04/07/2015

Travel Diary: Florence, Italy


Following an amazing few days in Cinque Terre, it was time to head down through Tuscany to the beautiful city of Florence. Florence was a must visit location while we were in the North of Italy and we travelled by train via Pisa to seek out the best that the city had to offer.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by sweltering 30 degree temperatures - without the sea breeze we'd experienced when by the coast in Cinque Terre. Lunchtime was spent in an outdoor restaurant soaking up the rays and people watching through the busy streets. We only had a few hours in Florence, so Shona and I were determined to pack Florence's best cultural and historic attractions into our day. First stop was the Duomo, an architectural extravaganza with so much intricate detail that I was completely in awe of. Inside however, although the cool interior provided a welcome escape from the blazing heat, the Cathedral was not one of the best I've visited. Rules on entry were strict and probably not worth the queue.
As well as an historic and architectural hub, Florence is also bustling with shops and great places to eat. Shona and I couldn't resist out daily dose of ice-cream, which in Florence came sculpted from mountains of fruity and indulgent flavours topped with beautifully presented decoration. Grabbing an ice-cream made the hot stroll down to the River Arno a little easier, where views of the city's traditional buildings and bridges did not disappoint.
Our whirlwind trip to Florence was finished off with a train station stop at Sephora for some beauty goodies before heading down to Perugia for the night. I think a few hours in Florence was all I needed to explore the best bits, so I wouldn't recommend staying for much longer than a day.
I'm planning heading back to Italy for a few days on a trip (again) later this summer so make sure to stay tuned for more travel adventures! I've also got outfit posts and a post from Wireless Festival going live in the next few days so make sure to follow me on bloglovin' to get notified with updates!

Monica x

Outfit One: Striped Bardot Top: Miss Selfridge | White Lasercut Leather Skirt: Zara (similar here) | Bubbled Leather Bag: Primark (similar here) | Sheffield Lady Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Round Sunglasses: H&M (similar here) |

Outfit Two: Floral Bell Sleeve Playsuit: ASOS | Sunglasses: Italian Market Stall (similar here) | Lips: MAC in Lady Danger |


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25/06/2015

Travel Diary: Cinque Terre Part Two

 

Sifting through my photos from my recent trip to Italy is making me want to return for more adventures so badly! Serious holiday blues are kicking in!
The five towns of Cinque Terre certainly deserved a second day of exploring to truly appreciate and take in the beauty of the Italian Riveria. This day started off with a scenic boat trip from La Spezia to Manarola. I'd recommend having an early start and catching the first boat to squeeze as much as possible into the day. Like Riomagiorre the day before, Manarola was a beautiful small town complete with scenic trails and views from the cliffside. I decided to wear my nicknamed 'travelling pants', these amazing printed trousers that I picked up a few months ago from Forever 21. They're super lightweight and airy, perfect for travelling, walking and covering up a little from the blazing sun! I paired these statement trousers with a crochet bralet underneath a bohemian bell-sleeved blouse - such an easy summer layered outfit!
After a walk around, we decided it was time for some lunch. One of my favourite things about Italy in general has to be the incredible food. I'm the type who is always up for trying new things and experimenting a little with the local cuisine. On this trip I tried octopus (deeeelish - tastes like very tender chicken) and also cuttlefish ink! Pretty random but it was the style of a super tasty risotto. On this particular day, I opted for spaghetti and meatballs for lunch - so good. In fact, I don't know about you, but my mouth is watering a little just looking at the photo of it!
Shona and I spent the rest of the day in Vernazza before taking a trip to the beach in Monterosso. I'm not a massive beach person (I'd much rather be exploring cultural attractions than lying doing nothing on a beach - but that's just me!), however Shona and I had a few cocktails and a lovely swim on the private beach before soaking up the rays towards late afternoon. Such an amazing day!
If you're not up to date on my Italy trip so far, make sure to have a read of my other posts in Pisa and Cinque Terre! My final post of this series in Florence will be live pretty soon, so make sure to drop back to for more outfits and adventures.

Monica x

Wearing: White Bell Sleeved Blouse: H&M | White Crochet Bralet: Primark | Printed Cropped Trousers : Forever 21 | Blue Lens Sunglass: Italian Market Stall | Nude Sandals: Primark | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Nails: Floss Gloss in '95% Angel' |


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20/06/2015

Travel Diary: Cinque Terre, Italy Part One


For those of you who haven't heard of it, "Cinque Terre" meaning "Five Towns" sits on the Italian Riviera and is made up of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corneglia and Monterosso. The colourful towns sit a short train or boat ride apart and each has its own quaint beauty and a different quality. These photos were all taken on our first day in Riomaggiore which is perhaps my favourite of the Cinque Terre. The houses stack up in the bay so beautifully creating a picture-perfect setting and a sight you can hardly believe is before your eyes.
Continuing on from my recent Italian adventures, after Pisa we took a short train ride up the West Coast of Italy to La Spezia. A sweet port town with plenty of shops/restaurants and excellent connections by boat or train to Cinque Terre, La Spezia would be our base for the next couple of days. The journey from Pisa to La Spezia didn't turn out to be the easiest with train strikes on this day meaning we spent a few hours waiting around and seeing train after train appearing to be cancelled. Thankfully with a bit of patience and high spirits plus plenty of excitement for our trip, we eventually made it to Cinque Terre.
For strolling around and exploring Riomaggiore, I chose to wear this beautiful crochet off the shoulder top from Peppermayo, which I picked up for a fraction of the price from eBay. This top is so lovely to wear in the sunshine (with lots of SPF of course). I paired it with one of my favourite purchases as of late, the button up denim skirt. I feel this is such a summer staple and is so easy to wear! I really love the '70s vibe the buttons and pocket detailing give to the look and can see myself wearing this skirt all summer long. Another favourite recently has to be the gold choker necklace I picked up from Primark recently. I'm obsessed with it! I wasn't even sure if I liked it at first but I think it works perfectly with an off the shoulder top and is a great cool alternative to a pendant necklace. I think I'm converted.
After wandering around the town and climbing up trails for views of the Riviera, we were spoilt for choice with bustling restaurants by the harbour and eventually chose a cute spot with sunset views for dinner. Cinque Terre doesn't let its guests down with a wonderful selection of Mediterranean seafood available fresh to order as well as rich and wholesome traditional Italian dishes (pasta or pizza anyone?!) washed down with the sweet taste of white wine.
Hands down, I can honestly say Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited! I have a second post which will be live in a few days about the rest of my trip to Cinque Terre, followed by my day in Florence, so keep your eyes peeled for those this week. Plus expect my Italian Summer Lookbook to be live over the next few days on my Youtube Channel.. head over there to subscribe now!

Monica x 


Wearing: White Crochet Off The Shoulder Top: Peppermayo via Ebay | Denim Skirt: Zara | Nude Sandals: Primark | Reflective Sunglasses: Market Stall in Italy | Gold Choker Necklace: Primark | Sheffield Lady Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Black Faux Leather Bag: Primark | Nails: Floss Gloss in '95% Angel'




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14/06/2015

Travel Diary: Pisa, Italy


This post will be the first post in the series of four from my recent trip to Italy. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen my spamming your feed with numerous OOTDs and photos of gelato and sunsets - sorry... I couldn't resist!

Last weekend I flew from London to Pisa, to meet my best friend Shona for a few days of travelling around Tuscany and the Italian Riveria. Although I only booked this spontaneous adventure a week or so prior to jetting off, flights were still pretty inexpensive and I flew with BA for just £66 one way. 
Upon arriving in Pisa, I was greeted by glorious sunshine and 30+ degree temperatures, which was a perfect excuse to crack out my summery wardrobe pieces, that I've been waiting to wear all year! I have been loving a bit of paisley print lately and actually picked this playsuit up from ASOS last summer. I only ended up wearing it once on a night out, as it unfortunately sunk into the hollow cave of my wardrobe until I recently rediscovered it! I think the print and blend of colours are so beautiful together, plus I really like the v-neck style and the back detailing too. A perfect and easy outfit for a day of tourist activities and sipping on a glass (or three) of wine. 
As we were only staying in Pisa for the night, we stayed in a small hotel just around the corner from Pisa's main attraction: The Leaning Tower. It was a perfect location for wandering around the city and  minutes away from streets bustling with outdoor eateries and local boutiques. I'll be honest when I say my expectations of Pisa weren't very high, but I really enjoyed my time there! I feel like one day is all you need to see and enjoy the best of the city's offerings. One of my highlights was definitely climbing to the top of The Leaning Tower, it was great to learn the history and see the views of the area from the top!

Stay tuned over the next week where I'll be posting more photos & travel diaries from my Italian adventures. Plus... I'll be posting my first ever lookbook on my Youtube Channel (GO SUBSCRIBE)!

x


 WearingPaisley Playsuit: Glamorous via ASOS (similar here)Nude Sandals: Primark (similar here) | Black Bag: Primark (similar here) Silver Quartz Ring: c/o A Weathered Penny | Reflective Sunglasses: market in Italy (similar here)| Sheffield Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Nails: Floss Gloss in '95% Angel'|

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