Thursday, 24 December 2009


So whilst in Italy, I did get a few things besides food. I mean, I must've spent what, at least 50 Euros on food. We ate through tube after tube of Pringles and drank what felt like ten 2L bottles of Coke/Diet Coke as well as bottles of water, Nestea Iced Tea, Ritz crackers, chocolate chip biscuits, the occassional piece of fruit(!) and not to mention the delicious ice creams!

However, I did not come back with only the gaining of pounds (weight-wise) but also the loss of pounds (or Euros, money-wise) -  I did actually buy a few little items.

Without wanting to be totally touristy, I didn't bother buying an I Heart Roma t-shirt. Instead, I got a caricature done of me, in the Piazza Navona, after visiting the Vatican and climbing the Bell Tower and St Peter's. This caricature holds many great memories and I definitely won't forget it in a hurry. It was reasonably priced at a discount of 5 Euros and I love it! (It doesn't look that much like me but caricatures normally don't.)

Whilst in Sorrento, we were allowed time in the evenings to roam round and go shopping. Luckily, there was a fantastic leather goods shop in Sorrento, so we were free to check out all the beautiful Italian leather. Not many bags took my fancy and the ones which did were way out of my price range so I stuck to a nice, brown leather belt for 15 Euros, which I thought was a reasonable price for real leather.

Now, the last thing was a completely impromptu purchase at the Bay of Naples airport. We had some time to spare whilst waiting for our plane, so we all went to the gift shop. Looking at the various magazines on offer, I thought it to be a waste to not buy an Italian Vogue! So I did, and with an extra Home magazine with it, 5 Euros wasn't too bad either.

But it's not just these materialistic things that I cherish most from the time I spent in Italy. It was the whole experience of going to a new place, spending time with friends and also spending time on my own. Looking back, the places, the architecture, the art, was all abundantly there, so real, just there. I had such a good time experiencing the culture of Rome. Climbing the Bell Tower, wandering around St Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Forum, the Castel Sant Angelo, Pompeii, Bay of Naples, Sorrento, Herculaneum, climbing Vesuvius...

Everything was on such a huge scale that it wasn't hard to feel pallid and insignificant in comparison. So ornate, grandeose and intricate, the difference couldn't be easier to distinguish. I can't describe any of it, really, in words and the whole experience was one of the best I've ever had. I wish I could express it better, but it's probably something that only one can experience. No doubt, I will be getting back to Rome somehow, some way. If any of you are struggling to find some place to get to, I urge all of you to visit Italy (most notably Rome and Pompeii).

If any of you are interested in finding more about Roman architecture and the like, there's a great short TV series of the Grand Tour, hosted by Kevin McCloud (from Grand Designs, which I also love) and he goes around Rome, Pompeii and Herculaneum in two of the episodes: here and here.

With that, a very belated Merry Christmas to all, whether you're here in England, or Rome (if you are, uhh, I'm jealous), America, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, NZ, Africa, France, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Hawaii, the Gobi Desert, Timbuktu, the Moon... WHEREVER! I wish you all a (belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year; best wishes for 2010 (I almost wrote 2009 then..!)

Also, I've just spent the last few days in London so expect a future post and some nice pictures; I also got a few things and I'll get some pictures of my new buys!



  1. wow, your trip sounds like it was a lot of fun! ahh i wish i could visit europe. that'd be amazing.
    i love the caricature you had done. love the style of it and it seems like such an awesome souvenir.
    how long did you get to spend in italy?

  2. You too a belated Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010! Can't wait til May, going to Rome with school :)

  3. Thanks! Yes, I took the picture :)
    I'm going for five days, which is waaay to short. An another school in Rotterdam has planned a two week trip, where they are going to Rome ánd Greece. I'm jealous!

  4. cute blog! I'm jealous I think Italy is gorgeous and i want to go very badly :)
    hope you have a happy new year!

    xo, C.

  5. Haha, thanks for the compliment!
    I would love to live in England though; CD’s, Books and DVD’s are so much cheaper then over here. (Crazy about HMV)
    I guess it will be a great time yeah, last May I went to Berlin with school and it was so much fun. But I really needed a Grande or Venti Starbucks Coffee after a few days. :) I've read somewhere that there aren’t any Starbucks in Italy?

  6. looks like you had a great time in Italy, so jealous!
    happy new year!


  7. Thanks for the lovely compliments (again)!
    I guess that you’re studying at a grammar school (or something like that?), since you’ve got Latin. I’ve also got Latin and French :). What other subjects do you have?

    I love to read English books, I started buying them during my vacation in America and I’d rather spend my money on English books then on Dutch ones.
    Haha, my favorite Starbucks Coffee is White Chocolate Mocha, but regular coffee is fine too. Oh, and the Italian ice cream, soo delicious!

    Oh, and I’m sorry for ruining your comment section.

  8. Haha, okay :) There are separate grammar schools over here, but I go to a school where they provide secondary education at every level. I like Latin a lot; it’s much better then Greek with its own weird alphabet. I really enjoy French, don’t know why actually. Oh, I was wondering, how long does grammar school in England take?

    The English books I’ve got are mostly novels, like My Sister’s Keeper and The Time Traveler’s Wife. I haven’t read/bought any English books in the last months, because I’ve got to read for my Dutch literature list and had to prepare for my preliminary exams. What is your favorite book?

    I think that I’m quite fluent in speaking English, but I can get really nervous when a stranger suddenly asks me something in English. I’ve also learned minimum German and Spanish at school, but I guess they both faded away over the years.
    Keep drinking Starbucks, because I’ve got a lack of it! :)

  9. Wow, congrats on the price! I could never win a price with Latin, I’m just average student nowadays. I used to be the one with high scores though, but everything is more difficult now and I’m stuck with my Nature and Health profile, which includes physics(fair), chemistry(worse) and maths(worst). I really like the subjects, but I have to study harder I guess. I think that grammar school is similar to gymnasium, but here it’s just a standard 6 year education.

    Oh, I bought the English Twilight Saga last year, after seeing the first movie. I can’t remember finishing the last book though. Haha, it isn’t that hard, because I’m kind of used to it. I grew up with a prefer to English and American movies/tv-series (the Dutch ones are really fake, with only a few exceptions). I’ll search for those books when I’m in Rotterdam!

    I’m sixteen at the moment, but I’m turning seventeen this Monday :). I don’t really know when I started learning English. They’ve taught us silly things like the name of colors and names of lands somewhere in primary school. And they started to teach us the verbs and tenses at the beginning of secondary school, now I’m expected to be able to write a formal or informal letter to someone and to talk about a book without any mistakes :).
    Wow, it’s late. I'm going to sleep! :D

  10. hey chloe! i'm sorry i didn't edit it earlier, but i changed the rules so that you can only have one sentence! (don't worry i already read yours, it was wonderful :D)
    can i please delete your comment, and have you submit another one? thanks so much! good luck!



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