Monday, September 24, 2012

{weekend adventure: milan}

{Il Duomo}

{galleria vittorio emanuel, home to some of milan's most expensive stores}

{Leonardo da Vinci statue}

                 {canals of porta genova}

{our only glimpse of fashion week}

this weekend in italia, we chose to travel to the fashion & finance capital of europe, milan! while our trip was originally inspired by a desire to go to the city during fashion week, it ended up being more focused on seeing the sights. after taking a two hour train ride, we arrived in the heart of the bustling and crowded city. it was extremely different from torino, from the size of the city to the mass of people around every turn. we embraced the city as best we could, and set off to see what it had to offer.
our first stop off the metro was il Duomo, which is milan's most prominent attraction. the cathedral was absoutely gorgeous, laden with reliefs and statues across its entire face. it was a perfect example of pristine gothic architecture.

after spending time in awe of the Duomo, we stumbled upon the Sforza Castle. built in the 1600s, it now houses over 5 museums including ancient egyptian exhibits as well as renaissance sculpture. the most prestigious piece in their largest museum was Rondanini Pieta, which was Michelangelo's last unfinished work. 
{egyptian exhibit}

{the sculpture on the far right is Rondanini Pieta}

{one of the many adorned ceilings in the museum}

 in my quest to be italian and look appropriate for the capital of fashion, i chose to wear a new pair of wedges. now, in retrospect, this will never EVER be happening again. by the end of our 12 hour day, my ankles had given out on me three times. cobblestone streets and tired feet are not a good match.... but, in the spirit of fashion, i embraced the old adage "beauty knows no pain" and managed to make it home still wearing my wedges.

next weekend, elliot & i are off to the beautiful italian riveria to see portofino, santa margherita ligure, and cinque terre!
however, a storm has just moved into our northern region, and it looks like it will be raining all of this week. fingers crossed that it lightens up for the weekend.. otherwise, we might be bundling up for the riviera!
until next time lovelies, enjoy your week!


Friday, September 21, 2012





hello lovlies. another week has gone by already in this crazy place! barcelona & paris have been booked, and classes are moving at full speed. 
and,  as of this morning, i have a new found love: italian vineyards. elliot & i went to the small town of castagnito outside of torino on a group tour to see an authentic family winery. 

oh. my. goodness. the drive in was breathtaking. within moments of leaving the crowded city, torino's landscape complete changed to rolling, grassy hills laden with small rustic villages. i have never witnessed anything so quaint or gorgeous. i didn't even know such areas existed outside of films!

the Fratelli Massuco winery was our morning's destination. this family-run winery has been in operation since the 1700s, and generations of the Massuco family work together to manually create the entire process.

after touring the vineyards (as well as picking & trying as many grapes as we pleased), we explored the winery itself. we were able to try a dolcetto wine at each step of the process. it was incredible getting to see each part of their delicate stages, from the fermenting vats to the bottling room. 

a delicious four course lunch followed soon after seeing the cellar, and then we were able to purchase their prize-winning vino rosso for only 7 euros.
 i am in love with this place.

tomorrow morning, we are off on another adventure to Milan for fashion week. i can't believe this is my life. love it!


Friday, September 14, 2012

{piazzas & pasta from piemonte}

{breakfast from a local caffe}

{view from our balcony. you can see the alps!}

{medieval castle that we found in the park}

{one of our finds that we stumbled upon on our walk home wednesday}

{evening gelato stroll}

hello lovelies. it has been just another delightful week over here in the charming piemont region. we have started our first full week of classes, began booking weekend trips, and have become regular attenders at the nightly apertivo. {for those that don't know, apertivo is a tradition that started in Torino. all of the cafes charge a set price between 6-10 euros for one drink of choice and an endless buffet. fresh italian food and a beverage? they'll be seeing me every night! }
{favorite apertivo so far in piazza vittorio}

seems like fall weather may finally be starting to come to our city. you can almost smell autumn in the air. the trees lining the parco di valentino a few blocks away are already starting to drop some of their leaves with each breeze. now if only i could find some pumpkins, and  then it would really feel like fall...

to celebrate finishing the first week of classes, elliot and i decided to cook ourselves an italian dinner. we grabbed some fresh tomatoes at the morning open market down the street and bought a fresh baguette after class. we enjoyed each other's company over some bruschetta, pasta with homemade pomodoro sauce, and some wine. needless to say, i am starting to feel incredibly italian.. i don't know what it is, but putting fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on a slice of bread and calling it a meal just makes me happy.
tomorrow morning, we are catching a train to a near-by town called asti. about 45 minutes outside of the city, asti is located in pristine piemont wine country. fortunately for us, there just happens to be a wine festival happening tomorrow as well! it should be fun to slow down and see a part of italy that is completely different than the bustling city life we are getting accustomed to.

hope your september has been going well so far. can't wait to share our wine country adventure.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

{torino: week 1}

buona sera raggaze!
my, my has this week been a crazy one! elliot and i are all settled in to our new apartment near midtown in torino. we are steps away from the gelato shops, cafes, and my new favorite place, eataly (italy's version of whole foods).

as i have learned very quickly this week, living in a new country (especially a non english speaking one) is very tough. having taken two semesters of italian and forgotten a great deal of it, i get very frustrated being unable to communicate well. however, being enrolled in an intensive language class should help!

this week has been filled to the brim with classes, orientations, and tours. today has been the first "restful" day since we arrived. so, elliot and i decided to set off and do some exploring on our own. after taking a metro ride downtown, we stopped for a morning cappuccino and then headed to the quadrilatero romano. this is the roman area of torino with crumbling ancient roman wall ruins. in this part of town, you will find the largest open market in all of europe.

there were literally hundreds of vendors, selling everything including produce, meats, cheeses, clothing, fabric, household supplies, and wines. not only is there a huge selection, but the prices are incredible. i got a kilo of fresh tomatoes (which is about 2 pounds) for only 1 euro!
we purchased basil, fresh bread, and some garlic, and then made our way to our local supermarket on the way home. we picked up some pasta and red wine, and we are about to make our first homemade italian dinner. buon appetito!

hope your saturday is going lovely as well.