Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fashion Detail

necklace: a store in Rennes

La Gelarteria Frigidarium: Best gelato in Rome!

This title of this post is 100% accurate! I have been there three times in a week! I love it! 
Click here to check out reviews and the address! It is a must-go if you are visiting Rome! 
Best flavor: Frigidarium 

The best food I have ever had… (no reservations)

As some of you know I am not a huge seafood fan, but when Maria showed me what she made for dinner last weekend how could I turn it down? And boy am I glad I didn't…it was AMAZING!!! 

Graffiti in Rome

No Reservations.

Last week I was looking at my twitter feed and I saw that Ashley Benson (from Pretty Little Liars) was in Rome, so I looked up why and found out that the 'Spring Breakers' Rome premiere was that night. As usual when I hear that celebrities are in the same city as me, I dragged my friends to go check it out! Long story short, we waited 6 hours outside the theater waiting for Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson to come and when they finally did it was drizzling so they just went inside and waved from the window….Keep in mind that at one point my feet were not even touching the ground because I went on my tip-toes to look to see if the stars had arrived and when I tried to go back down people had move so close to me that they just squished me up and held me up….

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I apologize for not posting in a few days! I will be back on track on Thursday! I have a lot to post about but with midterms and a friend visiting I have not had time to update!

But in the meantime you can listen to some Pride and Prejudice score that I have been listening to while I study!

Homemade dinner!

Our beautifully set table! 

 Spaghetti with my mom's homemade sauce! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lunch in the Jewish Ghetto

This week has been a week full of non italian food! After my art class, a couple of girls from class and I went to lunch at a cute little place called 'Yesh'. We all got shawarma! It was my first time getting it and it was delicious! I cannot wait to take my family here! 

Then and now...

My and Holly's (my friend from Pitt who is studying in Rennes) feet a month before we left for Europe and then last weekend in Rome!! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Better late than never!

My care package has arrived!! Even though it is a few days past Valentine's Day, it was still perfect timing to get this! I woke up in a funk and had just about written the day off when I received an email saying that this had come! 

Tacos, tacos, tacos!!!

On Tuesday nights one of the bars near my apartment has Mexican night! We had been meaning to go for a while and we finally did this week!! It was amazing! I can't even explain how much I miss Mexican food...

Lovely spaces

During my art history class, we walked around the Jewish Ghetto this week! It was amazing/weird to see how different this space looked before the Fascist party came to power and then how it looks today. 

Fellow Travelers: Leah in Croatia

 Where did you study abroad?
 Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Describe your schooling experience and how it compared to school in the US.
The school itself wasn't much different (the way the classes and curriculum were set up), but the students mentality was much more laid back than in the US. At home if we don't turn in an assignment or if we do bad on a test there isn't another chance to make it up. Whereas in Dubrovnik, the professors would give multiple chances for things like that. 

Tell us your best and worst experiences while studying abroad.
The best experience was getting to see so many different places and cultures. The worst part was that I didn't speak any Croatian going into it, so it was pretty intimidating from the get go. 
Did you miss anything from home that you didn't expect to miss? 
I mostly missed food! Croatians don't eat much ethnic food, and I eat it all the time at home. I really missed Chipotle, kind of pathetic haha I also missed peanut butter! 

Tell us about your extensive traveling after your school program ended.
I didn't travel much while I was actually in Dubrovnik, but I traveled both before and after. Before my program started, I went to Hungary and Slovenia, which I loved. Afterwards, I went to London, Dublin and Vienna with my friend who was studying with me. (We used Ryanair and easy jet, they're the best thing ever for someone who wants to travel on a budget, you can get to most major cities using this with for pretty cheap most are around €60 for one way, some more some less). London and Dublin were so much fun, it was really nice to be in an English speaking place for a while. After Vienna I went to Rome to meet my boyfriend. We spent the next five weeks traveling. We went to Rome, Florence, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp (Belgium), and Amsterdam. We spent at least anywhere from three to five days in each city. From Amsterdam we flew back to Rome to meet my brother and his friend. With them we traveled for two weeks through Italy. We spent a few days in Rome then went down to Palermo, Sicily, then to Naples and back to Rome where we left for home. If anyone has the opportunity to travel for that amount of time, please please please do it! Yes, it will cost money, but it will be one of the best times you will ever have! You meet so many awesome people while traveling, and you get to see things that most people only dream about.

Why did you make the effort (it is a lot of work to study abroad) to travel and study abroad?
My program (packaging science) doesn't have a program abroad. But I knew ever since high school I wanted to go abroad so I saved my general electives. I figured I was going to have to take them somewhere, it might as well be in Europe! 

What is the best advice you would give to someone who is going to study abroad?
I would say talk to someone who has just studied abroad. They know better than anyone what you'll need to pack and what you won't need. Read travel blogs too, they're filled with great advice and stories that will get you even more excited to go! And one more thing: don't let all of the paperwork and preparation with visas scare you's worth it, I promise!!

Where do you want to travel to next?
 I want to go everywhere!! So many places to go, so little time! I would really love to go to Asia, specifically Japan. I also would love New Zealand/Australia. I went to Sarajevo when i was in Dubrovnik, and that had so much Turkish influence I would love to go to Turkey (that will have to wait a while until things settle down over there…)

For more info on Leah's study abroad experience check out her blog here!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Andare in bicicletta

Renting a bike for an hour in Villa Borghese was only 4 euro! It was so nice to ride around the parks and gardens! Thankfully, the sun came out while we rode so it was nice and warm! 


Right before I left to study abroad, I started a series about how to make all your study abroad dreams happen, which you can find here. To continue with that trend, I thought a post on budgeting would be useful; I know it is something that was hard for me to do because most blogs don't mention it very much.

First, I am going to explain what my financial plan was before I left and then I will explain actually prices in Rome! 

After saving up all the money I made over the summer, I decided I would simply take money out for traveling and then divide up the rest evenly per week. Before I list any numbers, I just want to say that I had no idea how to actually budget for Rome so my plan may not work for everyone. 

Travel: $700 (plus my prepaid excursions with my program)

Food and Spend:
Monthly- $550 (411 euro)
Weekly-$137 ( 102 euro)
Daily-$19 (14 euro)

So there it is, those are the numbers I gave myself without really knowing if they were too much, too little, or just right. 

With all that in mind, I am now going to list some general prices of meals and items here in Rome.

Eating Out:

Breakfast (pastry, coffee, and fruit)- 3 euro
Lunch (slice of plain pizza and suppli)- 3 euro
Dinner (pasta with water, bread, and a small dessert)- 13 euro  
Gelato- around a euro a scoop 

Now all of those are average prices but the prices can vary a bit. If you want speciality pizza like shrimp and lettuce it will be around 5 euro for a large slice, if you want meat for dinner you are going to have to pay around 15 euro or higher, and if you want wine for dinner add about a 2 euro to your dinner price. 

Also, I would always suggest to look around before you buy anything. Steer clear of the restaurants and gelaterias near monuments because they know tourists will pay more than the food is worth. 

Eating In:

I wasn't sure the best way to list prices for eating in so I thought I would just list some items I bought at the grocery store and market yesterday. 

At the store:
Salami (around 25 slices)- 2 euro
Pasta- .65 euro cents 
Yogurt (2 cups)- .55 euro cents
Cream cheese- 2.50 euro
Wine- 2 euro
Spaghetti sauce- .50 euro cents
Chicken (enough for two people)- 3 euro 

At the open-air market:
Strawberries- 2.50 euro
Clementines- 1.50 per kilo
Apples- 1.50 per kilo 
Tomatos- 1.50 per kilo 
Actually most fruits and veggies are 1.50-2.50 per kilo 

Also, for people who are studying, moving, or staying abroad for a long period of time I would suggest looking around your place for different grocery stores. Just within walking distance of my apartment there are two chain grocery stores, a speciality store, an open-air market, butchers, and bread stores. Once a week, I go to both grocery stores (to compare prices), the open-air market, and then I go to one of the bread shops to get my bread for the week. 

I hope all this information helps other students wanting to study abroad! Also, if there is anything I left out and you are interested in knowing just comment below! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Always remember...

People become what they expect themselves to become.

Homemade dinner!

Janelle, Areeya, and I made one of the best dinners ever!
Antipasta: Bruschetta
Primo: Rice
Secondo: Chicken stir-fry 
Dessert: Pineapple and chocolate cake


Lovely find!

Sunglass: Aldo shoes 
11 euro 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

We went to McDonalds...

Janelle ordering! 

 Travis attempting to order! 

My food! I accidentally got a shrimp wrap so it didn't really make me feel like home haha but it was good! 

Our fist picnic!!


For my on-site art class, we went to the area around the Stadio Olimpico last week! I found the amount of fascist propaganda being preserved to be really strange…I know that it is part of history and that the people of Italy and the people who visit Italy shouldn't forget the past, but it is hard to look at these types of monuments when you know what represent. 
The photos above show: a monument saying Mussolini (center), 'Duce a noi' which means 'leader of us' in Italian and the name that Mussolini was called (bottom left and top right), a map of the monuments Mussolini wanted constructed (top left), and an Ethiopian giving the Roman Salute (which is now illegal to do in Italy) to an Italian solider. 

Treats and Sweets!

These never get good!! 

A new Pope?!

So as many of you all probably know, Pope Benedict XVI has resigned. His last day of service will be February 28th, 2013. This is the first time in 600 years that a pope has reigned! On Friday, my study program took us to the Vatican museums and St. Peter's and let me tell you it was busy! Not only has the pope resigned but lent has just started! I don't even know what to expect within the next couple of weeks because it was already packed on Friday! When the new pope is finally elected I am going to watch his first speech to the people…even if I have to camp out!  

 View of St. Peter's! 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

St. Peter's

Less than two weeks...

Less than two weeks until my family arrives in Rome!! I cannot believe how fast the time is going here…too fast! I am excited to see them but it also signifies the midway point in my time here and that freaks me out.

p.s. more on this to come!!

Valentine's Day in Roma!

On Valentine's day, my friends and I all went out to dinner! It was fun to try another new place near my apartment! Afterwards, we tried to go to a jazz bar but it was too expensive so we just got gelato :) 

It felt right at the time…but 

this was how it looked cute.

p.s. No reservations because I don't like seafood very much but at dinner I got pasta with seafood! I expected there to be some shrimp and fish but when I got it it had oysters and clams! I ate almost all of it! I love trying new things!

High Five for Friday!

1. On Wednesday I took a nice walk around Rome with my cousin Tony! It was amazing to just walk around with no where in particular we had to go.
2. First skype with Tess :) How did it take a whole 6 weeks?!
3. Vatican tour yesterday! St. Peter's was breathtaking!
4. There was too much to look at in each room of the Vatican!
5. Wrapped up my Friday with a fabulous, homemade dinner with my best friends!