From Italy with Love

Florence feels so tangible. It grabs your hand and pulls you back in time- walking you through vibrant visions of growth, change, strife, and beauty. The grandeur is apparent yet humble and welcoming. I really never want to leave this enchanting place.

Traveling by train throughout Europe has been incredible! Just when we thought we'd never find our way out of Nice (rail strikes are a common occurrence), a random professor lent his travel knowledge and helped us figure it out. After a 14 hour journey from the South of France, we have made it to beautiful Florence. The hostile we are staying in is amazing, and we made a great friend who is on a 4 month backpacking trip from Australia. She had the inside scoop on where to get the best gelato, so off we went. We made our best attempts at Italian since we were far away from tourist town.

And here it is- the best gelato you well ever set eyes on. They say you know it's good gelato if it's covered up rather than on display. You know the locals don't need to see it to know it's good, and it's more fresh that way. We loved it so much we took the 45 minutes walk there twice. 

Happy blogging!


Versailles and the Right Bank

Panoramic view of the first section of the Garden of Versailles

Ponte Des Arts "Love Lock Bridge"

Paris has no lack of excitement! We opted to explore the city by foot and metro, without purchasing any tour passes or guides. Armed with my trusty Knopf Map Guide of Paris, we were able to maneuver along the small spiraling side streets of neighborhoods, to the giant grandeur streets of the glamorous right bank. One of my favorite moments was getting off the metro at Louvre Rivoli, and first experiencing the area from underground. The giant glass pyramids located outside of the Louvre actually come to a point underground, and looking up at the prysm sky is a uniquely beautiful experience. 

It is memories like this which stick with me forever. Everyone walking briskly past me, clutching their Longchamp totes and messengers, neatly tucked under their arms, as their scarves fluttered in the wake of their journey. I remember standing there in awe, slightly disheveled in comparison, looking up at the sky from way down below in pure bliss.

"Had a moment where everything just clicked and made sense and I felt more in tune with myself and the world around me than ever before"

We got lost on the way to Versailles. I mean hours late for our tour lost. In the midst of it I remember thinking, this is not what Pinterest is alluding to with the term, "wanderlust". My version should likely be deemed, "wanderlost". The mapguide only covered Paris, and getting outside of the city was a bit intimidating. Eventually we figured out to take the RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche. The journey was short and worth the wait. We spent a few hours taking in the beauty that deserved days of discovery.

Paris is more than just the city of love. It's a city of wonder and room for the imagination to wander. While walking along the Siene, I recalled Hemingways writings, and the book stalls along the river which he often describes in his novels. I had the sense that nothing had changed between then and now. That I was touching the same bindings of the old books Hemingway touched. That the colors, sounds, and feelings he felt were mine now too. And that is something nobody can ever take away from me, that I'll cherish forever.

Happy blogging

PS: I highly recommend Random House LLC publishing company (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) for this  selection of mapguides. I have used several in the past, and not only are they aesthetically appealing, but also highly useful for efficient travel. Even for the not-so-savvy traveler!

My Knopf Guide of Paris and I in the Garden of Versailles 


Life In Paris

Exploring Montmartre


Montmartre Paris is one of the most charming areas of the Right Bank, and that is quite a statement considering all the splendor that is Paris, France. If you're traveling Paris and want a relaxing day of unique views I highly recommend the better part of a day here. The winding roads lead uphill towards Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, which stands magnificently atop the highest point in Paris. Something about this place seems peaceful, despite the many tourists and sales people shuffling around. Everyone seemed to have a lightness about them, and I floated in and out of the shops with ease. 

Maybe it was my constant focus upward toward the basilica, and outward toward the vista of Paris- but it felt spectacularly serene. After taking in the views and lounging on the monumental steps of the Basilica of Sacré Coeur, we wondered around and had crepes for a slight €7. Sitting on a secluded bench, we ate our lunch while shooing pigeons and watching locals fly by on their mopeds. We then found a lovely gem, Biscuiterie de Montmartre, which had freshly made macaroons that I believe to be as good as Pierre Hermé, though perhaps not as famous. 

All in all Montmartre was a lovely area that is perfect for a relaxing day of sightseeing, food-tasting, and general explorations.

Happy Traveling