written while listening to: Lizzie McGuire Movie Soundtrack
Okay, let me start by saying this: I’m not really a travel blogger, exactly. But I just got home and caught my breath from being in Italy for 16 days, and I can’t just NOT tell you guys about it. I mean, really, not only did I learn so much, but my Instagram feed REALLY benefitted from the trip. Here’s the start of my tell-all about my time in Italy. If I left something out, let me know— this is going to have to be a series.
A little background:
My grandparents scheduled this trip through their local college, Nicholls State University. We went on this trip with about 50 other people, which was a really unique experience. I learned so much, saw so many iconic sights, met a ton of people, but didn’t have to plan any details of the trip. We still got free time alone to explore and shop, but the major thing was how we didn't have to wait in line for big tourist spots-- AND I wasn't as afraid of getting lost.
How I Packed:
Italy is FULL of walking, and I was warned beforehand, so the first thing on my list was to pack comfortable shoes. I packed a few pair that I knew I could walk for miles in, and I actually planned my outfits around those when I packed. I brought a pair of Adidas, like these. I brought Tevas - mine are here- and I brought an old broken-in pair of Ugg sandals that were a little dressier than the Tevas. Mine are about as old as time, so I found some similar ones and linked them here. I brought one pair of heels, and I kind of wish that I wouldn’t have wasted the space. The places we visited had a real laid back vibe, and I could’ve have really worn flat/ platform shoes the whole time; I wore the heels once to the final dinner (I wasn’t going to let heels go to waste obviously).
I made sure to pack light, airy and modest. There are so many churches around Italy, and we peeped our heads inside more of them than what I listed down below. BUT note that some churches won’t let you in unless your knees and shoulders are covered. I made sure to pack light covers, like these sweaters from UO ( I'm obsessed and have this in three colors), and dresses and skirts were easy picks for most of the trip. I was really conscious to make sure that everything I packed could mix and match together, so that if I picked a favorite few pieces from the trip, I could continue to wear them without being an outfit repeater for 2 weeks. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures.
Part I: ROME
We stayed at Hotel Helvezia, and I’ll be honest, the first few days were BRUTAL on the feet and back. We hopped directly off the plane and went into tour mode in Villa d’Este. We hit Rome the first three days, and swung back around at the end our trip to spend the last day in Rome, as well. In those days, we hit these main spots:
Piazza Navona (more on this later)
The Vatican City Museum
St. Peter’s Basilica *climb to the top, it's worth it*
Piazza Navona is one of my happy places— I grabbed a white wine on the corner while a string trio played Frank Sinatra. Also, there was bruschetta. Seriously, bruschetta is my new favorite food— it's toast with olive oil and various light toppings, depending on the restaurant. It was so light, especially when the day was FULL of walking. Please note, friends, this is the first time in my life that I’ve been so overwhelmed with contentment that I caught little tears in my eyes. 10/10 would recommend Piazza Navona. Also Sant’Ignazio is one of the most stunning churches— not to sound like a nerd, but they use some artistic perspective and it’s amazing— peep the photos.
P.S. - I brought a fanny pack because that allowed me to be just that much more handsfree. There is a lot of walking involved, so I made sure to pack as lightly as possible, which I was so thankful for.
Stay Tuned: Next Recap is SOON.