Tuesday, 30 July 2013

24 hours in Milan

What is there to do in the high fashion capital that is Milan? Visit a bone church of course! Just a few minutes walk from the city’s famous Duomo (Cathedral) is a church with a tiny chapel in the back that’s packed full of bones. The church of San Bernardino alle Ossa is pretty unremarkable when compared to the rest of Italy's churches, but the bone chapel is what sets it apart.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

La dotta, la grassa, la rosso - Bologna

Ahhhh Bologna, the first place we have truly fallen in love with. We originally booked 3 nights but after being here a few hours we knew that wouldn't be enough. The hotel receptionist must have been annoyed with us - it seemed every time we saw him we were asking to stay longer!

Bologna has a catchphrase - La dotta, la grassa, la rosso which means the learned, the fat, the red. The learned is because Bologna has the oldest university in the Western world. The fat due to its delicious food - bolognese and lasagna were invented here (more on the food in a different post) and the red because it really is the red city.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


We were looking for a place to couchsurf in Florence. Couchsurfing is staying with a local for free check out https://www.couchsurfing.org Lorenzo saw our request and offered us a bed in Arcidosso which is about a 3 hour coach drive away. We thought why not? Lets give it a go & if we don't like it at least we tried it early on in our adventure. We also liked the idea of going somewhere no one has heard of (we found that this included almost all of the Italians we asked about the place)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Not Italy's largest leaning tower

Yeah, I know right! Pisa isn't even the biggest broken tower these guys have. Crazy!

I expected to hop off the train & see the tower straight away. This wasnt the case at all. It was a 30 minute walk through Pisa town.

Street Art

On our train journey from Rome to Florence I saw a really cool bit of street art. It was Homer Simpson eating his way through the wall. We were going too fast to be able to take a photo. So I searched the net & unfortunately cannot find the one I saw but I have found this other ace Simpson's stuff. 


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Firenze! parte due

My Favourite photo of Florence. Taken in a scooter's handlebar mirror.

We walked & talked & walked. Florence was full of amazing things to see. If Rome was on Cocaine then Florence was on Codeine. There was still a lot of tourists but there was more room to breath & the fact that we could walk from place to place made it feel much more personal.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Firenze part 1!

As you all know Florence started off on a bit of a low due to illness so we'll skip over that part.

The first thing to tell you about Florence is the house we stayed in. We found it on Airbnb.com which is a website where people let their house, flat, apartment etc out short term. Generally if there are more than 1 of you staying there you can find accommodation at the same cost as a hostel. We stayed in a 3 storey house, the family of 5 + a dog called Dexter lived on the ground floor and they let out 3 bedrooms on the top floor. The middle floor had an extra bathroom & a kitchen with an outdoor terrace. For 2 of the 4 nights we had the place to ourselves but the other 2 nights were fine - we barely saw the other guests.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

In the blue corner.......

Last night we saw something pretty shocking but also a bit funny when thinking about it now.

We were sat on the 10pm bus home waiting for it to set off. The driver's were changing over so the new driver was outside smoking (obviously, it is Italy!)

Russell saw all this kicking off (I didn't cos I'm a short arse). So in Russell's exact words - A 1 legged man in a wheelchair enters bus & asks (politely) a big fella in the disabled space to move but the big fella refuses. After some time the bus driver (outside the bus remember) intervenes & the big guy reluctantly moves. Man on crutches enters the octagon & a pushing grabbing match ensues. Within a split second a full fight breaks out between the big fella, the 1 legged man in a wheelchair & the guy on crutches.  Full panic breaks out with women & children screaming running from the bus. We make a safe exit & wait around for the next bus. 

Illness :(

We always knew we'd get ill at some point on this trip what we didn't know is that it would happen this quick, in Italy and be 100% our own fault. 
It all started in Rome, we were walking around for hours in 34 degree heat and we had bought a couple of bottles of water and drank them already. When we got to The Spanish Steps we saw a fountain like something out of a dream with people queueing up to fill their water bottles. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

When in Rome...

We have completed the first leg of our adventure. Rome was brilliant, beautiful, boisterious, buzzing & definitely busy! 
Where to start? The end seems appropriate.
Our last night was spent in a very diverse & rather central area of Rome near the Vittorio Emanuele. We thought this was kind of Rome's version of Leeds' Kirkstall Abbey :)
We revisited the Trevi Fountain at night to see it all lit up. Unfortunately the pigeon eating seagull wasnt there this time but never mind the lights looked pretty cool.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Il Convento dei Cappuccini, La Cripta

Underneath the Santa Maria della Immacolata Concezione dei Cappuccini church in Rome is this mind blowing crypt. It features the bones of more than 4,000 monks who died between 1528 and 1870.

It is said that an artist taking refuge from justice in the sanctuary of the friary adourned these chambers of death during his long period of attonement. Described as the work of a grotesque & hermit-like genius.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Buongiorno Principessa!

So we've arrived at Camping Village Roma. It seems really nice, we have a private tent with a lockable door & bunk beds. 

We went straight to the pool & sunbathed for a bit, had a swim & went in the jacuzzi. 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Packing List

So, a lot of people (girls) have been asking me what the hell I'm going to pack for a whole year abroad. My answer has always been - not much. I have finally decided what i am taking so thought I would post the list on here.