Cinque Terre

I am excited to be back on my blog again! I am going to have to make an effort to post more often since it can get difficult during school! I am way to ambitious and busy!!! But still, I have definitely been ignoring my blog so I promise to try to post more ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I will be talking about my trip to Cinque Terre. It was one of my favorite places that I went even though everything under the sun went wrong! On the day that we left, my friends and I were on the way to the train station at 6 in the morning and one of my friends dropped the key to her back pack. Without it she wouldn’t have been able to access even her ticket to get one the train so she needed to look for it. She told us to go on ahead and that she would catch up eventually. We ended up missing the first one since we were waiting for her and waited through two more before we decided to try to call her. Then we realized that she had problems with her old phone and had gotten a new one with a number that none of us had! We decided to get on the next train since we had already waited 2 hours, and we spent a great deal of the trip trying to get in touch with her (she never ended up going on the trip because she never found her key!)

When we got there, everything went swimmingly for quite a while. We checked into our apartment, got delicious pizza, and went exploring. The major attraction in Cinque Terre is hiking since there are 5 places that are connected by trails. We stayed in Vernazza and that day we hiked to Corniglia and Manarola. However, when we got to Manarola there was a big gate that locked us out of the actual town so we never got to go in.

Even so it was a really fun day! We hiked back and had a delicious dinner, then crashed in our hotel. The next day we wanted to go swimming. We had visited a small rock beach before we went hiking but we hadn’t gotten the chance to actually go swimming. When we woke up, we were stunned by the amount of rain that was coming down. Since none of us had rain jackets, we ran to go find a place to find cover and get breakfast. Since we knew that the rain wouldn’t let up we decided to cut our trip short and head home.

Here are some of ย my pictures from Cinque Terre:

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Me and my friend Claire

Me and my friend Claire

My friends Chelsea and Claire and I

My friends Chelsea and Claire and I

Even though we never got to do a few of the things that we wanted to and one of our friends was unable to make it we still had a lot of fun! Cinque Terre is an absolutely beautiful place and I would highly recommend visiting there. I can’t wait to go back!

Thank you all for reading!

xoxo Kristen

Florence

Hey everybody!

First of all, I am so sorry for not updating in so long! I must admit that I did have plenty of time on break until I got obsessed with House of Cards. Seriously, that show is one the best shows I have ever watched!!! I would highly recommend it to anyone with a warning – if you do not have at least 2 or 3 days completely free don’t watch it! You will get addicted and never want to stop!!!

Since then I have been swamped with school work, actual work, and other events. I am so happy that it is Saturday and that I FINALLY get a break! Everyone else on my campus seems to be enjoying St. Patrick’s Day festivities already, but I am more than content staying in, watching movies and updating all of you ๐Ÿ™‚

So now I will finally continue my posts about Italy! Today I will share my experiences in Florence. I say experiencesย because I visited Florence at least 5 times. After all, that is where my sister was studying! Almost every other weekend I would go visit her. What I loved most about going to Florence was not feeling like a tourist. Kim got to know the city well really fast since she lived in the center of it so she would show me around and we would do all of the stuff that people who live in Florence do. That said, I did not get to see the statue of David, visit Dante’s house, visit the Gucci museum, or climb the Duomo. What I did get to do was go to the most obscure pizza place which makes Florence’s best pizza (the owner baked my pizza and Kim’s pizza in the shape of a heart!), sit on the edge of the Ponte alla Grazie overlooking the Arno river, go to the awesome grocery store called Conad, shop at an underground boutique that Kim found and buy shirts that are only manufactured in that store i Florence, eat the most fabulous paninis at a place called Pino’s, and explore the city at night with my wonderful twin. There will be a time in my life when I can go back to Florence and be a tourist, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences in Florence for the world!

Here are some pictures I took during my trips to Florence:

Out to dinner with Kim at a wonderful restaurant called Zaza's. I went there 3 times because it was so good!

Out to dinner with Kim at a wonderful restaurant called Zaza’s. I went there 3 times because it was so good!

Outside the Duomo on my first visit to Florence!

Outside the Duomo on my first visit to Florence!ย 

Our pizza in the shape of a heart!

Our pizza in the shape of a heart!

 

This was some of the best gelato I have ever had!

This was some of the best gelato I have ever had!

Overlooking the Arno river

Overlooking the Arno river and the Ponte alla Vecchio

 

Kim at Zaza's with the best wine I have ever had!! (not even kidding, it was so good!)

Kim at Zaza’s with the best wine I have ever had!! (not even kidding, it was so good!)

Me at Zaza's :)

Me at Zaza’s ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Hope you all enjoyed this post! Next I will be posting about my trip to Cinque Terre!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo Kristen

 

 

 

 

Spring Break!!!

First I wanted to say thank you to all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday! It actually isn’t my birthday until April 6th, but my sister and I just couldn’t wait to find out what to buy each other. Any excuse to shop, right?! I promise that when my birthday does come I will post something more exciting ย ๐Ÿ˜›ย ย Now to the main reason for this post:

keep-calm-cause-it-is-finally-over

FINALLY THIS WEEK IS OVER!!!! Well… almost… I had a huge exam for one of my classes, as well as a few papers and some other assignments, but I still have one research paper due Sunday. But with the exam over the worst has definitely past and now I can look forward to Spring Break!

Last year I spent Spring Break with one of my friends who lives in Georgia. This year I am spending it much closer to home with one of my friends who lives close to Philidelphia. I am very excited to be able to relax after the long week I have had. One of the things I am most excited for is the Oscars on Sunday! I have been looking forward to them since the Golden Globes and I have tried (unsuccessfully) to watch all the movies that were nominated for Best Picture. So far I have watched quite a few of them and would definitely recommend watching as many of them as you can! My personal favorite to win Best Picture is Dallas Buyers Club, but I have not seen 12 Years a Slave, which is by far the favorite to win. I am also voting for Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor because if anyone saw The Wolf of Wall Street or any of his other movies, you would know that this man deserves an Oscar! ๐Ÿ˜› If you are interested to see all the nominations, you can find it here.

I probably won’t do anything too exciting during my break, but I honestly think that is exactly what I need. I will make sure to update you all throughout my break now that I have time again! Hope you all enjoyed reading my short, simple p

xoxo Kristen

Rome

Hey everybody! I hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend! It is supposed to go up to 50 degrees here today so I am ecstatic! I am so ready for winter to be over!

Today I’ll be reminiscing about my trip to Rome! I went to Rome as part of a class trip shortly after getting back from fall break. We went to go see a dance theater piece in a theater by the Vatican. However, we got there early so we had plenty of time to explore the city! Thinking that I was going to be able to visit the Vatican, I dressed in a peter pan collared shirt buttoned all the way up with a blazer over it and pants. Unfortunately there was a 4 hour long wait to get into the Vatican and we only had 4 1/2 hours before we had to meet back in front of the theater to go see the show. So I opted to go with a big group of people from my class who were visiting the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.

I had never traveled with more than 3 other people before and normally people say that travelling with big groups of people is difficult, but I thought it was a lot of fun! I was with about 10 other people and we all really enjoyed our experience together. We never got to go into the Roman forum because we didn’t have the time, but we still took a whole bunch of pictures of the ruins that you could see without going in. Then we went into the Colosseum. It was so awesome!!!! I took Latin in high school and I am a complete nerd when it comes to Roman times, as well as Roman and Greek mythology, from when I learned about it in my Latin class, so of course I was extremely excited to go to the Colosseum! We stayed there while the sun was setting and the view from where we were was absolutely beautiful.

After this, we all got pizza and gelato for dinner and made two quick stops at the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain before heading up to go see the show we the rest of our class. Nobody could really tell what the plot was supposed to be, but the show was still amazing! If anything that added fun to the experience ๐Ÿ˜›

Although the saying is true that you can’t do Rome in a day and definitely not in 4 hours, I was so happy to be able to see what I did of the city. If I could go back to any city that I visited during my time there I would want to revisit Rome so that I could see everything else that it has to offer. It is such a magnificent city and I want to be able to experience it again!

Here are a few pictures from my class trip to Rome:

The Vittoriano Monument in Piazza Venezia

The Vittoriano Monument in Piazza Venezia

Some of the ruins of the Roman Forum

Some of the ruins of the Roman Forum

Part of the Colosseum (the rest had scaffolding on it while I was there)

Part of the Colosseum (the rest had scaffolding on it while I was there)

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Pantheon

Pantheon

My class waiting for the bus to take us home

My class waiting for the bus to take us home

Thank you so much for reading! Hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo Kristen

Mallorca!!!!

I am so excited about today’s post! My trip to Mallorca is one that I will never forget and I love that I get to relive that experience by telling all of you! Just warning all of you this is probably going to be a LONG post ๐Ÿ˜€

The reason I went to Mallorca for fall break is because one of my best friends, Jesse, has family friends who live their. We were invited by them to stay the whole week with them and we COULDN’T turn that opportunity down! We decided that we were going well before we even got to Arezzo, so I was anxiously awaiting our trip for a long time!

Finally fall break came! Despite the fact that the trip was amazing, the first travel day was actually pretty awful! Since we were leaving from the Florence airport, we spent the night in my sister’s apartment in Florence (she was studying abroad there while I was in Arezzo). It was me, Jesse and my friend Chelsea, who was leaving the next morning to go visit her family in England, plus my sister and the 3 people she lived with all in a tiny apartment.ย Even though Chelsea’s flight left at 7 and Jesse’s and mine left at 12:30, we decided to split a taxi to the airport to save money. Which meant that we all had to leave at 5 in the morning. I had a hard time getting to sleep since I was on a tiny couch and was starting to come down with what I thought was a cold, so I only got about an hour and a half of sleep.

Chelsea, Jesse and I all got up at 4 to catch the taxi at 5. Once we got to the airport, Chelsea left to get on her flight and Jesse and I tried to get some sleep. It was impossible. We gave up at around 8 and went to check the board to see when we could check in. Then we realized our flight was delayed for 2 hours. Long story short (especially since this is already very long), we waited 9 and a half hours in the airport. I had no medicine and kept feeling worse and worse. People were actually handing me cough drops at the airport. IT is funny now that I look back on it, but I was not pleased at the time ๐Ÿ˜›

By the time we arrived in Mallorca, it was 9:30 at night and I was losing my voice. I felt so bad when I went to go meet Jesse’s friends and could barely even talk to them! But even though I was sick, that did not stop me from enjoying my first night in Mallorca. Sofia, who was the same age as us and whom Jesse had known since she was born, took us out partying in Palma. In the U.S., partying usually consists of staying out until 3-4 am. In Mallorca, the party only really begins at around 3-4 am. We ended up staying out until 8:30 am! It was so much fun, but we were all SO tired. So we slept a little while and then left at 12:30 to have lunch with Sofia’s family.

That day we just spent taking a tour of the family’s home and relaxing. That was probably the best idea in my case since by this point I had lost my voice completely. After a long day of relaxation and getting to know the family (they are some of the nicest people I have ever met!) we slept and got ready to explore Mallorca the next day.

The rest of the trip we spent exploring and it was SO wonderful! We got to go back to Palma and actually take in the city, we visited the Beach, Soller, Valldemossa and quite a few other places! The first day we went to Palma and got to visit the cathedral, as well as a few other places. The second day, we went to an absolutely beautiful place that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of! We drove on some really scary cliff sides in order to get there, but it was totally worth it! The next day was by far my favorite day – our trip to Soller. Soller is gorgeous city! When we got there, we had tapas for lunch and then went on a boat to visit the Torrent de Parais, a rock beach just off the Port de Soller. The water was so blue and the view was fantastic! Also, the boat driver liked the three of us (we went with Sofia) so he let us ride in the front with the Captain! It was all very exciting! Then when we returned to shore we met Sofia’s mother Kelly and her sister Arantxa and had dinner together. That was my favorite meal that I had while I was there!

The day after that (Thursday) we went to the beach. It was magical! We had such a great time relaxing, taking in the sun and having fun in the water. On Friday, we picked up Kim from the airport. Since her fall break fell the week after mine, she couldn’t come for the whole time with us. But she did spend the first 2 days of her break in Mallorca. We went to Valldemosa with her, which is a lovely town with a great view and a beautiful museum, and had fun exploring. We also saw an impromptu piano concert, which was really awesome! That night, being a Friday night in Mallorca, we went out partying in Palma again. We also stayed up until 8 am again ๐Ÿ˜› But especially since Kim was there it was a lot of fun!

That Saturday, Jesse and I had to leave. I was so sad saying goodbye to Mallorca. I had such a wonderful time and got to know Sofia and her family very well. I hope to go back and visit them again sometime in the near future!

Collectively, Sofia, Jesse and I took over 600 pictures! Here is just a few of them:

Overlooking the water in Palma

Overlooking the water in Palma

The beautiful view of the water from the heart of Palma

The city of Palma

The place we went to the second day that I can't remember the name of :D

The place we went to the second day that I can’t remember the name of ๐Ÿ˜€

Me looking at the gorgeous view

Me looking at the gorgeous view

Day 2

Day 2

The cute, wooden train that took us to Soller!

The cute, wooden train that took us to Soller!

On our way to Soller

On our way to Soller

After the train we had to take a trolley to get to Port de Soller

After the train we had to take a trolley to get to Port de Soller

Our first view of Port de Soller after getting off the trolley
Our first view of Port de Soller after getting off the trolley
Port de Soller

Port de Soller

Port de Soller

Port de Soller

Sofia, Jesse and I with the one of the crewmen on the boat we rode to Torrent de Pareis

Sofia, Jesse and I with the one of the crewmen on the boat we rode to Torrent de Pareis

Sofia and I on the boat

Sofia and I on the boat

Arriving in Torrent de Pareis

Arriving in Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Valldemosa

Valldemosa

Kim and I in Valldemosa

Kim and I in Valldemosa

Sofia, one of her friends, Jesse, Kim and I at a club called Havanna

Sofia, one of her friends, Jesse, Kim and I at a club called Havanna

It was so hard to pick which pictures I wanted to put up, especially from my trip to Soller (I had over 100 pictures just from that one day!). I hope you enjoyed them! Stay tuned for more posts on my Italy adventures!

xoxo Kristen

Cortona

Hey everyone!

One of my favorite places that I visited while I was abroad was definitely Cortona, a small city on a hill that is known to have the greatest view of Tuscany! I love it so much I went there twice! Since it is so close to where I was staying in Arezzo, me and 3 friends actually made it a day trip. Especially after the long weekend traveling five hours to and from Milan and having to take 3 different trains to get there and back, it was definitely good to have an easy weekend!

The main attraction in Cortona is the climb up to the fortress all the way at the top of the hill. We were told by people who had went the week before that it only takes about a half an hour to get up to the top and it was best to go between 4 pm and the time the sun would be setting. So when we got there around 12, we decided to get lunch and head to an Etruscan museum that they had. The museum was amazing! My friends and I all got really overwhelmed at times looking at incredibly kept artifacts that were thousands of years old! It was a great way to start our experience.

Next we explored the city as much as we possibly could. You know how people always say to really appreciate a city you have to let yourself get lost in it? Well that’s what we did. Literally. We couldn’t find our way back to the main part of town for a good hour and a half :D. But by doing that we found some really beautiful places!

At around 3:30 we made our way up the hill to see the fortress. The climb killed all of our thighs thoroughly before getting to the top. Right before the fortress there is a beautiful Duomo which we stopped to look at and take pictures in front of (none of the duomos allow you to take pictures inside). Then we finished the climb up to the fortress. The fortress had 2 art galleries which we looked at before heading to the very top. Once I got up there, I felt like I was in a dream. The view is absolutely magical in every direction! It was absolutely impossible to take a good picture. Seeing that view for the first time is when it really hit me just how lucky I was to be in such a wonderful country. Even now, every time I think about how fortunate I am to have had that experience, I think of that time. I feel so grateful for this and all my experiences there!!

After we got back down to the main square we visited the Cathedral and looked over at the view that was provided there until it was time for dinner. In Italy, restaurants do not usually open for dinner until about 7 or 7:30. In Cortona there was only one restaurant that opened before 7:30 – Fuflun’s. Funny name, right?! Well, we were starving so we decided to go there. The name may be funny, but the food was TO DIE FOR! I had a lot of good food while I was in Italy and Spain but Fuflun’s was my favorite dining experience out of all of them. I definitely recommend eating there if you ever go to Cortona and I specifically recommend the black truffle ravioli, which I had for my main course and which was absolutely divine!

After that, we made our way to the bottom of the hill to return to Arezzo. It may have only been a day trip but that day was a truly wonderful experience that I will never forget. Here are just a few of the 120 pictures I took when I was there:

The main square in Cortona

The main square in Cortona

A really cute house with a beautiful garden that we found during our adventures!

A really cute house with a beautiful garden that we found during our adventures!

Me with a boar hat on :) There is a story that goes along with this that I will be sure to post next time!

Me with a boar hat on ๐Ÿ™‚

Part of the climb up the hill!

Part of the climb up the hill!

The Duomo located right before the fortress at the top of the hill

The Duomo located right before the fortress at the top of the hill

The view of the top of the fortress

The view of the top of the fortress

LOOK AT THAT VIEW!!!!!

LOOK AT THAT VIEW!!!!!

Me on top of the fortress

Me on top of the fortress

Me and of my friends on top of the fortress

Me and of my friends on top of the fortress

My Black Truffle Ravioli from Fuflun's. I really miss this!

My Black Truffle Ravioli from Fuflun’s. I really miss this!

I hope you enjoyed reading! Look back for more posts on my Italy adventures!

xoxo Kristen

Milan

Hey everyone!

I hope you are all having a great weekend! This weekend I had one of my brothers and his family come up to visit, so I had a lot of fun! I haven’t gotten to see them since Christmas, so it was nice to be able to spend some quality time with them ๐Ÿ˜€

So, I promised a post about my trip to Milan, and here it is, even if it is a little late ๐Ÿ˜›

Since I stayed in Arezzo the first week I was in Italy, Milan was the first place I visited ย during my stay there. I traveled with 3 other girlsand we stayed for one night. We bought all of our tickets ahead of time and paid extra to stay in a hotel. As far as travel tips are concerned, I think both of these things were a little unnecessary. We realized that it is very easy to buy tickets at the train station if you get there early enough and that hostels or apartments are a much easier way to go when it comes to traveling in Europe. Paying $100 to stay in a hotel for a night just isn’t worth it when I could use that money to buy 4 tickets on Ryan Air to just about any country in Europe!

Another mistake we made was setting a schedule for exactly what we were gonna do at what times on each day. It is always good to have a general idea of where you are going and what you want to do, but there ended up being so many other things we wanted to do once we arrived. We ended up sticking to our schedule, but I never had such a strict schedule again during the remainder of my travels.

All that aside, I absolutely LOVED Milan! It is such a beautiful city! When we got off the train, the very first thing we saw was the Duomo. It is breathtakingly beautiful! We went inside and explored for a bit, but because there was a Mass going on we never got to climb to the top of it. After hearing stories from other people who went to Milan, I would definitely suggest doing that if you ever go because it is apparently quite an amazing experience.

Also that day we went to an art gallery (the name is escaping me!) and stopped by the Piccolo Teatro. Since we are all theater students we obviously weren’t going to pass up that opportunity! But the best thing by far that we did that night was see Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. It was painted on the wall of a small little church and, despite the history surrounding the wall and everything that the painting has endured, it has been well preserved! In order to get to it, you are put in a group of about 20 people and brought through 3 rooms, all with doors that seal out the air from outside. This is done to better preserve the painting. Each group gets 15 minutes with the painting. Those 15 minutes were probably some of the best minutes spent on our trip in my opinion. It was an absolutely wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone going to Milan!

After our long day of doing touristy things, we ended the first night with a dinner on a road overlooking a beautiful castle called Castle Sforza. The food was delicious, the company was wonderful, and the beautiful lit castle was a spectacular site. It was the perfect first day in Milan!

The next day, it rained. Hard. The first thing we did was go and visit the Galleria Vittoria, aka the oldest shopping mall in the world. It has absolutely stunning architecture and is home to the stores of many high end fashion designers, so naturally I was looking forward to going there! I got to go into Louis Vuitton and Prada before I was dragged out to go to our next destination, Castle Sforza. This was the same castle that we could see during dinner the previous night. It is absolutely huge and houses about 12 different exhibits currently. Over the course of 2 and a half hours we only got to see 3 of the exhibits, including and Egyptian exhibit which I really enjoyed (in case you were wondering, I am a proud nerd :D)! The only trouble was navigating the castle grounds in the pouring rain trying to find the exhibits we wanted to see ๐Ÿ˜›

Next we found a place for lunch and got dry before heading over to the Brera Art Gallery, which houses a great deal of religious art. They were all magnificent, of course! This unfortunately ended our trip. We got some gelato and got back on the 5 hour train ride to the Accademia.

Despite the rain on day 2, I had a fabulous time in Milan. Here are some of my favorite pictures from my trip:

Me outside the Duomo!

Me outside the Duomo!

Details on the Duomo. Isn't it magnificent?!

Details on the Duomo. Isn’t it magnificent?!

View from the first art gallery we went to. Overlooks the Galleria Vittoria (straight ahead) and the Duomo (to the right)

View from the first art gallery we went to. Overlooks the Galleria Vittoria (straight ahead) and the Duomo (to the right)

The entrance to the church where Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper is found!

The entrance to the church where Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper is found!

Me and my 3 travel buddies are all smiles as we wait for our turn to see The Last Supper

Me and my 3 travel buddies are all smiles as we wait for our turn to see The Last Supper

Inside the Galleria Vittoria!

Inside the Galleria Vittoria!

This Louis Vuitton is absolutely beautiful inside! Too bad they wouldn't let me take pictures!

This Louis Vuitton is absolutely beautiful inside! Too bad they wouldn’t let me take pictures!

Couldn't resist taking a picture of the beautiful ceiling in  the Galleria Vittoria

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of the beautiful ceiling in the Galleria Vittoria

Outside the Castle Sforza

Outside the Castle Sforza

An inside view of the Castle grounds in Castle Sforza

An inside view of the Castle grounds in Castle Sforza

A picture I took right outside the gelato shop where my friends and I all got gelato before leaving Milan

A picture I took right outside the gelato shop where my friends and I all got gelato before leaving Milan

Well that about does it for my trip to Milan! Hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures! Next I will be posting about my trip to Cortona, a small city 15 minutes away from Arezzo that has the best view of Tuscany! Be prepared for some abolutely breathtaking pictures ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks so much for reading!

xoxo Kristen

First Week in Arezzo!

Hey guys!

I am so excited to be doing my first post about my time in Arezzo! Especially since I am currently in the middle of a polar vortex with the temperatures below 10 degrees and 12 feet of snow and ice crashing down on my college campus and the surrounding area, it is wonderful to look back on the first week when it was 95 degress! Getting off of the plane in Florence where everyone from my program (there were only 27 theater students) were all meeting up was nerve racking but extremely exciting. We all got along from the very start. It was easy for me because 16 of the 27 students not including myself were from my school! But even so some of us had never said a word to each other before this experience.

After we had everybody, we got on a bus and headed to Arezzo, which is a small town about an hour and a half away from Florence in the very heart of Tuscany. I would like to say that I have beautiful pictures to share from this first bus ride, but I unfortunately don’t have a single one! I was so exhausted after 11 hours of traveling that I ended up falling asleep on the bus and the few pictures I got at the beginning of the bus ride are so blurry you can barely tell what they are supposed to be haha ๐Ÿ˜€

When we finally reached the Accademia, we all found our rooms, got unpacked, and got ready to go into town. All of us were trying to fight the jet lag since we had to be up at 8 the next morning! So we were able to explore town for a little bit, go out for a drink at Arezzo’s best bar and meet some of the MFA (Masters) students. It was a great night and despite the fact that I was tired and jet lagged it was a great first experience.

For the rest of the week, we had an orientation for the program, got a tour of town from one of our program advisors (a few of my friends and I ended up getting separated from the group!), made our first trip to PAM, the local grocery store that we all came to love, and get introduced to the INCREDIBLE food cooked by our personal chefs in the program.

Then on the weekend, my twin sister, Kim, who was studying abroad in Florence, came to visit me in Arezzo! We went out into town. climbed up the clock tower in the main Piazza, ate gelato and pizza, and watched the beautiful sunsets on top of the teatrino, the small theater that is located on our campus which looks over the city. Here are some of the pictures that I took that first week:

My first picture of the villa where everyone in my program stayed throughout my time in Italy

My first picture of the villa where everyone in my program stayed throughout my time in Italy

The view from my room!

The view from my room!

The lovely view from the top of the Teatrino. You can see the Duomo (church) off in the distance!

The lovely view from the top of the Teatrino. You can see the Duomo (church) off in the distance!

The beautiful vineyards lining the road on our walk to the supermarket PAM

The beautiful vineyards lining the road on our walk to the supermarket PAM

My view from the top of the clock tower, overlooking the main Piazza in Arezzo

My view from the top of the clock tower, overlooking the main Piazza in Arezzo

The view from behind the Duomo. Looks out on all of Arezzo!

The view from behind the Duomo. Looks out on all of Arezzo!

My first piece of pizza in Italy! It WAS as good as everyone says it is!

My first piece of pizza in Italy! It WAS as good as everyone says it is!

Kim and I reunited in Arezzo!

Kim and I reunited in Arezzo!

One picture of the beautiful sunset. I swear there are no filters on any of my sunset pictures haha

One picture of the beautiful sunset. I swear there are no filters on any of my sunset pictures haha

Another picture of the sunset from the exact same day! I couldn't believe how beautiful the colors were and how quickly they changed from beautiful pinks, purples and blues to spectacular reds and oranges!

Another picture of the sunset from the exact same day! I couldn’t believe how beautiful the colors were and how quickly they changed from beautiful pinks, purples and blues to spectacular reds and oranges!

My first week was absolutely incredible. Looking back on it now makes me miss it so much, but I feel so blessed to have these wonderful experiences that I was able to share with wonderful people! Especially like a snowy day like it is for me today, it is nice to be able to reminisce.

I hope you all liked the pictures and hearing about my experiences abroad! Next I am going to be talking about and sharing some of my picture from the first trip I took: MILAN!!! Thank you for reading!

xoxo Kristen