Eat well Travel often.

A well traveled American Girl

Gnocchi cooking class, gotta love Italy !

I had the best steak of my entire life the other night at Acqua al 2.  This is no exaggeration.  Knowing the restaurant is famous for both the balsamic fillet and the blubbery fillet, I couldn’t choose which one to try!  Therefore, I decided to be surprised and order the steak sampler, which is a choosing of two fillets and one tailgate by the chef.  I was lucky enough to try both the balsamic and blueberry fillets and a tagliata with rosemary, spinach and tomato.  Incredible.  Then we finished with a dessert sampler of tiramisu, cheesecake, chocolate cake, and an almond cake.  Definitely going back!

Paris ~ What a city.  Full of famous monuments, gardens and signature pastries, how could anyone not love Paris?  Although I had to buy a lot of metro passes, it was worth seeing the Eiffel Tower (both day and night), the Love Lock Bridge, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, and so much more.  Of course I tried the quiche, crepes, pain au chocolat, and eclairs - all delicious.  A great city to end my spring break!

Amsterdam ~ another fabulous city with many canals (reminded me of Venice) and coffee shops.  I went to the Heineken Museum to see how they make beer and got 3 free beers on the tour!  By night I walked through the Red Light District, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that prostitution occurs all day and night on this street in Amsterdam.  When walking around make sure you stay out of the bike lane, because locals will not stop for you on their bike!!!  I didn’t try any Dutch food (because begin in Italy for a semester I always eat pasta and pizza) but rather ate burgers, wraps, sandwiches and asian food in Amsterdam.  Maybe next time…

Berlin ~ I always pictured Germany as very modern, and Berlin proved my assumptions to be right.  Everything in the city was reconstructed, except a couple of buildings.  The East Side Gallery was unique to see in Berlin, with a lot of talent displayed on a very very long wall.  A lot of beer, sausage and pretzels.  Even got to pour my own beer at a restaurant with the best burgers and table taps!

Prague ~ such a pleasant surprise to spend a couple days in this gorgeous city.  Not knowing much about the city, I couldn’t have had  a better time going to the “Beer Museum” (which was instead a restaurant and great place to test their 30 different beers on tap), the John Lennon wall, the Clock Tower Pub Crawl, and of course trying Prague’s famous hot dog/sausage from the street vendors.  If you love to drink beer go to Prague, where a beer is equivalent to around $1.

What a hectic month March was.  Between celebrating my birthday, midterms and spring break I saw the days go before my eyes.  Nonetheless, I am happy to say I got to find downtime and spent sunny days by the river in Florence so early in the Spring.  I also  traveled to Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris!  I can’t believe how fast time flies and I now only have five weeks left abroad in Florence.

xoxo Francesca

This morning I decided to adventure up the Giotto Bell Tower.  After climbing through the narrow stairwells up 414 steps, I made it to the top to see amazing views of the city of Florence!

Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Repubblica

Even though I love Italian food, I do miss my American breakfast.  Luckily there’s Mamas Bakery, owned by an Italian woman and her American husband.  They offer bagels, english muffins, breakfast & lunch sandwiches, cupcakes, brownies, and more.  The homemade blueberry cream cheese was incredible.  Definitely a place to escape when I want a little piece of home.

xoxo Francesca

Ladurée [home of the famous macaroons] ~ what an amazing way to start the day!  Sometimes it’s better to find something when you least expect it to make the moment that much better.  Even though Florence is a small city, I discover something new and wonderful everyday. 

Carnevale di Venezia ~ I was thrown into the chaos of the famous carnival where everyone dresses up and celebrates all day and night.  At sunset, we arrived back from Burano just in time to get to St. Marks Square.  The many churches and waterfront buildings of Venice possess such beautiful detail and elegance.  I thought I was in a fairytale.  Walking through the narrow streets that bring you to breathtaking views of the canals with the cliche Italian gondoliers signing into the night was a beautiful end to a wonderful day.

xoxo Francesca

Gucci Museo ~ a great place to lounge, drink coffee or do homework.  This caffe is a part of the Gucci Museum that I cannot wait to check out.  

Burano, Italy 

PINOS ~ one of the best sandwich shops that I have been to!  Every and any type of sandwich is 3,50 euros.  My favorite was the “Fantasy” where you choose five toppings of your own choice [truffle sauce was definitely on it]  & the bread is to die for.  It’s hard not to go everyday…..