Vacation on Vacation

I am putting off studying for my Italian test... and drinking a peach juice and vodka. YUM!

--side note so I dont receive an email from my mom telling me that I should really be focusing on classes and not waste time blogging..... This blog has taken me a couple days to compile. I am now sitting in class waiting to discuss my ideas and photo with Oded. Our studio (which is in an old palace called the Cenci Palace after the Cenci Family is being used to film a movie today... its a zoo around here!--

Where do I start!?

9 days & 12 cities!

Assisi - Cinque Terre (Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia, and Riomaggiore) - Rome Home - Napoli - Sorrento - Sant Agnello - Capri - Pompei

Starting Saturday Sept 26-Oct 4

A really pretty white city with magnificent views.
We meandered through shops,
tried guinea hen with olives, capers, oils, and red wine. Delish!
wow! the view was breathtaking!St. Francis Of Assisi Basilica
his body and tomb was in the basement...
dimly lit and a great place to reflect.
We left Assisi and stopped back in Rome to pack up for Cinque Terre.
My 6 room mates and I took a midnight train to Cinque Terre...
what. an. experience.
We didn't have reserved tickets and ended up sitting/standing/kneeling all night. We did meet 3 really cool guys that had just finished the Berlin Marathon that we talked with for the 4hr train ride.

We arrived in Cinque Terre and after missing 2
(count em! not 1 scary stops but 2!)
stops because the train door would not OPEN
we were dropped off in pitch black Corniglia. (one of the cities of Cinque Terre)
We walked up a huuuuge hill... and found this little area to sleep on!
I stayed up.... didn't want to miss the sunrise and definitely didn't want the stray cats to cuddle up beside me!
watching the sunrise in Corniglia :)
after omelettes, crepes, yogurt, and cappuccinos we checked into our sketchy hostel.
only cash. creepy Italian man. tight shorts. TIGHT shorts. and so many streets alleys turns stairs and buildings we passed trying to get to our hostel!

We spent the day on the beach in Monterosso...
and shopped! I found a couple great things!
and watched the sunset on the beach in Monterosso...
The next day was spent hiking between the 5 towns.
The hike was incredible... and a work out! As our waiter said, it gave us "iron butts!"
The scenery was truly breathtaking... honeymoon spot!? I think yes!
If you have the opportunity these 5 little towns are a must!!
Lovers' locks are really common throughout the hike.
They are locked around different points, hearts like these, a 'lovers lock' area and on trees rocks and fences.
Many inscriptions, dates, and names can be found on the locks...
a little self-timer action. It was such a great day!!Monterossowow.the little path was perfectly challenging... ahh I want to go back!
My favorite 'studying abroad' memories are from this trip.
We found a graphic designer and painter's gallery and all ended up purchasing prints. He captures the essence, feeling, and colors of Cinque Terre perfectly. More about designer and painter Antonio Grecco in a bit.... :)I loved these little flowers and the photo captured them pretty well, too!
We ended the evening drinking wine and talking for hooooours in Vernazza. We were the only ones on the beach. Hands down, my favorite memory of the trip and of my semester.
Our futures, religion, living together, our pasts, anything and everything was covered that night.

I don't know what time it was but out of no where Antonio Grecco (the artist we all bought prints from) appeared with a bottle of Cinque Terre wine and cups for us. We thanked him immensely and he was gone just as fast as he had appeared.

We have been blessed with so many nice people (a couple that kept taking pictures for us along the hike and came and got us when Karen slipped and ripped her toenail in the sea!) and kind gestures along the trip and semester....our spot for the entire night... as you can see... we had the beach to ourselves.

-- quick stop at our Rome home (as opposed to home home) and we were off again! this time to the south!--
Thursday our entire group (both graphic design and interior design students) left for Naples/Napoli.

Napoli is ballsy. worn. weathered. and a bit too much for me.
People were very rude... young and old. wow.
It is very dirty and rough.
Inside the museum... I just love this picture. It was really interesting to learn about Pompei, Pompei Erotica, and the best part!? I bought the neatest Italian cookbook for only 15 euro!! It has all types of dishes... antipasta, pasta, rice/risotto, desserts, breads, eggs, vegetables, etc etc. I have been reading it constantly and I can not wait to try things here and at home-home!Up next: Sorrento!!
suuuuch a pretty place!
Our entire group enjoyed a 4course meal at the Lemon Tree in Sorrento. Delish!
We ate underneath lemon tree grove.
Most of the dishes had some sort of lemon in them.
My favorite?! Mozzarella wrapped and cooked in lemon leafs.
Tart but perfect!!

My dessert. A fluffy lemon mousse on the most delicate cream puff. Italian DJs talk too much and are little creepy... we discovered this at the disco. It was such a blast dancing and drinking in Sorrento!! Peach juice and vodkas... yum!!
Drinks here are ridiculously expensive here... 8-10-15 euro (thats 15-20 dollars!).
Luckily we got our drinks free because our instructor Pia got the disco opened just for us.
Laura. Me. Becky. and Bethany
Sorrento at night :)
great food. FABULOUS shopping.
Our hotel in Sorrento was awesome. We had theeee best breakfast.
The cook makes croissants, pastries, pies and juice fresh each morning! In addition, pancakes! eggs! breads! meat! cheese! yogurt! cereal! and cappuccinos. So so so good!

I say that about so many things but there are so many great dishes, types of foods, and flavors here!!

We all spooned together in the hotel because no one wanted to sleep alone haha
For the remaining of the trip we spent time in Sant Agnello, Sorrento, Capri!!, and Pompei.
This caught my eye as we were walking to our hostel.
The colors here are so vibrant, intense, can I pack them up and take them home with me?!
free wine. free espresso and rum cake. and free grapes!?
That is why I love Sorrento :)

Pizza con fungi... YUM!
Wrapped in 2 words:
coral. I bought a really pretty coral pendant. Cant wait to wear it!
blue. the water is such an array vibrant teals, deep blues, some midnight blues.
ohh its the perfect definition of additive color.
When all of the gorgeous colors combine together they create the blinding brilliant white sparkle.

on the ferry from Sorrento to Capri
on the beach in Capri
perfect snack. pumpkin seeds and a banana
see the bright orangey hue shimmering through the water on the right?
thats coral. Its everywhere and is soo gorgeous!!

we took an hour-long boat ride around the Island. It was well worth the 10 euro. GORGEOUS.
We saw...
many gorgeous homes built on the edges of cliffs
grottos upon grottos upon grottos (natural archways)
we even went through one of them!
the owner of Tod's shoes yacht (read SHIP)
Bill Gate's fun boat
mountain goats

I was feeling inspired by the sea so I tried risotto sea food.
This was one of my favorite meals so far!
mussels, squid, octopus, and tomatoey risotto. perfectly light but filling and a new flavor that I hadn't had in quite some time.
and for dessert :) we strolled by and stopped at an adorable gelateria...
a warm and perfectly crispy waffle with nutella and banana.

it deserves 2 food shots... it was that good!
:( wahh wahhMy first panini caprese :) and french fries!
Laura Bethany Karen and I had a quick lunch in Sorrento because we knew we wouldn't be able to eat until laaate that night when we finally got back into Rome.

one more stop before home.
unfortunately we were all getting a little drained and tired by the last day. but Pompei was really incredible. We had an incredible day there.

even the colors and frescoes were preserved. beautiful.
does it stick out to anyone else that the people of Pompei built such incredible buildings, baths, and towns 2000 years ago and we chose to build one-room log cabins... ??
they are now able to mimic the economy with the crops and gardens that were there in 60 AD.
look at Mt Vesuvius looming in the back... always there as a reminder.
the amphitheater and Gianni 7 as we call ourselves ready to go home... waiting an hour for the train... ugh Italian time

I just got done talking to Oded and received awesome feedback on my Y! :) I am thrilled!
Ciao Ciao!

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