As 2014 comes to a close, I sit here smiling to myself as I think about all of the new things I’ve “learned” thanks to my year here in Italy. It’s a lovely country and so are the people, so bare in mind that these are just meant to be fun things I’ve experienced personally with my husband (who’s from southern Italy), his family and friends here, or stories I’ve heard from other expat friends. There are certainly some generalizations, but it’s only meant to be taken lightheartedly and provide a bit of laughter and insight to my oh-so-fabulous life here in Italy! 🙂
Well, hello friends. I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family. Christmas has come and gone, but my beautifully lit tree still stands, proving us with warmth and cheer, reminding us that the holidays are not quite over (which I’m actually happy about). As I sit here and sip on my delicious cappuccino, and enjoy the peace and quiet of our home this morning now that my in-laws have left, I thought about how this year has literally flown by. We’re about to start a new year and a new chapter in our lives, which made me start to think about all that 2014 entailed.
It’s pretty chilly outside (-3C/25F) and this cold Milan weather has me reminiscing about one of my previous trips to Australia. In 2012, I spent two months traveling up the West Coast of Australia (mostly visiting friends along the way), starting in Melbourne and working my way through Sydney, Coffs Harbor, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa and up to the Whitsunday Islands which make up part of the Great Barrier Reef.
I fell in love with this idea as I’m really into “wine theme” decor at the moment. After collecting tons of corks over a couple months, I was able to put this together in time for the holidays and it was the perfect piece (and currently my favorite!) for one of my mantles.
It snowed today for the first time this winter and basically… … This just captures it all. As a California girl (who’s also lived briefly in Thailand and Florida, i.e. tropical places) living in Milan, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how the women over here manage to look so glamorous in their high heels and cute little stylish jackets – prancing around the cobblestone streets (a feat of its own without snow) – while I’m simply trying to stay warm and comfortable and avoiding, as best possible, to not die of hypothermia or lose my toes to frostbite.
Milano, Italia The ultra glamorous fashion capital (or so it rivals Paris) and its fabulous Swarovski covered Christmas tree, centered in the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It stands 39 feet tall and is decorated with over 10,000 crystals and 36,000 lights.
When I walk past the Duomo and see this view as I enter the galleria in Milano, I can’t help but think it looks *magical*, like something I’d see in a fairytale. Just the sheer vision in the old architecture in Italy is quite amazing if you think about it ❤
Brera is one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in Milan, and even more so around the holidays. We love venturing through the cobblestone streets, admiring the Christmas lights that are strung from balcony to balcony creating and popping into a cute cafe for a bite to eat or warm cappuccino. The ambiance is especially beautiful in the evenings.
It has never ceased to amaze me how matching pairs of socks go into the washing machine & dryer, and like magic, when it comes time to rejoin them, “voila!” there’s only one and the other is no where in sight. Sometimes it starts to feel like someone is playing a joke…
“Good things come in small packages.” … as do delicious, tasty little bite sized Russian Tea Cake morsels. Growing up, my sisters and I used to make them with our mom every Christmas, and it became a tradition that I’ve carried on while living overseas the past couple years.
In southern Italy, just south of Rome we visited a beautiful ‘city on a hill’ with small maze-like side streets made of gorgeous cobblestone. It was like taking a trip back in time. I just love the look of the old architecture and design. (Unfortunately, the name of the city escapes me, but it was in the region of Latina, about an hour outside of Rome, and it was located on a mountain top).
Montmartre is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris. I love the quaint little side streets, the cafes and restaurants, and venturing up the hill past the artists’ square and all of the beautiful shops to the to the backside of Sacre Coeur Cathedral … all the while listening to the classic French music playing in the streets … you know, the melodies we’re all so familiar with from the movies.
‘Tis the season! From December 1st – 24th Milan’s real-life ‘advent calendar’ plays music from its windows in the evening for passing tourists in the piazza Duomo 🙂
Welcome to Milan. Fashion Capital.
“Remember it’s always better to look up” 🙂