Monday, September 26, 2016

A Newer Kat in SICILY and FLORENCE

 Outfit 1 Sicily: Similar Floppy Hat here // OTS Top //
Similar Skirt here // Similar Ballet Flats here and here //





It's been a busy last few weeks to say the least! Last weekend, I flew from Milan to Catania, Sicily, and stayed in Catania for three days. This past weekend, I took the train to Florence for a day trip. I'm including all of my travel details of both trips below!

Catania, Sicily: 

Where I Stayed: Best Western Mediterraneo Hotel

What I Did: 
  • Tour of Catania-not the nicest city, but still cool to hear the history of the city) 
  • Visited the Local Fish Market in Catania-DEFINITELY A MUST SEE!
  • Relaxed on the beach in Giardini di Naxos
  • Tour of Taormina, a small, quaint town overlooking Giardini di Naxos
  • Hiked Mt. Etna-absolutely gorgeous views, but not for those who are afraid of heights 
Where I ate: I was very sick during this trip so I didn't get to eat that much. However, I would recommend trying the local food such as pistachio butter, almond liqueur, and arancini di roso.

What To Be Prepared For: 
  • Be careful visiting some parts of Catania as there are areas that are not safe, especially at night
  • Pack proper hiking shoes and warm clothing if you plan on visiting/hiking Mt. Etna 

Florence, Italy: 

What I Did: 
  • Tour of the city
  • Visited the Galleria dell'Accademia to see Michelangelo's David
  • Visited the San Lorenzo Leather Market 
  • Purchased an authentic, made in Italy leather jacket from Matier (an authentic shop, not the market) 
What I Ate: I enjoyed a cappuccino at a local cafe for breakfast and pizza for lunch (you really can't go wrong with coffee/pizza anywhere you travel in Italy). For dinner, I went to a restaurant called Golden View Firenze. It was right on the canal and was absolutely gorgeous...reasonably priced too!

What To Be Prepared For: 
  • Wear good walking shoes if you opt for the walking tour 
  • Be weary of the "leather" in the leather market as some of it is fake/not the best quality 

Overall, both of these trips were amazing!! Sorry for the SUPER long post, but thanks for reading!! XOXO 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vogue Fashion's Night Out-Milan


WOW. One word to describe this week. Wow....wow....wow. When I signed up to study abroad in this beautiful city, I only dreamt of what Milan Fashion Week would be like. Let me tell you, this week exceeded all of my expectations beyond belief. I am so eager to share so many things about the week, but I wanted to dedicate this post solely to Vogue Fashion's Night Out

What is Vogue Fashion's Night Out? This event is a one-night event that occurs in Milan every year to kick off the start of Fashion Week. Boutiques and stores across the city stay open late and offer free cocktails to celebrate fashion around the world. 

What I Did & Where I Went: I started the night walking around the Duomo where a majority of the chain stores are located...ie: H&M, Zara, Sephora, and more. Most of these stores had a DJ which was so fun! After walking around for a little, I headed to Via Montenapoleone where most of the designer stores are located...ie: Gucci, Prada, Hermes. I went inside and viewed the showrooms of Valentino, PINKO, and Louis Vuitton. I was literally in heaven!! I couldn't believe the pieces I saw i the showrooms...I wish I could've taken some pictures to show you all, but I wasn't allowed!! After seeing these amazing showrooms, I headed to the Brera District where most of the artsy, small boutiques are located. I enjoyed visiting these boutiques because they offered a much more one-on-one, personal experience. I finished the night enjoying a glass of champagne at a jewelry shop near my apartment. 

What I Wore: I opted to pair a simple black skirt with a bold, yellow blouse. I was planning on wearing heels, but once I tried on my OTK boots, I completely changed my mind. Besides the boots, my favorite part of the outfit was my new cow hide, leather bag. It will definitely be a fall staple for me! I loved this entire outfit because it was simple, yet chic. 

Thanks for reading...keep an eye out for a new blog post with the rest of my MFW adventures plus a travel guide of Sicily (Sicilia) and Florence (Firenze)!! XOXO


Monday, September 19, 2016

Black & White Street Style in Milano


Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend. If you read my last blog post, you know I spent the weekend in Sicily. I was sick, but I still had a great time exploring the city. Keep an eye out for a Sicily travel guide post later this week! Anyway, I'm spending the next few days recovering, catching up on my sleep, studying Italian, and of course prepping for MILAN FASHION WEEK (AHHHHH!!!!). I'm super excited if you couldn't tell! Tomorrow, I'm attending "Vogue Fashion Night Out" which is a night dedicated to the global celebration of fashion. Almost all of the boutiques and major stores in Milan will have a mini celebration with cocktails and various social events. Most of these events are invite only, but there are some that are open to the public (those are the ones I'll be going to). On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I will be in the Fashion District hoping to spot a few celebrities or fashion bloggers. I've been planning my outfits for the last two weeks (literally) so stayed tuned for more street style vibes like the pictures above! Ciao, ciao!! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Surviving Pre-Trip Anxiety


Ciao from Sicilia! I'm currently writing to you from Cantania. I've been under the weather for the last few days, but I managed to gain enough strength to fly out of Milan this morning. I wish I was feeling as good as I was in these colorful pictures from Cinque Terre last weekend! I loved wearing an all white outfit in this colorful town so I stood out against the pretty walls. Anyway, I'm resting in the hotel for the evening before heading out to the beach at Giardini Naxos and hiking at Mount Etna tomorrow and Sunday. I've got a busy few days ahead!! Since I've been sick, I had terrible anxiety about flying to Sicilia today. I often have "pre-trip anxiety" whether its a small or big trip. I wanted to share a few tips that help me when I'm facing this anxiety. 

1) Meditate. I use the app Headspace which is a guided meditation for just ten minutes a day. It's amazing how much it relaxes my mind. 

2) Exercise. I find that when I exercise in the days leading up to a trip, I feel a lot better...even if its a short walk around the city! 

3) Plan ahead. Whenever I go on a small or big trip, I always plan ahead. For a small trip, I usually research travel blogs on Google. For a bigger trip, I always buy a travel book for the city that I'm travelling to. **Be careful not to "over-plan"!! 

4) Journal. I keep a journal whenever I am travelling. I find that writing help me release all those anxious thoughts in my head. 

5) Relax and have fun. Remember the reason that you're going on this trip to begin with. Remember to put the worries aside and enjoy the small moments. 

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a good weekend! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Newer Kat in CINQUE TERRE


Happy Monday! Today, I'm sharing travel details from my weekend trip to the beautiful Cinque Terre. I'm sure you've all seen pictures of this town on Instagram. Let me tell you...it truly is as picturesque as it seems online. I was in awe of all the bright colored buildings in each town. It was as if each of the five towns had its own colorful "personality". As I journeyed to each town, I couldn't help but laugh because it was literally a blogger's heaven! I wanted to take a picture in front of every color haha! Anyway, it was a fun weekend to say the least. You can find all of my travel details below. 

Where I Stayed: An Airbnb in La Spezia (a town 15 minutes away from the first town of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore) ***I would NOT recommend staying here as the town was sketchy and inconvenient to travel to the actual towns that make up Cinque Terre. It would be worth it to pay extra to actually stay in one of the towns in Cinque Terre. 

Where I Ate: 
  • II Pescato Cucinato, Riomaggiore - Good lunch spot; great fried seafood 
  • Terza Terre Corniglia, Corniglia - Great lunch spot with a view; authentic Cinque Terre Wine
  • Ristorante Gambero Rosso Bar, Vernazza - Outstanding dinner on the water 
  • Gelateria Vernazza, Vernazza - Gelato with local flavors from Cinque Terre

What I did: Since I was in Cinque Terre for two short days, I only got to spend a little bit of time in each town. On Saturday, I went to the beach in Monterosso. I would NOT recommend going to this beach as it was cramped with many, many tourists. Instead, I would suggest going to the beach in Vernazza. On Sunday, I spent the day exploring Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. My favorite town was Vernazza (pictured above) because it was so quaint and colorful. 

What To Be Prepared For: 
  • When you are looking up hotels, note that Cinque Terre is not a town; it literally means "Five Lands" in Italian (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore)
  • Purchase a "Cinque Terre Card" for 16 Euros a day as it gives you access to the hiking trails and unlimited bus/train access 
  • Be prepared to spend lots of time waiting for the train to get to each town especially if you are staying in La Spezia 
  • Come with an empty belly as you will EAT A TON in each town!! 

Thanks for following along my adventures as always! Until next time, ciao ciao!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chambray in Milano


What an amazing first week it has been in Milano! For those of you who are new to my blog, I am studying abroad in Milano for the next four months. I will be taking classes in fashion marketing, photography, literature, and Italian. I just started my intensive Italian class on Monday and I'm so excited to be able to start integrating the language into my daily life. Besides attending Italian class, I've been spending the last few days exploring the city. My favorite thing to do is window shop (and shop) in all of the boutiques and big stores. I may or may not have bought a few things already...including this entire outfit!! I love the contrast between the chambray and the leopard belt. It's a perfect transition for fall, and would be cute paired with a cardigan as well! 

Before my trip, I also invested in a Travelon Anti-Theft Purse. It may not be the cutest, but it is super safe and will give you more protection from pick-pocketers. The purse has build in RFID blocking card slots and a lock on the zipper. I also purchased a backpack with the same design. I would highly recommend purchasing a bag like this if you are travelling to Europe any time soon! 

Until next time, ciao! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Newer Kat in SIRMIONE


Ciao! I'm currently writing to you from my balcony in Milano as I listen to a local play the trombone on the street below. The music is filling our entire apartment...talk about a dream come true!! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend. I spent Friday and Saturday in a cute town called Sirmione. It's located in the Lake District just outside of Milan. It was breathtaking as you can see from the pictures above. I stayed at the Hotel Aquaviva, which was outstanding. I didn't have a worry in the world as I spent the day tanning by the lake, lounging in the jacuzzi, and relaxing in the spa. I packed my favorite palm print one piece which was definitely a good idea as my belly is about to explode from all the pizza, pasta, and gelato I've eaten this week! I am having an outstanding time in Italia so far. I can't wait to see what lies ahead!!