Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My attempt at skiing

I can finally say I've been skiing! 
On Friday, a group of VIU students and I headed up to San Martino di Castrozza in the Dolomites, a section of the Alps. It ended up being a little under 3 hours to get there- as it turns out its pretty close to the Austrian border. 

View from my window

yeah bunny hill

First go! I look like I'm swimming...

luckily there were 8 of us who never skied before

By Sunday I remembered how sick of the snow I was after the awful Boston winter... I chose to stay warm instead of going sledding

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Padua, Milano, Como, Lugano

I can't wrap my head around how much running around I ended up doing this weekend. I was pretty much non stop from Friday morning at 7 am until the stroke of midnight on Sunday.

Friday morning I met my art and architecture class at the train station for a field trip to Padua, or Padova. The city itself really caught me by surprise, or maybe its just because Venice is so unreal

Basilica San Antonio- built in the 13th century

Shrine to St Anthony- the saint for finding lost things or people
5 million people visit every year making it one of the most visited churches in the world

Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel- certainly the most impressive set of frescos I've ever seen. Visitors are only allowed inside 15 minutes at a time in small groups and aren't allowed to take pictures...oh well

After a pleasant 2 hour and 45 minute train ride 3 friends and I arrived in Milan.
Although there wasn't a ton to do aside from window-shopping, we really loved the city. Everything was so “modern,” compared to Venice, Rome etc. It actually reminded me more of Paris than any Italian city 

Duomo Di Milano- 5th largest cathedral in the world 

Parco Sempione

Lauren and I got a little adventurous 

Lake Como
Another short train ride Saturday night brought us to Lake Como. Unfortunately it was dark when we arrived so we didn't get much of a view of the lake until the next day.

We woke up at 6:15 to watch the sunrise. Worth it.

Funicolare that brought us to Brunate-715 m mountain

 Made my list of favorite spots in the world

those Alps though...

A view well worth the hike

Lugano, Switzerland
After our hike in Como, Lauren, Heather, Marina and I crossed the border to Switzerland for some over-priced lunch in the sun and some wandering around 

 photo credit to Heather 
Lauren, Marina and I

Most importantly- managed to find some green Irish beer on St Patricks day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dodge's Palace, Burano & Verona

Still haven’t spent a full weekend in Venice quiet yet, but this was close enough.

Friday afternoon my Art and & Architecture class had a private tour of The Dodge’s Palace. The architecture was truly stunning and I’m realizing more and more that Venetian style cannot compare to anything else I’ve seen in Europe. 

from the courtyard of the Dodge's palace

Bridge of Sighs- the last chance prisoners had to see Venice before they were locked away

On Saturday, taking advantage of the warm weather, 3 BC girls and I took a 50 minute boat ride to the Island of Burano. The island is known for its fishermen inhabitants, lace-making and of course, its colorful houses. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the lace making museum, which I was told by a classmate was really cool.  All the reason to go back! 

my ideal future home

Since all of my roommates went to Florence for the weekend, I had the apartment all to myself. So Saturday I hosted a little dinner party for the 9 other BC kids who live on the Island of San Servolo who don’t have kitchens and were longing for a taste of home. I (the master chef that I am) contributed to making chocolate chip pancakes. yum

Sunday morning the BC crew took a trip to fair Verona. The train ride there was an unnecessary two hours (made that train by 3 minutes by the way), but the ride back was a bit over an hour (I had to run to catch that train too… common trend here?) 
When we planned Verona, I anticipated a quaint little medieval town filled with tiny shops overwhelming tourists with the Romeo & Juliet theme. While those types of shops were there, Verona ended up being a pretty big city! In fact, it has way more inhabitants than the city of Venice (which I learned on Friday is declining by 1,000 
people every year) 

Arena di Verona

that famous balcony

Letters to Juliet

 Back in Venice- my favorite pizza so far!

On another note, I started running again and booked a one way ticket to Milan this weekend...

Monday, March 3, 2014


Just got back from an amazing weekend in Paris with Natalie! I cant believe I was only there for 2 days, we did a ton and have the wounds to show for it (pretty sure we walked 15 miles yesterday… and my boots gave me bruises) 
So to sum up: a ton of walking, catching up, wandering, shopping, fine french cuisine, the Lourve, an unexpected amount of churches and of course, the theme of the weekend: chocolate (a shared favorite) 

Notre Dame (almost) all to myself Saturday morning while Nat was tutoring

love lock bridge

wandered around the Lourve 
Sacre Coeur

this guy killed it! did not stop juggling 
the most beautiful view of Paris

Mid-hail storm in Montmartre 

colorful little tea shop 

hot chocolate at Cafe de Flore

from that tiny corner room in Fitz to the city of lights