Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When In Rome...

You know the phrase, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do?" Well, I certainly applied that phrase to my eating habits while in Italy! I came back from my trip with a ton of pictures, lots of memories, and a few extra pounds. It was well worth it though, because the food in Italy was absolutely delicious! I couldn't document my trip abroad without highlighting some of my favorite meals. But, I do apologize in advance for making you hungry!

Gnocchi Pasta


My favorite meal in Rome was at a small restaurant on a side street in the area of the Spanish Steps. It was amazing how a place we just stumbled upon became our favorite meal. The restaurant is called Antica Enoteca and of all the mouthwatering food I ate in Italy, this was the best! I ordered Gnocchi pasta and not only was it the perfect consistency, but it was the right ratio of sauce to cheese (a difficult feat). At the end of the meal, our waiter brought us free tiramisu. I think noticed us drooling over our food and felt bad for us poor Americans!


Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Tomato

As far as appetizers go, I had two favorites that we ordered at just about every meal. The first is bruschetta. There is something about the tomatoes and basil in Italy that made this taste SO much better than bruschetta in America. I was also a big fan of the mozzarella, prosciutto, and tomato combination. The mozzarella in Italy was so incredibly fresh and was infinitely more delicious than the rubbery cheese we have here.

Making the Pizza in Pizzeria Da Michele

Pizza at Pizzeria Da Michele
 The award for the best pizza, hands down, goes to L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples! This is the same pizzeria that is featured in Eat, Pray, Love, and it is so good that you want to lick the tray after you finish. If you are ever in Naples, this pizzeria is a must-visit!

View from La Tagliata

Dinner at La Tagliata

The most delectable meal in the Amalfi Coast was at La Tagliata. This restaurant is located above Positano with views that are to die for. The restaurant is family owned which made for a great atmosphere, as well as great food. They just brought round after round of incredible food that at the end, I seriously felt like I was in a food coma.


Lastly, I am now truly obsessed with Gelato. I would say that I averaged about two a day, which is strange considering I almost never eat ice cream at home. I must have tried almost every flavor that Italy had to offer such as Chocolate Chip, Lemon, Rocher, Mint, Mixed Berry, Strawberry, Orange, Banana, Mango, Vanilla, Pineapple, Watermelon, Kiwi, and more. Trust me, I did not discriminate against any gelato flavors!

If you've been to Italy, what are some of your favorite foods and restaurants?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

For the second half of our Italian vacation, we went to the Amalfi Coast and stayed in Positano. The absolute beauty of this place is indescribable. It was absolutely breathtaking and unfortunately, pictures don't do it justice. This was my favorite part of the vacation because of how beautiful and relaxing it was, although Rome was great too!

Positano, Italy

Our driver stopped at the top of a cliff when we were first driving in so that we could look down on Positano. Seeing the gorgeous town built into the cliff for the first time was amazing. We had so much fun exploring the town and learning the bus system the first day that we were there.

At the Beach!

The next day, we went down to the beach! It was such a fun experience to swim in the Mediterranean and to be on a dark sand beach, which is very different than the light sand beaches we have here on the East Coast!


My absolute favorite day was when we went to Capri! Capri was absolutely gorgeous as well and had great shopping. The highlight of the day though, was taking a private boat around and getting to visit and swim in all of the famous grottos.

Swimming in the Mediterranean

The famous Faraglioni Rocks

The Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is the most famous, the the most beautiful grotto around Capri. The grotto earned its name because of the way the light passes through an underwater cavity and shines through the water which creates a blue reflection that illuminates the grotto. It was difficult to get a good picture inside because it was very dark.


Our final day on the Amalfi Coast, we headed over to Sorrento for a few hours. Sorrento was a lot of fun and had great shopping, but Positano was still the most beautiful in my opinion!

Positano and the Amalfi Coast was like nothing I have ever seen before. It was positvely stunning and I hope to go back someday soon!

The next and final post about my trip to Italy will be about... the food!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rome, Italy

I just returned from the most amazing vacation of my life. For nine days, I was abroad in Italy visiting Rome and Positano. This was my first trip to Europe so it was quite the experience. Not only do I feel that I came back more cultured and in awe of the world, but also a few pounds heavier! The sites were very educational, the scenery was gorgeous, and the food was delicious!

I decided to break my posts up because I have SO much to say. So, this first post will be exclusively about my time in Rome, the capital of Italy. The two things I loved the most about Rome were its history and its charm. The amount of art and historical sites in Rome is virtually unrivalled. I loved seeing things of such significance, as well as almost feeling like I was transported back to a different time period.

The Trevi Fountain at night

Two of the first things that I saw upon arriving in Rome were the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. The Trevi Fountain is absolutely stunning and gigantic! It was great by day, but at night it was so impressive that I didn't even mind how crowded it was. The Spanish Steps were also very crowded, but the view from the top was well worth it!

Some of Ancient Rome

The next day, we went to the site of Ancient Rome to see the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Colosseum. I still can't even believe that I was where the center of Roman life used to be. Every piece of crumbled marble at the Roman Forum is saturated in so much history and it was magnificent to experience.

The Colosseum

My favorite site though, was the Colosseum. It was so exciting to stand in the amphitheater where the most extreme events took place. Although it was not perfectly preserved, it was still easy to picture the Colosseum in all her glory, hosting about 65,000 Romans every other day. I was thrilled to be inside of something so historically significant and to envision the vicious spectacles that happened there.

The Pantheon

Later on that day, we took a trip over to the Pantheon. What was incredible about this building is how it is almost entirely intact even though it is from the 2nd-century-A.D. The inside was beautiful and the oculus at the top letting in the light was amazing.

Vatican City

The following day, we made our way over to Vatican City to see the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. The Vatican Museums were very crowded and VERY hot. However, I did really enjoy seeing the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms). After going through the lengthy museums, we finally ended up in the Sistine Chapel. I was absolutely awe-struck looking at the iconic ceiling by Michelangelo. It is stunning in person and deserves every ounce of fame that it has received.

A few other great sites we saw in Rome were Castel Sant'Angelo, Campo de' Fiori, Villa Borghese, Piazza Navona, and the Crypt of the Capuchin Monks.

Prada Roma

Finally, what would a trip to Rome be without some good shopping? In addition to hitting up local stores, we took the tourist-y route and went to Via Condotti where all of the luxury labels are located. Of course, I also had to take a picture in front of Prada in Rome because I am interning at Prada in New York this summer!

Although hot and crowded, I loved Rome! Next, will be a post from my time in Positano and the Amalfi Coast.

Have you ever been to Rome? What were some of your favorite sites?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Wardrobe Essentials

I know that summer is about half over already (bummer!) but there is still plenty of summer shopping time left! There have been a few pieces that I have worn over and over this summer, many of which are extremely versatile. I'm sure my poor wallet wants to thank me when I find clothes that I can actually wear everywhere: to work, to go out in, and to wear on the weekends! So, just in case you are still on the hunt for some great summer finds, here are my summer wardrobe essentials:

White Jeans - I'm definitely more of a dress-girl than a jeans-girl, but I have found myself living in my white jeans this summer! They're great because they go with just about anything like regular jeans, but have an edgier vibe to them. I also love how you can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. This particular pair are J Brand, but you can find white jeans in tons of different cuts in almost every store this summer.

Maxi Dress - As I mentioned before, I am definitely a dress girl! I love how simple it is to just throw on a comfy dress in the summer and still look totally chic. The maxi dress makes this philosophy even easier! Maxi dresses and skirts have been a huge trend this summer, so I always feel fashionable when I'm wearing one. I love the simplicity of a plain maxi dress, like the one above from Topshop, or you can go for a printed one for a boho feel.

Romper - In my opinion, the romper is the best of both worlds! It's essentially what would happen if a dress and shorts had a baby. I have been rocking mine all summer because they are so comfortable, yet still look so cute! Depending on the material of the romper, you could dress it up to go out, or wear it to a casual summer BBQ, like this one from Forever 21.

Headwrap - The headwrap has been very popular with celebrities lately and once I tried one out myself, I was hooked as well! Wearing one instantly ups your "cool-factor" because not only do you look fashion forward, but you are projecting the fact that you are confident in your style. Another great factor is that they are very easy to DIY with a thin, pretty scarf. However, I recently bought one similar to this from Anthropolgie and I love it!

Wedges - Wedges have been in style for a while now, but I still had to include them on my summer essentials list. I have worn my wedges more than any other shoe this summer because they look just as nice as heels, but they are infinitely more comfortable. Another plus is that they are work appropriate, but can also be worn to a lunch date with friends. I have quite a few pairs that I LOVE from Steve Madden, like the ones above.

Do you agree with any of my summer wardrobe essentials? What have you been living in this summer?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Top Five: "Must Have" iPhone Apps For a NYC Intern

After interning in NYC the past few months, I have come across some must-have iPhone apps. Whether you're lost, hungry or just plain bored, one of these apps will be sure to help you out!

1. HopStop is a necessity for anyone who need a little extra help getting around the city. I know a few subway lines very well, but if you asked me to take the F-line, I would be completely lost. Here is where HopStop comes in. You simply type in where you're coming from and going to and it tells you what train to take, what stops to pass, when to get off, and how to continue on to get to your destination. HopStop is especially useful if you are in a hurry or if you have multiple transfers. (Two other apps that go along with HopStop nicely are NYSubView to view a complete subway map or individual lines and Google Maps to get walking or driving directions anywhere.)

2. Yelp is great for finding just about anything you may need in the city. They have listings of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, banks, gas stations, drugstores, and more. This can be very helpful if you are in an unfamiliar area and need to find something quickly. There are also tons of reviews listed about each business to help you make the best decisions about where to go. Another great factor about this app is the "Yelp Deals." You can search for nearby deals at places such as restaurants and spas on your phone that are instantly redeemable.

3. Pulsd is one of my absolute favorite apps. Right now, this app is only available in NYC or San Francisco but it is totally necessary if you live in either of those cities! Pulsd keeps you updated on tons of awesome events that happen every day. The best part is that most of these events are free (which is a favorite vocabulary word for an unpaid intern!) They list just about everything there is to do such as free concerts, store sales, restaurant and drink deals, museum discounts, salon discounts, and even sports ticket deals.

4. FourSquare...and Twitter and Facebook. OK, so I know I cheated and listed three, but all of these social media apps are great when you're bored and have some time to kill. FourSquare is great, especially in New York City because it allows you to "check in" to a venue. Once you do that, you are able to see who else is there and read reviews from past visitors. Some places will even offer you special deals when you check in! You can link your FourSquare account to your Twitter and Facebook as well.

5. Instagram is great because New York City is so beautiful. I know I'm always taking pictures of things I see in the city on a daily basis and Instagram makes my pictures look infinitely cooler. The app offers a variety of filters that you can apply to a picture to change the look such as "Inkwell" for black and white, "1977" for a 70s look, and more. One of my favorite parts of Instagram is how it reformats the pictures into a square shape which reminds me of the old fashioned Polaroids. After you choose a filter, you can share it with friends through sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

I love so many iPhone apps that it's hard to choose just five! Some runners up are Urbanspoon, Lustr, LIRR onTime, and TimeOut New York.

Do you love any of these apps as well? Are there any other NYC-related apps that I should try?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Spotlight On: High Line Park and City Winery

Last weekend, I explored a fantastic part of NYC that I had never been to before, the High Line.

The High Line is a New York City Park that is built on an elevated section of track from the former West Side Line freight railroad. The park runs through the West Side all the way from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues.

As anyone who has been to New York knows, parks in the city are like little slices of heaven, and the High Line is no exception. Up just a few flights of stairs from the taxi filled asphalt is gorgeous greenery stocked with little surprises.

One of my favorite areas of the High Line is the 23rd Street Lawn. Grassy areas are hard to come by in NYC and it is a great spot to rest, have a picnic, and enjoy the gorgeous views. I also really enjoyed the Sundeck Preserve area between 14th and 15th Streets. Here, there are tons of wodden lounge chairs installed which was a great, unexpected feature. Also, around this area, there is a magnificent view of the Diane von Furstenburg offices.

After spending much of my day exploring all that the High Line has to offer, I headed over to City Winery at 155 Varick Street for dinner and a concert.

Before we made it down to the show, we stumbled upon the cutest little garden in SoHo. Some of my favorite things in life are unanticipated, like this one.

City Winery itself was amazing. The ivy coated building and the massive wooden doors immediately set the tone for the entire night. The inside of the venue was just as charming and the food was to die for. City Winery is the perfect place to watch a laidback summer concert while enjoying some delicious wine and food.

In my opinion, both the High Line and City Winery and must-see attractions in New York!