Child of the forest

22 September 2015

Last weekend we went to the woods looking for the first signs of fall. Here and there some leaves are already turning and I simply can't wait for the new season to begin. Each year I patiently count down the days till it's time for autumnal activities like apple picking, pie baking and carving pumpkins for Halloween.

September also means a new year at college and new goals. I'm currently working on my thesis about the Belgian coffee market so that totally matches my fall mood. Besides that I only have 2 more subjects to pass this year so I'm really hoping that by next September I will finally be graduated and blogging about the new job I love!
Are you excited about fall?

Sweater: Primark - Shorts: F21 - Bag: UO

A day in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

15 September 2015

It's hard to find the words to describe how magical Riomaggiore was. The perfectly colored houses make it seem like an almost unreal place. Although it was a three hour trip from Florence I somehow managed to convince my boyfriend to trade in our last day of Tuscany for the Cinque Terre and it was so worth it!

 Riomaggiore is the most southern of the five villages (the Cinque Terre). Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are all connected by trail. The first thing I wanted to do when we arrived at the train station was head to the harbor and see the beautiful tower houses that are pictured on every Riomaggiore postcard you'll find. The view was stunning. I felt so lucky standing at the bottom of it all and realizing this must be the most beautiful place I'd ever seen! I was/am particularly obsessed with the bright red house standing out between the others, which as you'll see in older photos has recently been repainted.

After taking a million photos, we decided to grab a bite in the village center. The main street, Via Colombo, is full of food shops offering classic Italian snacks like focaccia and paninis but also local seafood specialties. Just like in the harbor, the buildings in the Via Colombo are wonderfully colorful.

Through a small tunnel we got back to the train station where, if you're interested, you can find the start of the Via dell'Amore, the famous walking path linking Riomaggiore to Manarola. It's a shame we didn't have enough time but I'd love to go back someday to do that and to visit the other four villages. Dreams, dreams, dreams!

This was the last bit of my Italian adventures so I hope you enjoyed it!
Have a lovely week!

1 & 2. The colorful tower houses in the harbor - 3 & 4. Wearing a F21 top, bow + rings, an UO skirt and a Primark bag - 5. Fish 'n' chips Riomaggiore style - 6, 7 & 8. Via Colombo, Riomaggiore's main street - 9. At the bottom of the harbor

Tuscany Travel Diary - Day 6: Lucca

10 September 2015

At first we decided to skip Lucca because it didn't speak to us as much as the other cities. But then we postponed going to Riomaggiore because of the bad weather and instead decided to pay Lucca a visit after all. And I'm glad we did. 

Lucca is a walled city full of pretty buildings and cute restaurants. It's touristic but not so much as Florence or Pisa. As I said, it's surrounded by thick walls which allow you to walk around the entire city. They're not that high though, so for a panoramic view it's better to climb one of the city's towers. We went up on the Torre Guinigi which you'll recognize by the trees growing on top of it. The view was amazing. A gathering of white and yellow houses all with the same typical orange rooftops.

From the tower you can also see the city's most beautiful piazza, the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. The square still has the shape of Lucca's former amphitheater and is filled with restaurants and market stalls. It's definitely one of the coziest places in the city. Other than that Lucca has a few pretty churches like San Michele in Foro and the Basilica di San Frediano. But we mostly enjoyed just strolling through the streets and soaking up the city's unique atmosphere, which for me Lucca is all about.

Now for my gelato tips! First we went to Momo, a small shop in Via della Fratta, only a few streets away from the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. Another gelateria to look out for is Gelati...amo for its yummy Kinder and cheesecake flavors. It's situated just behind the city walls if you're coming from the train station so you can't miss it.

Till the next and last stop: Riomaggiore! ❤

 1. The San Michele in Foro church - 2. The Piazza San Michele - 3 & 4. Wearing New Look pants, a Primark bag and a Threadsence top + hat - 5 & 8. In love with all the yellow buildings - 6 & 7. View of Piazza dell'Anfiteatro from the Torre Guinigi - 9. The cutest red vespa - 10. Piazza dell'Anfiteatro - 11. Pretty flowers in a park near the train station - 12. And the pink ones too! - 13. Gelato from Gelateria Momo and Gelati...amo

Tuscany Travel Diary - Day 5: San Gimignano

07 September 2015

Lots of towers, stormy weather and the best gelato ever. That pretty much sums up our visit to San Gimignano. Better known as the city of towers, San Gimignano is a medieval town in the hills of the Province of Siena. It's unique because San Gimignano still has 14 towers gracing its skyline, unlike most other cities in Tuscany where they have been destroyed by wars.

For anyone interested in getting to San Gimignano by public transport, it's fairly easy to get there from Florence as long as you know how. There's a bus station close to Santa Maria Novella where you can take a bus to Poggibonsi. There you can hop on a connecting bus to San Gimignano, which drops you off right in front of the city gates. It's about a two hour trip if I remember well - not that long plus you get to see wonderful landscapes on the way!

It was well worth it too. I was dazzled once we entered the city walls. The town was so authentic and seemed to be ripped right out of the pages of a historical novel. I was especially charmed by the Piazza della Cisterna, the town's most important square. It has a wishing well in the middle which somehow reminded be a bit of the fountain Belle sat on in Beauty & The Beast (I find Disney references in everything though).

On the same square you'll find people queueing at Gelateria Dondoli, which is known to have some of the best gelato in the world and has won many awards for it. So of course it couldn't miss from my 'must-try-gelaterias-list'. And there's no denying it, it was finger licking good. I tried the cinnamon flavor and my favorite was the raspberry-rosemary gelato. I'm normally more a chocolate-nutty type of gal, but this was really yum!

Anyway, gee I could fill an entire book with my love for gelato but let's move on. Our plan was to go up in one of the towers but then the weather decided otherwise. Before our trip, my neighbours had warned me that the two times they visited San Gimignano it had rained, and so it did this time. All of a sudden the blue sky turned grey and we could see lighting all around the town. For safety reasons, all towers were closed for visitors. It wasn't what we'd hoped for but the rain did somehow add to the medieval feeling and it's an experience we won't soon forget.

Hope you're still enjoying La Bella Italia! Up next is Lucca!

1 & 2. The many towers of San Gimignano - 3. Gelato from Gelateria Dondoli - 4. The well on the Piazza della Cisterna - 5. Stormy weather taking over the city - 6. A cute street a little outside the centre - 7. View from the city

Tuscany Travel Diary - Day 3: Siena

04 September 2015

Hey guys, sorry for the time gap between posts but August has been full of days at the library studying for my exams and I simply couldn't find the energy to sort through the enormous amount of photos we took. Here's a small selection of the beautiful day we spent in Siena. I very much looked forward to visiting this little town because I have great memories of running around on the Piazza del Campo with my class mates when I was a kid. I wanted to see if the shell-shaped piazza was as beautiful in reality as it had been in my mind (and it was!).

  After a short walk from the station, we arrived at Siena's grand city walls. Without any need for a map, the narrow streets led us straight to the city centre, the Piazza del Campo. From there we went to the Siena Cathedral, by the far the most impressive piece of architecture we've seen on our trip! The fun part was, there's now a behind the scenes tour which allows you to go up the higher floors of the cathedral. From the Museo dell'Opera we also got an amazing view over the city. It's very touristic but I think this tour is a must for anyone visiting Siena for the first time.

Afterwards we went for some gelato at La Vecchia Latteria, some of the best we had! You can find the little shop in a quiet street about 5 minutes from the cathedral. One last tip: don't forget to look at the view from the city before leaving its walls. Siena's historical center is situated quite high up the hills which gives you an amazing panorama over its countryside!

I'll try to get the rest of our trip online asap!
Happy September ❤❤❤

1. View over the Piazza del Campo and the Torre del Mangia - 2. Oh hi there! - 3. Refreshments on the Piazza del Campo - 4. Cute vespa - 5. Stairs to the crypt of the cathedral - 6. Taken during the cathedral tour  7. One of Siena's city walls - 8. View on the countryside from the city - 9. The Duomi di Siena & gelato from La Vecchia Latteria (Instagram)