My Wine Professor Would Be Very Mad At Me. I Drank A Whole Bottle of Wine Tonight… By Myself. #sorrynotsorry

Gondala’s and Giggles.

This weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Venice, Italy! It was a lovely island that consisted of canals, bridges, water, canals… did I mention water? The water was beautiful however and reminded me of Sarasota. On Saturday we explored all over Venice including Saint Mark’s Basilica, Piazza San Marco, and the Grand Canal.

My highlight of the day was finding Alfredos Fresh Pasta To Go. It was a hole in the wall kind of restaurant but boy was the pasta fantastic. It was made to order and came in Chinese food containers which was hilarious. After lunch we had a walking tour of Saint Mark’s Basilica and the streets of Venice. The Cathedral was breathtaking with beautiful mosaics all over the ceilings. I really wanted to light a candle for my grandfather but we didn’t have enough time. The security has the timing down to a science once you enter the building. After the Cathedral we learned all about Venice. Scratch that last sentence because my friends and I learned nothing. We were so exhausted that all we could do was laugh hysterically about anything and everything. We were so loud that I honestly thought we were going to get kicked out of the tour. Although we didn’t learn much we had a fantastic time on our own. 

On Sunday we started bright and early by going to the Island of Murano. Murano was a beautiful island and the glass blowing demonstration we saw was magnificent. He made a glass horse for us in 2 minutes! After the demonstration my inner shopping addict came out and I bought some beautiful jewelry for myself and my family. At the end of the day we went back to Venice and went on a gondola ride. It was so much fun to go around Venice by boat. 

Venice was beautiful but I am definitely excited to be back home in Florence. There’s so many things to do but so little time!

Family Dinner. So far my favorite memory of this entire trip.

The girls went bright and early to the Market to pick up the feast while the boys picked up delicious wine. The market is a magical place of the freshest vegetables and tastiest meats. We settled on making a large salad, meat and cheese plate, fresh pasta, and meatballs. Of course I took over the meatballs as my grandma’s recipe is the best. (I’m not biased at all) We hosted 13 friends for Family Dinner. We sat and laughed for hours as we shared stories and memories. It made this place feel a little more like home. 

It’s safe to say Family Dinner is going to be a reoccurring event. 

I don’t photograph life as it is, but life as I would like it to be.

– Robert Doisneau

Finding My Way Around.

I’ve done it. I finally know my basic way around town. I never thought it could be possible because Florence is basically a giant maze. But with the help of my amazing memory a quick glance at a map will get me anywhere. The past couple of days as been a whirlwind of class, celebrating, friendship, and just plain fun. I have made this apartment my home last night by cooking my first meal! Chicken and pasta with balsamic vinegar and mozzarella. It was interesting learning how to order food at Eataly, a Whole Foods type of store, but I got the job done. I also felt like I was going to burn the place down using a gas oven but I survived that as well. This apartment is starting to feel like my home away from home! 

Another accomplishment is that I’ve finally figured out how to serve ice coffee. I’m not going to lie I have been struggling without Starbucks… my iced espresso has been delicious. The restaurants here are simply amazing. In the past three days I have eaten at: Eataly, Fantasia, and Mr. Pizza. Tonight I had amazing gelato at Gelateria, Santa Trinita. It is apparently famous and rightfully so! We also went out the past two nights to The Lion’s Fountain, Irish Pub and Red Garter. The things to do around Florence is endless and I cannot wait to explore every crack of this city. 

Ah are you wondering about class? Well I have been attending and I am already learning so much! Both classes, photography and wine, have great instructors who are very passionate at what they do. Photography is going to open up my eyes to a whole new world while wine is going to teach my about cultural and history. My favorite part about class is I get to end the day with three glasses of wine! At the end of Tuscany and It’s Wines (which is my last class of the day) we get to taste and examine three different types of wines. I already have new favorite wines and I’ve only had two classes! 

I’ve also been meeting amazing people and creating new friendships. Some that attend UF and some that do not! It’s amazing how quickly bonds can form. I know that this trip is going to be one with lots of stories to tell. 

Much Love, xoxo 

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My first showing is tomorrow in my photography class! I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. I’ve never had anyone (especially a professional) critique my work before. Florence is a beautiful city with so much life so it was very easy to find inspiration! 

This set of photos was suppose to be around Florence and was meant to show different Aperture’s. The aperture setting on a DSLR is basically a manual mode that allows you to set the depth in the picture. So as you see above some of my photos have the whole picture seen while some only have the focal point seen with the background blurred. 

This photography class is going to be the highlight of my trip. Didn’t expect that one? Of course I love this city, I love the culture and everything I’m learning but this photography course is teaching me so much more than I ever could have imagined. I’m also learning about myself! After a discussion in class yesterday about photographer’s and why you are inspired I had to write a paper reflecting that question. After much thought I have realized that I love life. I love creating memories and capturing these memories. My favorite kind of photography is portraits because I feel like they tell a story. With photography you can preserve life and to me that is the ultimate goal.

Til next time… Ciao!