Saturday, May 30, 2009


Today I went to the Academia and I saw The David by Michelangelo. It was beautiful. I've posted some of my photos that I took... Hee hee, I was naughty... there were huge signs everywhere that said 'NO PICTURES.' Oh well, this was too good not to be sneaky!

Look at that perfect pair of buns!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Photo Shoot, Photo Shop, Boboli Gardens

Good Morning Everybody!

I know I haven't posted in a few days, but classes haven't really been that exciting that they would warrant a blog. But now that I've completed my first assignment for Digital Photography, I figured I'd post the final result on my blog.

Here is my first photo... I thought that this was a pretty cool and unique photo just because of the contrast in shoes. So I made it black and white and made the shoes the only thing in color.

I did the same affect with this photo because I thought that the ties would look awesome in color.

After classes on Thurdsay we had our cooking class... We made some of the most delicious food. Gnocchi and Pesto, Penne and vegetables in a white wine sauce, and Strawberry/Melon Sorbet. It was so delicious and fun!

Our group rolling the gnocchi... Yummy!

This is our group with our wonderful chef Roberto (Rockin' Ragin' Roberto as he liked to be called). This would be the picture during which he looked at me and said 'Wow You're a Fit Bitch.' Oh ya... Good times!

On Friday we decided to stay in Florence and do the Florence scene. It's really nice because now I don't feel like I'm going to miss out on anything that is right here in front of my eyes everyday.

So you rub this boar's nose for good luck and wishes to come back to Florence. Oh ya, I rubbed the nose!

This is a picture from the Boboli gardens, this is right at the entrance to the gardens. My pictures don't even do it justice. It was so beautiful. We spent two hours walking around in it and I loved every minute of it.

This was an awesome structure that led up to more gardens that were beautiful, and when we got up to the top there was the most beautiful view of the country side which you can see in the picture below!

Here is the coolest structure that I found in the garden.

This is my dream tree. It had so much life and beauty to it!
Here is another portion of the gardens... :)
Here is a view of Florence from the Boboli gardens.
Here were some of the beautiful flowers from the gardens.
Today we are going to see David! I'm so freaking excited! Hee hee hee! But as promised here is the sneaky picture from the Sistine Chapel! :) I'm going to try and sneak a picture of the David today! I'll post more later! Ciao!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I love pictures and I love wine

Today was a fun day! We actually started to learn how to work the manual portion of our camera. It was super cool! Bellow in the orange shorts is a picture of my teacher, Lorenzo. He's one of the most chill teachers I've ever met. We have an assignment to take 10ish pictures using the manual portion of the camera in the style of Elliot Erwitt. That basically means that we need to look for ironic, funny, and interesting scenarios to take pictures of.

Granted before I can take pictures like that... I must master the depth of field on my camera... Here is my first successful photo series.
In this picture you can see that both the plant and background are in focus... I had to achieve the second photo...
See here, the plant is in focus, but the background is not... woot! I figured it out... kind of... We'll see how my first photo shoot goes.
Todays wine class was super fun... We tried another 4 wines. One white, one light sparkeling red, and two other reds. On Thursday we're going on a surprise field trip... I wonder if it is to a family owned winery that April told me about! I'm so so so excited! Bellow is a picture of Lauren, Myself, and Darcy during our wine drinking class... Yummy!

So tonight we went out for Kebab's... fun fact... that's not what I was expecting to eat... I was thinking of Shish Kebab's... you know, meat and veggies on a stick... nope instead I got a gyro looking thing... It was pretty good, but not what I was expecting.

Well, that's enough for tonight... who knows, maybe I'll go out tonight... we'll see!

Monday, May 25, 2009

First Day Of Class... And I'm Tipsy

No cute pictures today y'all! (The y'all is comin' back because my roommate from LSU says it all the time!) Today was the first day of class for me and all I can say is that this will be the best 6 credits I've ever earned for college.
For those of you who don't know I'm taking Digital Photography and Wine Tasting: Wine and Cultures. So far, these classes KICK ass!
Photography is going to be so much fun. We have 8 assignments that will be critiqued, and then a final that shouldn't be too difficult. I'm really excited to start taking photos tomorrow. My teacher is so laid back, he really wants to emphasize the fact that each of us are unique and should find our own photography style.
My wine tasting class is amazing... I can't believe I'm getting 3 credits for it... I'd do it for no credit at all. Our class is structred by regions across Italy. Each day we will try 4-5 wines from a different Italian state and evaluate each wine. Today we were evaluating wines from the NW portion of Italy, in a state called Piedmont. The 4 wines we tried were: 2008 Gavi DOCG (White wine), 2006 Dolcetto di Alba DOC (Red wine), 2004 Borolo DOCG (Red wine), and a 2008 Asti Spumante (Sparkeling Dessert wine). These were SOOOOOO delicious (Gavi was my favorite).... they're like 45E a bottle wine... yummy yummy yummy!
Other then that today I went to the market with Lauren. I got a cartoon of strawberries for 1 Euro. They are so tastey... I love it! The market could be my new favorite thing... I am planning on going to the farmers market once I'm back in Manitowoc this summer.
Well, tomorrow is just class again... I'll try to update with my new wine selection tomorrow... Until then... Ciao!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Moon Set in Montepulciano and Siena

Ciao! After 7 days of traveling I decided to take today off and not travel to Pisa and Lucca. I think we may be doing that next weekend.

But now it's time for me to update about our crazy ass adventures that took place yesterday. Needless to say, I am now the Queen of the train system. After getting to the station about 7 minutes before our train was scheduled to leave, we had to buy our tickets (which was an adventure to figure out where and how to do that), board our train... try to figure out if it was even the correct train, and then chill for 2ish hours until we got the Chiusi train station. After that we thought that we had to take a different train to Montepulciano, but when I asked we found out that the train would only take us to the bottom of the hill and then it would be a 7km climb to the top. So we had to find bus to get us to Montepulciano (about 20km away)... well after over an hour on the hot, winding, curvy, constantly stopping bus, we got there.

So for those of us out there who are complete Twilight nerds, yesterday was a dream! (Not as good as meeting Rob Pattinson, but dang close). We got to see the set/staging area for one to the most critical scenes in New Moon. I'll try to explain the next few photos the best I can. For more though, check out my facebook page, I uploaded a whole album dedicated to this (Over 100 photos... yes I'm a dork).

This is a casting call for residents to be extras at the festival that takes place in the book.
This is a view of Montepulciano from the outside of the Inner city.
This is the entrance to the city where Alice will drive up in her Yellow Porsche with Bella.

This is a landscape view of Montepulciano.

Here are 2 of my roomates and I with beautiful Tuscany behind us.

Here is the center of the city, Il Palazzo Communale. This is where the festival will take place and be filmed.

Here is a close up of the clock in which Bella will notice that it is almost noon and rush to save Edward.
Here is the fountain that they built specifically for the movie set. This Palazzo doesn't normally have a fountain.

This is one of my favorite pictures... it's me in the 'Oh no Edward, don't do it, I'm alive' Bella poses.
I climbed the tower and took a few pictures from up above... the view was amazing.
After visiting Montepulciano, Jess, Ellis, and myself decided to hop a bus and go to Siena. Well needless to say, our experience was rather... interesting. We were on a bus of Italian teenagers. Wow... an hour and a half bus ride and I know that my sister will love Europe. The boys were rather cute (their mother still buy their underwear). But these were just some of the loudest and most rude teens I've ever seen. I don't know if I'm just too old and don't remember what it was like, but dear God, it seems as though they've gotten worse. Granted, I wouldn't change the experience for the world, it was really cool to experience that.
Once we arrived in Siena, we decided that we were too lazy to walk to the center of town, Piazza del Campo, so we took a Taxi. 8 Euro later... we were there.

This is the Piazza del Campo, and this is where the Siena Horse races are held every single year. It's a huge event and the crowds are crazy. It was absolutely beautiful, I could have stayed there for hours.

This is the Piazza from another angle and zoomed in a little.

My roommates and I bought matching little kid Siena shirts. We thought they were really cute. A little dorky, but fun! This was us waiting at the train station to get back home.

The train ride home was also an adventure. We got on the train, and one stop in, it stopped... for 30 minutes. We were punchy, tired, giggley, HOT, and just wanted to go home... so once we finally got back to Florence we were 30 minutes late.

All in all though, it was a grand adventure of a day. I loved every minute of it... but 7 days of traveling really took it out of me. Classes start tomorrow so things should slow down a little now. I'm really excited to see what I learn. :) I'll update when things get interesting again.

Until then, Ciao Bella e Bello!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm on a boat, I'm on a boat, Everybody look at me I was tourin' on a boat

Today was the day we went to Cinque Terre! Cinque (5) are the five beautiful cities along the Mediteranean sea. They are connected by sea ports, foot pathes, rail ways, and roads. The most common and scenic way to view these cities though is on the boat!

We started off our day today by taking a 2 hour bus tour to La Spenzia. This city is really only known for its ports to Cinque Terre and the naval military fleets that frequent the area. Today we heard them testing their canons.

After that we went to Portovenere. This was a beautiful city right on the coast. There I impulse bought this cute dress. :) I LOVE IT!
(Chelsea, Ellis, Me, Jessica, and Emma)

We boated past so many different cities and places that I'm just going to upload photos for you all to view. We stopped in the last and largest of the Cinque Terre cities and that was Monterosso. It is the most popular for tourists and has the best beaches.
This cross was built and is there as a reminder of the soldier lost at sea and while serving in the military.


While in Monterosso today we saw a lemon farm (so pretty) and stopped at this pub that was based on the 1990's in America. All of the sandwiches were named after bands, Sublime, Incubus, Cake, Linkin Park, etc. I had Cake, it was on Foccacia bread with ham, mozzerella, tomato, lettuce, mustard, and cocktail sauce. It was SOOOOOOOOO delicious! Plus there was a Rocky Horror Picture Show poster up in the pub which made me smile REALLY big!

Lovers lane or La Via Dell'Amore, is a beautiful footpath that connects Montarollo and Riomaggiore. It's a 0.5mile walk/hike. This actual footpath would take 5 hours to walk through all 5 cities, but only this portion is known as Lovers Lane. The pictures will show you why!

Interlocking hearts with past lovers locks placed on them, symbolize ever lasting love. This is the entrance to Lovers lane.

Here I am sitting on a seat of the famous symbol of lovers lane. Behind me and around me is a wall of locks that people have locked with their names on them.

It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I took over 200 photos again today and could have taken more! I used the telephoto lens I have and the pictures turned out so amazing!!!!

Well I should hopefully update again tomorrow. Our plans have changed and instead we are headed to Sienna and Montepulciano tomorrow, and then Pisa and Lucca on Sunday. So who knows, maybe I'll finally be able to get Gabbi the real sparkely present she wanted. Until Later, Ciao!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sassy Scoop Slappin' Florence


Yesterday (Wednesday) we drove 4 hours by bus to Florence. Our apartment is awesome. It's right on the San Lorenzo market (and the leather district). Every morning, (ha ha ha, the one that I've been here), I wake up and walk outside to see beautiful leather jackets (which 3 of my roommates just walked in from purchasing...). Plus we have this amazing deli next door, it's cheap and delicious!

Here is our living room

The view from our living room

My Bedroom (Jessica is sitting on her bed)

'My' Bathroom that is connected

Our Balcony

The view from our balcony

After moving in we had a delicious meal at the Hotel Bagolini which was phenomenal! There was spinach and cheese ravioli, chicken currey, mozzerella e pomodoro (moz and tomatos), cold rice pasta, mixed vegetables, and creme puffs covered in a liquid chocolate (it looked and tasted like BROWNIE batter!!!).

We then ventured to an Irish Pub (Old Stove Duomo) and I had one of the most delicious beers ever. Strongbow, it was an apple cider beer!

Today we did a scenic tour of Italy. We saw the oldest bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio. It is located in the jewelery district (in the 1500's it switched to housing jewelery rather then butcher shops because the Medici family wanted to see beauty when they walked from their palace across their private passage way to their offices in the city. This was the only bridge in Florence to survive WWII because Hitler had met with Mousilini once and walked across the bridge. He thought it was beautiful and loved the privacy, so when he took over Florence he ordered the German soldiers to destroy every bridge connecting Florence except that bridge).

On this bridge there is a gate that lovers will come to and lock a lock on to it with their names on them to symbolize that their love is true and will last. We also saw a huge statue of lips... I thought they were pretty awesome!

After seeing all of that we walked the streets and the Central market. It was awesome and I can't wait to go back and spend $$$$$money$$$$$! Other then that today was orientation... it was long and rather boring... and some how I am more confused about declaring my presence in this country then I was before. Oh well, I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I must get going though, we're off to buy some train tickets for this weekend! Our adventures are going to be splendid! I believe the plan is to go to Cinque Terre on friday (5 cities on the Mediteranean), Pisa and Lucca Saturday, and possibly Montepulciano/Sienna on Sunday (this is where New Moon (Twilight sequel) is being shot... on Friday of course, but I already have bookings to go to Cinque Terre then... Sad Day, hopefully they'll be there sunday still).

I'll try to post pictures as I get back to the apartment at night, but I may be really tired since I have to get up and do it again 3 days in a row... but it'll totally be worth it! Classes start Monday, and now that my schedule has been changed once again (I now have class from 12-7... icky!), I know what I'm doing... I hope!

I'll keep you all posted, I miss you guys! Ciao!