Italy 2016

“Occasionally she dreams of Italy. She dreams of cheese chops, persnickety fiats and very fine leather goods.”

I DID IT! I went to Italy!

As some of you may know my flat mate I lived with in Finland called Anna, she’s Italian. Before I left Finland we booked flights to see each other in our own countries. So it was my turn to visit Italia!

I visited Anna for only 1 week, but managed to visit lots of AMAZING places (let’s be honest, anywhere in Italy is beautiful!!) follow me and I’ll take you on my journey for a week.

First breakfast in Italy!!

Note: They only eat sweet for breakfast, such as..crossiants,buns,cakes etc. Oh and of course a coffee! I’m honestly not a coffee person but i LOVED it there! If you ever find yourself in Italy you have to try it! It’s 100X better than English coffee for sure. But of course I stayed with my English tea on the first day to secretly investigate how they make it!

Place visited: Ferarra City

I found an Italian!!
The buildings are SO beautiful!!
“English girl eating Italian ice cream- FAIL!!”

Of course when in Italy you NEED to try Gelato! I was a bit hungry here..So I will insert another photo further down.

Anna ate her ice cream fast and nicely, me on the other hand was slow and messy! I gave up when it starting dribbling on my hand and smudged all around my mouth..Italy 1-0 Manda.

English style VS Italian Style

Me, Anna and Laura (Anna’s sister)

In the evening we went for a nice walk. Anna lives in the countryside so everything you see was green. But the sunset never disappointed me!
If you know me, then you’ll know just HOW much I LOVE and ADORE the sunset. So every night it was amazing.

Place visited: VENEZIA!

Venice is beautiful, magical and breathtaking. When I was there all I kept saying was “WOW!” Because you see it all in movies and photos, but when you’re actually there it’s all surreal.

Venice was that dream you never want to wake from. Every corner you turn, you walk deeper into some real-life watercolor painting that a camera can never do justice. It’s like no place else I’ve ever been.
It’s literally a maze of canals and small streets, fantastic bridges, and colorful buildings.

Let’s face it, visiting Venice can be expensive – but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to truly enjoy the magical city. Falling into the tourists traps is quite easy, especially close to the main attractions like the Grand Canal. When I went I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, but I still managed to see everything I wanted.
How to get around? – Explore the real Venice… by foot. With no cars on the island, Venice is the perfect city to explore by foot! You’ll save money on water taxis and buses while getting a taste of the local life. And don’t worry if you get lost while visiting Venice, everyone does but it’s all part of the experience. There is so much walking to do, but it’s worth every step.

Gondola ride- I didn’t actually go on a Gondola because it’s quite expensive. I think it’s around €90 during the day and €150 at night. But next time I’m sure I will treat myself. But of course I did manage to take photos of them.

One of my favourite photos I took!

Beautiful right?

St.Marks square, Piazza San Marco.

This was one of my favourite attractions in Venice because it really is a breathtaking scene. Just standing there taking everything in felt amazing even watching other people enjoying it. The architecture in Italy is amazing anyway,but St.Marks square was so beautiful I was lost for words.

Food markets looked delicious!

There were so many beautiful bridges we had to cross!

Anna took me to this really cool drink shop called Frulala where they make everything fresh. Whether you wanted a fruit smoothie, cocktails, milkshakes or even just yogurt. It was phenomenal! I had the Solare- Mango, Pineapple, Lemon and Mint. It was only €3, so not too expensive…for venice. I highly recommend you visit Frulala!


Me, Anna, Fabio & Leonardo

We felt peckish so we decided to have some lunch at “The Old Wild West”. The scenery around us was simply beautiful! (I ended up having a chicken burger and fries which was REAL good)

OBVIOUSLY Hard Rock Cafe is a must!!

My aim: Visit Hard Rock Cafe in each country/city I go and buy a souvenir from it.

Here are some of my favourite photos that I took that day:

Typical photo…

This architecture is beautiful!!

I love the Vibrant colours!!!

Overall Venice is a very beautiful place to visit, I would defiantly go back next time. Out of all the places I visited throughout the whole week, Venice was my favourite city!!

Next place: Lake Garda, Sirmione.

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake, found in the north of Italy a couple of hours drive east of Milan.

Had some lunch with my new friends!
This was my favourite scenery of the day!!

For me, Scaliger Castle is the highlight of Sirmione. It sits grandly in the centre of town, is gorgeously medieval, is surrounded by water and you can clamber to the top for excellent views. Pretty much everything I want in a castle to be honest.( But there is a charge to go up the castle)

The best Gelato ever!

Freshly made Gelato..what more could you want?

Hot Pond!!

We were walking past a group of people putting their hands in this part of the water. Then suddenly we saw the steam…it was heated!! Would be amazing to go for a dip.

Be as happy as me with my Gelato! 🙂

Next place: Verona!

Arena Di Verona

City of love, shopping and food!!

Verona is located in Northern Italy, where Romeo and Juliet fell in love, it’s one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. I fell in love with this city for many reasons…

Vibrant streets!!

Shopping in Verona

All of downtown Verona is very walkable and you can stroll the streets day and night. There’s no need to spend extra money on the hop on – hop off bus in this city. Starting from Piazza Brà, you’ll find the best shopping on Via Mazzini, which connects Piazza Brà and Piazza delle Erbe. This is where the shopping magic happens–stores line the road and each window offers a new treat, from all the major Italian fashion brands to all the latest fashion in clothes, shoes and accessories. I was there to window shop, even that was a privilege.


Then we went and visited Juliet and the famous wall! I got excited about this, I’ve seen it on the movies but now real life!!

Little story: As you might already know by now, I worked in Finland for 5 months with The Erasmus Plus Programme. Well, two of my friends also took part of the programme,but they were in Italy. They visited Verona and wrote “Erasmus + 2015” on the wall. I was determined I would find it, but Anna said it would be impossible. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!! I was so happy when I found it!

I touched the famous BOOB!!!

The famous balcony where, at night, Romeo and Juliet declare their love for each other. It was a moment I stood, took it in and smiled. But of course, there is also the film “Letters to Juliet” that was based in this same place and it felt surreal.
Then we went for a walk to another attraction called Castelvecchio Bridge. I’ve realised that everywhere I have visited in Italy so far has some sort of castle, but it’s beautiful!

There’s a lot of locks around Verona!

First time trying a cococnut was a sucess! This was only €3!
SO many macroons and cakes . I WANT THEM ALL!!
I love the design onall these buildings!!

My final evening in Italy..

I’m a sucker for sunsets.

Anna started slowing down..then said “I know you’re going to take a photo” it was beautiful! Nothing beats a good sunset!!

Of course, I know what you’re thinking…Manda, you’re in Italy and you haven’t had pizza yet? I KNOW TELL ME ABOUT IT! But Anna left the best until last.

I visited my first Pizzeria!!

You could personalise your own pizza. So I had ham, mushroom and cheese. The cheese wasn’t the normal ‘Mozzarella’ it was a specific cheese called “Mozzarella di Bufula”. It was SO good, but very very stringy! It was quite embarrassing, 10 minutes later I was still there trying to eat the cheese. If you want to know something about me, know that my love for pizza is VERY HIGH!!!!

Home time..

This is my favourite part about flying, the views are stunning! I always pretend that I’m in a movie out of the window listening to my music (how sad). First time that I have experienced flying over mountains and I couldn’t get enough of them! Simply Devine.

What a week!

Overall It was the best week, met some great people, ate amazing food, seen some beautiful attractions and experienced the Italian culture. I was only there for one week and managed to pick up some of the language which was fun, but still needed Anna as the translator.

I can’t wait to go back again to visit. Next time, I will be travelling to the south of Italy i.e visiting Florence, Rome etc. But I am so happy to say that I’ve been to Venice and Verona!

Thank you for taking your time to read about my time in Italy! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did experiencing it.

Until my next adventure,

Manda 🙂


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