizza, and pasta.