The concept of Italy is so romantic. Everything is awash with shades of red (napoli sauce, vino rossa, Ferraris – that fiery Italian passion), and one can’t help but flirt with the expectation of a steamy love affair with a gorgeous Italian stallion thanks to the barrage of starry-eyed american movie narratives. Unrealistic flings aside, I will whole-heartedly give myself over to bottles of chianti and pasta al pomodore. And I refuse to engage in any self-talk about the effect of my extravagant consumption, because as seen in the inspiring american narrative of Eat Pray Love, one can simply buy bigger jeans. I intend to carry this attitude with me for the next two months in Italy, because I shall actually be living and breathing in the city of Firenze (for those uncultured folk, it’s Florence) and that’s a pretty exciting opportunity.
My introduction to Italian culture was set in Roma, which I suppose is natural for a first time traveller to this pizza-and-pasta-abundant land. My first impressions of Rome have been fabulous and filled with awe; how can one city house so many spectacular buildings and features? It was staggering how many imposing monuments would be waiting at every corner, with some dating back a couple thousand years. It clearly demonstrates how their history boasts plenty of wealth and pride, and as a history lover myself, I ate it all up.
We spent three days exploring the unmissable main sights, and often while it was cold and rainy. Fortunately I had my exceedingly bright Aldi jacket to protect me from the elements, but not from the stares of disapproving fashionable Romans.
My primary question and concern during my trip in Rome was: how did the artists manage to paint detailed images on ceilings? Surely there would have been some intense logistics (and possibly a few stiff necks) behind how these ceilings were created.
The architecture! The artwork! There’s evidence of unbelievable craftsmanship everywhere. Three days was sweet, but definitely not enough to completely appreciate the inexhaustible facets forming historic and contemporary Roma. This means that another visit to this remarkable city is on the agenda. x
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Next stop: The Greek Islands; a place I have always dreamed of travelling to since watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Mamma Mia! In Crete we explored the remarkable ruins of the palace of Knossos and trawled through the marketplace in Rethymno; in Santorini we drank cocktails while staring in awe at the endless mass of blue; and in Naxos we ate cheese and relaxed on the beach till our hearts were content. No matter where we went, the views were more spectacular than we expected and the people were always warm and welcoming.
We were fortunate to have experienced the hustle and bustle of Heraklion, as well as the tranquility of the resort town of Rethymno. We spent a lot of time visiting archeological sites, as well as attempting to get used to the fact that we were on holidays.
My partner Dan and I agree that this was our favourite part of the trip. When you glide towards Santorini on a ferry, the white buildings on the top of the cliffs appear as snow, and make the island look like a snow-capped mountain. EVERYONE raves about the beauty of Santorini, and I completely understand why. The pristine white buildings against the inviting blue ocean was a sight I couldn’t tear my eyes away from.
We didn’t realise how big this island is, or in fact how good the food is. We tried to explore as much as we could in the three days we were there, but we always ended up gravitating towards the beach.
This was our last stop. The Acropolis was one of the most magnificent monuments I have ever seen, and it was so exciting to be among these buildings that were erected thousands of years ago.
Dan and I felt as though we had spent a decent amount of time in each place, which was important because we were able to experience the culture of the islands alongside taking the opportunity to relax and unwind. And when you’re in the Greek Islands, the best thing to do is to find a spot on the beach and enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of the landscape with a cocktail in hand. And that’s exactly what we did for the duration of this leg of the trip, and we were never disappointed.
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Clearly there has been a lengthy unexplained absence, and the only excuse I have for that is, well, Europe (Europe, of all places!). I wish my excuse wasn’t as clichéd as Europe, but to be honest I thoroughly enjoyed being one of the countless Aussies spending the winter over by the beautiful beaches in the Aegean Sea, throwing back cocktails at the sunset and gorging myself on custard tarts. There are absolutely no regrets, and I feel as though it is my official duty to offload all of my gooey feelings of love and joy towards the wonders of Europe onto this blog. Please bear with me.
The first leg of our grand old adventure was little ol’ London, England. It was a far cry from the highly anticipated sun-kissed beaches and cocktails, as we were greeted with grey skies and an unpleasant smattering of rain. But no amount of petty rain could keep us from seeing as much as we could manage in the 24 hours spent in London.
After our far-too-brief stint in London, we headed outside the hustle and bustle and visited the quaint medieval village of Lavenham in Suffolk. Coming from a country of relatively modern buildings, this quiet village filled with crooked, timber houses was pretty exciting. Apparently some scenes from the final two Harry Potter movies were shot here! We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea in one of those medieval timber buildings, and it honestly felt like I had been transported back in time. It is remarkable how history can be preserved in this way, and that is something I really appreciated during my 4 days in England.
I would have loved to stay in England for longer to work out the mechanics of these higgledy piggledy houses, but my limited number of winter-suitable clothes had already been expended and we already had our flights booked for Crete, Greece. Plus, the cocktails were calling. So next stop, the Greek Islands!
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I was the quintessential wannabe princess in my early years when I would don my princess dresses, tulle skirts and tiaras whilst dancing to the dreamy tunes of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Never mind whether I was playing in my bedroom or walking up to the coffee shop with mum; a full skirt with the corresponding jewellery, bags, wands and glittering tiaras would always be in order. And apparently you can never take the princess out of the girl (minus the magic wand and tiara) as full tulle skirts and fabulous accessories are exactly what I want to be wearing nowadays too.
The tulle skirt has made a comeback since Autumn 2015 on the streets with fabulous results. The femininity of the skirt can be contrasted with leather to create a tough-girl look, matched with wool and knits to cater for winter, and worn with denim to downplay the formality of tulle to offer a day-appropriate outfit. No longer should it be aligned with tiaras and sparkling bodices, because the opportunities for versatility don’t solely resign it for wear at a royal ball. The tulle skirt, as of recently, has been unleashed.
I found a relatively inexpensive one at a chain store and thought ‘why not?’ It resurrected so many childhood memories. On a day out in the city I wore it with a simple black and white stripped sleeveless top, a vintage leather choker and a contemporary clutch bag my sister bought for me on her travels in Europe. Oh, and a new haircut I recently coerced myself into having.
With my newly-short hair, princess skirt and continued love for Disney musical scores, it almost feels like I haven’t grown up. But I suppose my previous career plans to become a princess and marry Aladdin have changed dramatically.
Shoes: Forever New
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About a month ago, I was in the Gold Coast and visited one of my favourite places on the coast for some afternoon tea: the visually stunning Palazzo Versace. The setting proved irresistible for photo-taking, especially with this white belted gilet I had recently purchased after christmas. I had my eye on this piece for a couple of months before I purchased it, but being the typical economically downcast student I forced myself to wait until it became half price. Poor student note: A good piece of advice is that everything will be on sale in due course, and if you don’t need it urgently then it is ALWAYS more satisfying to purchase it when the price tag is halved.
Being an exuberant fan of white clothing, I knew I needed this gilet despite not exactly knowing where I’d wear it. Its versatility allows you to wear it as a dress with a slip underneath (as seen below) or as a sleeveless summer jacket with the belt hanging loosely across your stomach or by your sides. Hence I justified buying it through all the ways I could wear it, and most importantly, by how refreshingly classy it makes me feel.
I wore it with light tan gladiator sandals, rose gold jewelry, a black Guess bag and I even threw in my Chloe sunglasses to make me feel as designer as the hotel.
Belted Gilet: Witchery
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I cannot say no to a playsuit, particularly if it’s white and lacy. So when I made a promise to myself that I would refrain from any sort of shopping on a recent trip to the Gold Coast, I did not imagine that I would crack on day 2. But once you start envisioning yourself in an ethereal white lace playsuit (complimented by a well anticipated tan) and furthermore justify it with the fact that you would not encounter anything like it in my hometown of Melbourne, you almost pity the helplessness in my situation. Surely we have all been in that situation, right?
Not certain how shopping could be managed after the hectic mayhem of Christmas, but somehow us shopaholics can always find a reason.
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There is something exciting about discovering an item of clothing that once belonged to someone else and reclaiming it for yourself to give it a second life. Because after all, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure right? How this Australian-designed Rebecca Valance lace dress came to be someone’s trash is beyond me, but I’m not complaining. This is one of the rare occurrences where you happen to stumble upon a unique and gorgeous item of clothing in an op shop that also manages to fit perfectly *applause all round*. And its soooo pretty.
It was my boyfriend’s birthday on Saturday and the weather was glorious, so naturally I decided on donning this silver number. I wore a matching silver bag from Nine West which was a recent christmas present from my beautiful grandparents, and white Forever New sandals to compliment the white slip I was wearing underneath the lace. We travelled down to St Andrew’s beach in Victoria and enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the sunshine, and most notably, savoured a delicious meal with family and friends.
Dress: Rebecca Vallance
Bag: Nine West
Shoes: Forever New
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