Weekend in Venice!

This past weekend Diana and I went to Venice for a weekend getaway. It was nice because the plane tickets were actually cheaper than plane tickets… BUT we realized it basically costs the same because it was 48 euros each way to the airport…

Anyways, this weekend was extra special because The Roman Guy gave us the company camera to shoot footage and pictures for their website, which was really nice because they trusted us enough to use their super expensive camera on vacation!

They gave us places to go to which really helped us because we had no idea what we were going to do over the weekend. All we knew was that we wanted to eat seafood and see the canals.

Its not in the video, but we stayed at the best airbnb I’ve ever stayed at! It was suuper clean and modern and it was in a safe neighborhood. We actually stayed in a small city out of Venice, but it was only a 20 minute bus ride to Venice and the bus stop was just around the corner!

We mostly just wandered and relaxed this trip and ate really well! Everyone warned us that Venice food would be super expensive, but we didn’t order any plate that costed more than 9 euros! Even the seafood plates were cheaper here than in Rome. We went to Fried Land (got fried chicken wings, fried seafood, and seafood pasta) and we also went to a restaurant near the Rialto bridge that had all organic ingredients and small bars where we got Venice spritz (their signature drink). It was actually super bitter, so def drink it with the little crackers they give with the drink. We also ended our trip to a Magnum shop and made our own Magnum bar!! It was soo delicious I still dream about it haha

Anyways here’s the video from this past weekend! 🙂

Tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to leave a good or bad review for your airbnb/ hostel- it definitely helps future travelers!

2. If you have time, wander around a city and don’t be afraid to get lost–thats how you really get to know a city.

3. But if you do get lost– download maps.me or download city maps off tripadvisor! They track where you are without data and helps you navigate to where you need to go through addresses or popular restaurants/ attractions.

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Workforce Course

Today was the last day of our Workforce course which is basically the course you take if you choose to do an internship abroad. We had our presentations where we presented what we did throughout the semester and talked about our thoughts and feelings throughout the year. It was nice to hear what everyone was doing the past few months and hear about their struggles and what they did to overcome them.

Theres only about 7 of us that chose to do an internship abroad so we were all about to ask questions to get to know about each internship more. (Also it gave us more freedom to actually speak about how we feel about our internship)

Most of the time I wish I didn’t do an internship abroad because even though 10 hours a week doesn’t seem like it would take up a long time… it really does considering you’re in a new city where you want to constantly explore, you take 3 classes that you also have homework and readings for and you travel on weekends.

However, after doing my presentation and hearing everyone’s experience, I’m pretty grateful I chose to do an internship. It would be nice to have those extra hours to explore, but having this internship taught me a lot about managing time and I feel like I got a lot of experience with making videos. It also taught me a lot about myself and thats why I came abroad; to learn more about myself in a different environment and dealing with the difference. Also, I had a pretty cool mentor who was always a text away to help me with any questions or doubts I had (he’s also the co-owner of the company I intern for!)

Not only was interning abroad a good resume booster (like how cool is it to say you interned in a different country) but it also played a large part in my experience abroad. Yah yah I missed out on getting more gelato with classmates or missed out on aperitivo.. but no one could say they had the same experience as I did interning. No one else went on cool assignments like interviewing existing tour guides and what their favorite parts of Rome was, running in the rain going from the Colosseum to the Vatican, making vines of James Bond set up or going on cool tours!

So if you do decide to study abroad, interning would be another cool addition to your experience. But if you don’t want to go through the process and pay the extra fee, there are so many different volunteer opportunities you can do through the UC Rome center!

Last full weekend in Rome :(

Can’t believe I only have 4 weeks left in this beautiful city! These past 3 months definitely flew by and it made me realize all the things I still haven’t done in Rome.

On Friday, I tried to go to the Cupola, the Dome of St. Peters where you can see the aerial view of St. Peter’s Square, but it was closed! So my friend Kat and I decided to go to Aventine Hill for sunset. The walk there from the Vatican wasn’t too bad and the weather was perfect! My phone died before we got there so I wasn’t able to take any pictures 😦

On Saturday, Sophie and I planned to go inside Castel Sant’ Angelo, but the line was suuper long so we decided to just wander around the Vatican. We were able to explore the neighborhood of Prati, which was really nice and quiet. We then went to a burger place by the Vatican called “Knick Knack Burger”. OMG this place was BOMB! They use ciabatta bread for their buns and they had so many different burgers to choose from. Since it was our cheat day (we’re on a Vegas/ Ibiza diet) we got the fattiest burgers- each with bacon and egg in it.

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Check out the vine I made:

The vibe was suuper chill and the guys that worked there were cute! They even gave me a discount on my burger and didn’t charge me for a water bottle! 🙂

After, we walked towards Spanish Steps for some shopping and it finally hit me that I would be going back to the states soon. I realized it wont be able to wander through the streets of Rome anymore. Rome is seriously such a unique city and theres always something to discover. Even if I lived here for a year there would be so much more to explore. There are so many little side streets that hold so much history and charm, there’s seriously no place like it!

On Sunday, we woke up super early to go to the Vatican for Easter Sunday to see the Pope! We were able to get tickets through the UC Rome center, but we were too  late and the sitting area was already packed by the time we got there. It was also really rainy and cold so we didn’t stay long. But we were there to see the Pope and experience something not everyone could experience in their lifetime! 2015-04-05 10.31.03 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Since Easter is a big holiday here in Rome, classes were canceled on Monday and I didn’t have to go into work for my internship so Sophie and I decided to go inside Castel Sant’ Angelo and stroll through the Villa Doria Pamphili.

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Villa Doria Pamphili:


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Tips from this week:

1. Bring your student visa with you or at least a copy and ask your program if they have study letters because some museums allow free admission with Visas or study letters! (we got in Castel Sant’Angelo for freeEEe)

2. Never buy an umbrella for more than 3 euros from the men that walk around trying to sell umbrellas

3. Soak in every minute and enjoy everything while you’re abroad because it flies by so fast!

The Roman Guy

I finally finished the video I’ve been working on for my internship here in Rome!

Ngl it was a struggle balancing traveling, school and this internship but it was all worth it! I’ve been stressing over this video since I was assigned because I felt like the first week  I gave them super high expectations and I really didn’t want to let them down. I do admit it took me a while to make this video, but it was hard because I had class all day and on weekends, I would either be traveling or have a site visit that would take up the whole day. Also, it rained a lot this past month so the lighting wasn’t great for filming.

I also learned how to make my own graphics and got better at working with Final Cut Pro!

Anyways, I finally sent the link to my mentor and he liked it! (thank god). I was so nervous all of spring break cus I wasn’t sure if the video I made was what he wanted and the fact that it took forever to load on youtube freaked me out. Overall, this project was really fun and I hope you all like it!

Heres the final product!

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to The Roman Guy on youtube! 🙂

Ischia and Naples!

Now that midterms are all over we can finally celebrate and have a weekend trip!

This weekend we went to a little island off Napels called Ischia and LOVED IT!

We were only planning to stay for one day but we decided to stay for 2 and spent only the night in Naples the next day.

We took an early train Friday morning to Napels then a ferry to the island and the weather was beautiful! Since its been really rainy and cold lately, it was weird not having to wear a scarf or my waterproof jacket.

My first impression when we got off the ferry was just in awe. My face litterally looked like this = :O

It was soo sunny, the water was so blue and the cliffs were breathtaking! It took us a while to find our hostel but we finally made it.

If you’re ever visiting Ischia, you need to book your hostel at PARADISE BEACH BACKPACKERS!! It was the cleanest, nicest place we’ve stayed at! Everyone was so accommodating and everyone staying in the hostel were super cool, chill people. We originally was suppose to be in another room with 10 other people, but they gave us a private room with no extra charge! And OMG the view from our balcony was soo beautiful! We could see the ocean and cliffs right from our room and usually they have the pool filled, but their backyard was beautiful too. And since everyone was so friendly, we even had conversations from our balcony to the people sunbathing in the backyard.

After getting to know the people staying in the hostel, it was already getting late, so we all decided to get some snacks at the local shop and bring it back to eat before dinner with the rest of the hostel. We luckily caught the sunset right when we got home and it was honestly one of my favorite moments of this weekend.

It was so nice and relaxing seeing the sunset on the water– and made me miss living in Newport.

After our yummy snacks and wine, we got ready to go out with the hostel– even with the owner of the hostel! He took us to a supper yummy burger place and cool cocktails.

I’m not kidding when I’m telling you this hostel was the best hostel ever! We all hung out after drinks and got to know everyone’s travel stories and it was nice realizing you’ll have friends all across the world!

The next day we all woke up early to hike to Sant Angelo, a small part of the island with a beautiful view. It kinda reminded me of Santorini because the buildings were white with blue roofs. Anyways, while we were on the way to the trail, we ran into our friend Richard, who was staying in the same hostel as us!

After our hike, we had to leave to catch the ferry back to Naples and it was obvious none of us wanted to leave.

When we got to Naples, we went straight to the pizzeria that was in Eat Pray Love. We couldn’t check into our hotel until 8 so we had time to kill and we were starving. We got there right when it opened and didn’t have to wait that long. Idk if its because I have super high expectations of pizza, but it wasn’t that good and even Sophie’s pizza was burnt!

We were able to get another free pizza, but they gave us a beer and we assumed it was because they gave us a burnt pizza, but they ended up charging us for the beer! All in all we didn’t have that great of an experience here and the pizza was just whatever.

After we checked into our hostel, some of us were still hungry so Sophie, Diana and I went on a search for seafood and we stumbled upon Caffetteria del Golfo. They had super good reviews on Trip Advisor so we decided to try.

OMG their muscles and their clam linguine was the best I’ve ever had! It was so fresh and the waiters there were also super nice and funny. It had great ambiance and I would totally recommend anyone visiting Naples to try this place!

The next day we had to wake up at 5 in the morning to catch our train back to Rome and on the way to the train station, Neeka was robbed by a motorcyclist! She had her purse her left side, close to the street and the motorcyclist just drove by and grabbed it out of her arms! Luckily she didn’t have her passport in her purse, but it was still a traumatic experience.

All in all, Ischia was well worth it, but Naples was not!

Here is my video from this weekend!

Tips from this weekend:

1. Be extremely careful and cautious with your stuff at all times, especially in the south of Italy.

2. If you know you’re hiking, make sure you bring athletic shoes- our friend Kaitlyn didn’t have appropriate shoes when we were hiking and she ended up spraining her ankle!

3. Hostels do make a difference in your stay, research your hostel really well before booking. Also- location is suuuuuper important!- Probably one of the most important

MidtermZZzZ

School work is no joke here! Even though there a lot of readings and papers, everything you learn is super interesting. Especially if you’re taking a food class where you get to taste taste traditional Italian cuisine and wine and learning about Renaissance art and actually visiting it on site visits!

The professors here are also super passionate and interesting, which makes it that much easier to love the courses you’re taking here.

We just finished our midterms and lemme tell you, if I could give anyone the biggest tip, it is to keep up with your readings and read over notes after class. Take advantage of the study center you’re in! Between classes review your notes and do your readings! It was overwhelming tackling everything the weekend before, but the one thing you don’t want is to be stressed out in a beautiful city.

You can bring notes and reading material to beautiful parks such as Tivoli or the Doria Pamphilij Villa and take in the beautiful sites as well as getting some work done!

Also, you can find new places to study!

I found this cool coffee shot by school and they even have a cute bartender! 🙂

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Can’t wait for Ischia and Napels tmrw!!

Tips from this week:

1. Keep up with readings and review notes as often as you can!

2. Practice your Italian at home with your apartment mates, it helps a lot when prepping for orals and compositions!

3. Try to go to a different place everyday, there is so much to see in Rome, I still get lost sometimes in this beautiful city!

 

Food, Territory and Anthropology class AKA the best class ever!

This week was packed with site visits, wine tastings and food tasting for my food class here in Rome. Its literally the best class ever!!

For our first wine tasting we tried 4 different wines and paired it with 2 dishes made by my professor’s wife. Not only do we get to taste the wines, we learn about the history and the different characteristics of wine that makes it a good wine. We see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor, spit, share each wine and rate it on a worksheet that is given to us. (I think this class is going to turn me into a wine snob)

On Friday, we went to Viterbo, a small city outside of Rome, to visit a vineyard, have another food/wine tasting and take a tour of the small, medieval city. I love traveling out of the city because its such a dramatic change- from city life to country side. I always thought I was more of a city girl, but after living here for 2 months… I miss views of the greens, mountains and valleys! I was definitely way to blessed back in socal.

Anyways, at the Tenuta Olivieri vineyard, the owner (who is actually buddies with our professor) described the temperature, soil and other elements it takes to make good tasting wine. We walked through his vineyard and he would describe the process in making wine. After, he gave us all a discount of his wines and they were all only 3 euros!! What a steal! I bought 3 to keep to bring back to the states, but idk how long that’s going to last….

After, we went on an hour bus tour of the mountain next to the Viterbo.. it was a “tour” of the outside of the city or our professor/ bus driver got lost haha. Anyways, we went to our professor’s wife’s Bed and Breakfast where she cooked us 3 differents plates and we paired it with 2 different red wines that was purchased from the vineyard.

We first had risotto with truffle and goat cheese ice cream and oh man it was BOMB! The risotto was so creamy and the truffle mushrooms were so flavorful and the ice cream perfectly balanced the meal. It was the perfect sweet to the savory and the difference in temperature was cool too. Then we had a huuuuge plate of Pappardelle pasta with boar. It was soo good and it kind of reminded me of beef stroganof. Then we had a plate of chicken and chicory. The chicken was literally the best chicken I’ve ever had! It was sooo juicy and moist. However, the plate overall was very oily- which explains the juiciness of the chicken. Also, I personally didn’t like the chicory since I expected it to be spinach- but its a lot more bitter than spinach. We finished the meal with the best dessert I’ve had since I’ve been in Rome. Its a flan with rum topped with almonds and bread crumbs. It was soo good!!! The texture was perfect and the alcohol was a good pair. After trying all these different plates, we fill out a form on its preparation, produce used, aroma, flavor and our personal experience. It definitely makes you appreciate the work it goes into making good food!

After, we had another tour of the city- but walking. The city is so cute its a little medieval city which was a nice contrast to the huge, baroque style of Rome

We also visited 2 markets during the week so we can use it to compare and contrast it to our market that we will write about in our paper.

Heres a quick video of my experience with our Food class so far:

Tips:

1. Take the Food, Territory and Anthropology class with Gregory Smith!! It’s so fun and you learn so much!

2. If you’re more interested in art, take Paolo Alei’s classes!! He’s seriously so passionate about art and I just love the way he talks haha

3. Keep an open mind when trying new foods, they may seem different to you, but you never know unless you try!