Tag Archives: wanderlust

Italy Part 2: When In Rome

Hotel

We stayed at the Hotel Bernini Bristol, a 5-star hotel (very affordable!) in a central location close to popular site-seeing spots like the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. The view from our hotel window was spectacular. It looked out on to this center and fountain.

The hotel décor was so gorgeous we had to do an impromptu photoshoot right in the hotel lobby.

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Where to eat

Guida ballerino!

Guida ballerino! is a Michelin-star restaurant on the rooftop of Hotel Bernini. It’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at. Definitely try the Squid Ink Tempura Scallops in coconut cream sauce and the lemon dessert with pastries.

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Ginger

Ginger serves super healthy foods and everything is made fresh with organic ingredients. Definitely try the meat plate. So. Freaking. Good.

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Ladurée

Who doesn’t love macarons?

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L’ Archetto

L’ Archetto is tucked away on a quiet street a few blocks away from the Trevi Fountain. I knew it was a legit Italian restaurant because nothing on the menu was in English. I ordered a seafood pasta and my friend ordered a pizza with prosciutto.

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What to do

Trevi Fountain

Legend says that if you have your back to the fountain and throw a coin over your left shoulder, you will return to Rome.  Another legend says that if a couple drinks from the “fountain of lovers” (to the left of the Trevi Fountain) they will be faithful to each other forever.

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Spanish Steps

Unfortunately it was closed for renovations, but it’s still gorgeous! It’s also close to a shopping area where I was able to stock up on authentic Italian pasta and truffle oil.

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Vatican Museum

I suggest you buy the tickets ahead of time online so you aren’t waiting in the long ass line. Yes, it’s that long of a line!

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Okay, so you’re not supposed to take pics of the Sistine Chapel but I just had to sneak a photo. 🙂
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My absolute favorite photo that I took in Italy. This is the exit staircase in the Vatican.

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Drink from the water fountain

Now, I would never drink from any water fountain back in the US. We saw a Roman drink from the fountain so we decided to try it ourselves. When in Rome, right? The water fountains all over Rome are safe to drink from and surprisingly very tasty. The water comes from the mountains outside of the city.

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Miscellaneous pics of Rome

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I had such a great time in Italy, but I was a little sad that I didn’t get to the see the Colosseum or the Pantheon. We were in Rome for such a short amount of time and couldn’t fit everything into our schedule. I did make my wish at the Trevi Fountain, so hopefully the legend is true and I’ll be able return to Rome some day.

See previous post Italy Part 1: Milan.

Italy: Part 1 – Milan

For someone who loves to travel and travels often, I had the biggest fear of flying overseas. There was just something about flying over water for an extended period of time that scared the shit out of me.  A couple months ago, I decided to suck it up and bought tickets to Italy with my best friend. It was an eight hour flight, non-stop, on Emirates Airlines. The seats were bigger, there was more leg room, and the food was pretty good. There was a bigger and better selection of entertainment, compared to domestic flights, to keep me busy. It was not as bad as I imagined it to be and totally got over my fear. Hello, world!

My friend and I only had four days in Italy, but we made the most of our time there. The food was incredible and the Italians were so sweet to us. Everyone spoke English, so it was easy to navigate around. There were so many well dressed men and women! I mean – it makes sense – Milan is the fashion capital.

Climbing the steps of the Duomo di Milano was probably one of the highlights of Milan. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine at a restaurant on the top floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II overlooking the Duomo. The Galleria is one of the oldest malls in the world. And, of course we had to try real Italian pasta and gelato.

Nobu is a well known Japanese restaurant with locations all around the U.S. and the world. My friend and I thought we’d be bougie and take it up a notch by eating at the Nobu in Milan. It’s located within the Emporio Armani Store. We chose the prix fixe menu; the sea bass sashimi was my favorite.

Before leaving to Rome, we had to try authentic Milanese food. I found this small mom and pop restaurant down an alley near the Expo. My friend ordered Milanese risotto with saffron and I ordered the grilled sea bass. The risotto was such a comfort food dish. The sea bass was so light and refreshing. It was such a simple recipe – just olive oil, lemon and herbs.

 

Stay tuned for Italy: Part 2 – Rome!

What Makes The Perfect Travel Buddy?

We asked a few road-trippers and travel gurus whose had the experience of traveling with a plus one. You think your best friend or the friend’s friend’s friend that you met on Facebook may be qualified? Think again. While there is no guarantee that you’ll have the most epic trip, here are top 7 things to think about that will make sure you have the best possible time:

1. Pretty obvious, but first and most important, make sure you and the person get along. Depending on how long you two will be traveling together make sure you’re comfortable being silent together as well. You can’t talk the whole time and I’m sure you will both want some alone time.

2. You both have the same goals for the trip. If one person wants to see museums and one wants to pull all-nighters partying,  your vacation will not be the best experience it can be.

3. Find someone who has the same travel style as you do. Are you the type who maps out all the famous landmarks and doesn’t want to deviate from the schedule at all. Or are you the one who does who not have a schedule at all and will go where the adventure takes you?

4. Have the same budget or at least an idea of how much you’re going to want to spend. Nothing ruins a trip more than not being able to do something because your buddy doesn’t have the funds.

5. Have the similar interests. What type of food do you want to eat? Are you sure your buddy wants the same? How about staying at a hostel while your partner wants to stay at the hotel? While you don’t need all the same exact interest, make sure you’ll both be fine with compromising if the need arises.

6. Have offsetting strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you can’t tell your left from your right but your partner has a great sense of direction. Maybe you’re great with what to see, while your partner has no clue. Nothing enriches a trip more than experiencing something you otherwise might not have, or having someone there to know what to do when you’re clueless.

7. Make sure you both can travel for the same length of time. If you don’t have the same amount of travel time set aside for the trip, make sure you have plans in place to part ways.

If you and your travel buddy have everything covered on this list, you’re on your way to a memorable and enjoyable adventure. Bon voyage!

Image Courtesy: Canva

Vlog Snippet – Maryland

I’ve been traveling so much this past year! As soon as I got home from one trip, I was packing for another. I’m always on the go, but I love it! A few months ago, I went to Maryland to visit my best friend. Here’s a snippet of my time there. I’ll have the full vlog up soon, promise!

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Miami

Yes, I am always in Miami. After all, it is my second home. I love museums and I am obsessed with flowers, so what better place to combine the two than at the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens?

In 1912, the mansion was built by a retired millionaire, James Deering. He also had a love for traveling and named his estate after Vizcaino, the Spanish merchant who explored the Americas in the early 1600s. (That was a little history lesson for ya’ll!)

Photographs are not allowed inside the mansion, but believe me it is GORGEOUS inside and throughout the whole estate. And the garden is so romantic and magical. If you’re ever thinking of proposing to your significant other, this would be the perfect setting. You’re welcome!